trial court concluded that the condominium association's
lien for assessments was not entitled to statutory priority
over similar assessments made pursuant to the covenants of
the homeowners association within which the condominium was
organized. We affirm.
McCord and Evelyn Miller owned real property in Issaquah.
That property is part of two separate associations, Klahanie
Association (Klahanie) and Sundance at Klahanie Condominium
Association (Sundance). Klahanie is a homeowners association
(HOA) created in 1985. Sundance is a condominium association
created pursuant to the Washington Condominium Act (WCA),
chapter 64.34 RCW, in 1995. Sundance is a condominium
association on property that is within Klahanie.
and Miller fell behind on their assessments owed to both
associations. On March 12, 2015, Sundance obtained an $8,
559.73 judgment against them.
months later, on May 12, 2015, Klahanie filed a complaint to
foreclose on its lien for $3, 596.09 in assessments owed.
Klahanie moved for summary judgment on the basis that its
lien was senior to Sundance's lien. Klahanie reasoned
that its priority date was established when its covenants,
conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) were recorded in
1985 (as opposed to when the owner defaulted in 2014), while
Sundance's priority date was when Sundance's
declaration was recorded in 1995. The trial court agreed. It
granted summary judgment in favor of Klahanie, and, pursuant
to the CC&Rs awarded attorney fees in Klahanie's
reviewing a summary judgment order, this court engages in the
same inquiry as the trial court. Hertog v. City of
Seattle, 138 Wn.2d 265, 275, 979 P.2d 400 (1999).
Summary judgment is proper when there are no genuine issues
of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Id. All facts and reasonable
inferences are considered in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Id. Questions of law are reviewed
de novo. id.
Competing Claims of Lien Priority
like all condominiums created in this state after July 1,
1990, organized under the Washington Condominium Act (WCA).
RCW 64.34.010(1). The WCA provides for assessments to be
levied against association members. See RCW
64.34.360. The WCA also gives WCA associations a statutory
lien for unpaid assessments. RCW 64.34.364(1). As to those
liens' priority date, RCW 64.34.364(7) states that
"[r]ecording of the declaration constitutes record
notice and perfection of the lien for assessments." And,
the WCA gives statutory superpriority to condominium
association assessment liens over other liens, with limited
exceptions. See RCW 64.34.364(2).
was created upon the recording of its CC&Rs in
1985. The CC&R's bind owners within
Klahanie to pay assessments. The master plan included plans
for both single family and multifamily development. Section
1.6 of the CC&Rs contemplates that later condominiums,
referred to as "Living Units, " may be created on
the property. Section 4.3 requires that assessment
obligations pass through to each individual living unit,
rather than the lots themselves. And, the CC&Rs state
that the consequence of not paying assessments is a lien
against the living unit "in the nature of a mortgage in
favor of the Association."
Sundance, Klahanie has no statute comparable to RCW
64.34.364(2) to rely upon for superpriority for its lien
claim. But, within the WCA, RCW 64.34.364(2)(a) creates an
exception to superpriority for "[l]iens and encumbrances
recorded before the recording of the declaration." The
priority of the respective liens here turns on whether
Klahanie's non-WCA lien is a lien or encumbrance that
falls within this exception for previously recorded liens or