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Community Association Representation and Litigation


Rafel Law Group represents community associations and handles both corporate governance matters and construction defect litigation. We help associations successfully transition from developer to homeowner control by advising the board of directors on the association's legal rights and responsibilities under its CC&Rs and by setting up proper procedures for board action. We provide timely and thorough warranty reviews to make sure our clients' rights are preserved and protected, and we work closely with building consultants and engineers so that defects and deficiencies are promptly identified and corrected. We help boards effectively plan and conduct annual and special homeowner meetings. And we provide ongoing advice and counsel, as associations mature, on matters such as rules enforcement, unpaid assessment collection, reserve studies, maintenance plans, unit modifications, and governing document revisions.

We have a very strong practice in construction defect litigation, representing only community associations in claims for faulty construction. We fully manage the litigation process -- site investigation, thorough development of claims, notice to declarant and owners, prosecution of the suit or arbitration, negotiation and mediation, trial and appeal if necessary -- to minimize the burden on board members and community managers. And we continue to assist clients after their claims are resolved, by helping with the selection of repair contractors and construction managers and negotiating contracts with those vendors.

The following are representative of our engagements in this field:

Current Engagements
  • Trilogy at Redmond Ridge (Redmond, WA) (1500 single family homes at completion): Counsel to the Residential Community Association; advising on transition from developer control and governance issues
  • Sundance Glen Condominiums (Redmond, WA) (90 units): Representing association on construction defect claims against DR Horton
  • Hunters Ridge Condominiums (Sherwood, OR) (70 units): Successfully prosecuted and settled claims for construction defects and developer malfeasance
  • Sellwood Village (Portland, OR) (14 units): Prosecuted COA claim for defects in building envelope and resulting damage; obtained judgment against developer; garnished insurance assets
  • Irving Street Towers (Portland, OR) (57 units): Providing advice and general counsel to conversion condominium association in an historic building
  • Serenity at Juanita (Juanita, WA) (100 units): Prosecuting claim for construction defects in conversion condo
  • Jefferson Condominium (Tacoma, WA) (13 units):Construction defect investigation
  • Gregory Condominium (Edmonds, WA) (31 units):Prosecuting construction defect claims on mixed use building
  • Bayview Court Condominiums (Blaine, WA) (16 units): Representing association in claims against declarant and developer for bad construction and severe disclosure violations
  • Beacon Owners Association (Seattle, WA) (16 units):General counsel to conversion condo; advising on major capital project
  • Courtyards at Springville (Portland, OR) (128 units): Pending construction defect action for faulty repairs by developer post-conversion
  • Eastlake Lofts (Seattle, WA) (18 units):Representing association in claim for defective windows and window installation, concrete weatherproofing defects, and other deficiencies
  • Madison Lofts (Seattle, WA) (24 units):General counsel, advising on transition from developer control
  • Sequoia Crossing HOA (Oregon City, OR) (78 homes):General counsel and advice post-turnover
  • Fountaincourt v. AmFam (Washington County, OR): Won post-judgment trial against insurer to collect judgment entered against sider from insurance policy, after insurer refused to pay; insurer has appealed judgement and award of attorney's fees to HOA


Representative Past Cases

  • Windwatch Condominium (Seattle, WA) (25 units): Represented association in litigation against unit owner who installed major unauthorized modifications
  • Mosier Creek Condominiums (Mosier, OR): Represented unit owners pre-turnover in cooperative resolution with developer and contractors over construction defects
  • Tidewater Cove Condominiums (Vancouver, WA) (101 homes): Luxury condominiums on the Columbia River; represented the association in all phases of its transition from developer control, including successful lawsuits by the association against the developer for recovery of parking spaces retained by the developer and to impose responsibility on the developer (and avoid association responsibility) for cleanup and continued monitoring of environmental contamination of soil and groundwater; prosecuted and successfully resolved construction defect claims against developer and 25 subcontractors; total settlement value over $11 million
  • Fountain Court Townhomes and Condos (97 homes): Suit for construction defect claims; obtained $1 million settlement with bankrupt developer that was approved by the bankruptcy court and funded by the developer's insurance company; proceeded to trial against 3 major subcontractors; won $2.1 million jury verdict
  • Heights at Issaquah Ridge Condominiums (Issaquah, WA) (74 homes): Prosecuted construction defect claims against developer; obtained court approval of $8.3 million settlement and settlement funding from insurers for developer, general contractor and subcontractors
  • Heritage Place Condominiums (137 units): Prosecuted claims for defective roofs and windows; obtained favorable pretrial settlement
  • Spruce Heights (49 units): Represented conversion condominium association in construction defect case against developer and siding subcontractor; achieved substantial settlement
  • Rainier Vista (Seattle, WA): Prosecuted and settled claims for defective in-floor heating
  • Courtyard at Progress Ridge Condominiums (Beaverton, OR) (144 homes): Successfully resolved construction defect claims of owners association under cooperative repair agreement with developer/builder
  • Riverfront Landing B&C Condominiums (Bothell, WA) (41 units): Tried case in arbitration against 4 subcontractors; won award of more than $2 million plus attorney's fees and costs; successfully prosecuted follow-on action against one insurer that refused payment - claim later settled for more than the amount of the arbitration award against its insured
  • Seward Park Townhomes (Seattle, WA) (41 units): Filed suit on behalf of condominium association for construction defects; obtained early settlement under a wasting "wrap" policy
  • Sundance at Klahanie Condominiums (158 units): $8.6 million settlement (3 separate lawsuits, including suit against insurer for bad faith refusal to provide coverage)
  • Heatherwood at Lakeland Condominiums (92 homes): Represented condominium association in construction defect claims against developer and subsequent action against AIG for failure to provide insurance coverage; $8.1 million settlement found reasonable by court
  • Overlook at Juanita Bay Condominiums (33 units): Prosecuted construction defect claims and claims for insurance bad faith; won $5.9 million in settlements
  • Fujisada Condominiums (25 residential units): $4.7 million settlement (2 suits: one in court against developer and the other in arbitration against general contractor)
  • Waterford Court Condominiums (28 units): Confidential settlement
  • Sjonadal Condominiums (8 units): $800,000 settlement recovery in case with no insurance coverage
  • Montere Condominiums (61 units): $4.67 million settlement following litigation with 22 parties
  • Latitude Condominiums (240 units): Confidential settlement with conversion developer
  • Sierra at Klahanie Condominiums (98 units): $9.0 million settlement
  • Westgate Condominiums (40 units): $1.5 million settlement plus full reimbursement of association's attorney fees and costs obtained, without litigation
  • Seaview Terrace Condominiums (48 units): Confidential settlement
  • Belgrove at Renton HOA (65 homes): Sued to compel turnover of association documents; obtained complete relief including attorney's fees and costs

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