House Rules

*Please note that some of the following rules are simplifications of rules in our Declaration or Bylaws. They are not meant to replace any information in our governing documents, nor is familiarity with the House Rules a replacement for an owner's knowledge of the rules in our Declaration and Bylaws.

Payment of monthly dues

Dues must be paid before the first day of each month. In the event that an owner is late in payment by 30 days, the owner shall receive notice from the Gayle's manager notifying the owner of the delinquency and imposing a late fee of $50 payable immediately. Interest on the delinquent amount shall be compounded monthly at the maximum interest rate allowable by Washington law (currently 12%).

If the delinquency extends to 60 days, the manager will refer the debt to an independent collection agency. The owner's mortgage lender may also be notified of the delinquency, as required by section 11.3 of the Gayle Declarations. If the collection agency is unable to collect the debt, the collection agency and manager will refer the debt to an attorney who will take legal action to collect the debt.

Per section 10.7 of the Declarations the Board has the power to suspend an Apartment owner's voting rights and use of common and limited common areas (excluding ingress and egress) for continued deliquency. An Apartment owner’s voting rights, leasing rights and right to use of any Common Areas and Limited Common Areas of such Apartment owner will be automatically suspended if an Apartment owner is delinquent for six consecutive months.

Fees associated with the collection of delinquent dues shall be paid by the delinquent owner. The schedule of fees listed below are for reference only: these fees may change at any time.

Current fees charged by the manager are:

  • $23.50 for the first letter notifying of delinquency
  • $37.50 for subsequent certified letters
  • $91.00 for transferring the debt to a collection agency

Current fees charged by the manager's collection agency are:

  • $151 for opening a new collection account and establishing a payment plan with the owner
  • $31 for each month the debt is in collection
  • $71 for each letter needed to remind an owner to meet the agreed payment plan
  • $121 for filing a lien with the county and notifying the owner of said lien
  • $61 for turning over the collection to an attorney for legal action

Fees charged by an attorney will vary based on the action required. All attorney's fees shall be paid by the delinquent owner.

This rule shall take effect on 22-April-2010. Dues delinquent prior to 22-April-2010 shall be governed by prior rules, provided that the owner pays 150% of monthly dues each month on time until such time as the delinquency is corrected. If an owner who has a delinquent assessment from before 22-April-2010 and fails to pay 150% of monthly dues on time each month, the delinquency shall be immediately handed to the manager, and possibly to the collection agency.

Leasing and Tenants

The Declarations impose steep penalties on owners that cause the owner occupancy rate of the building to drop below 55%, and mandates that the Board of Directors initiate immediate legal action to enforce the use rights restrictions in the Declarations if this occurs. If an owner needs to lease his/her apartment, but doing so would cause the owner occupancy rate to drop or remain below the threshold, the owner must request a hardship exception from the Board of Directors. Please refer to section 16.5 of the Declarations for further details.

The owner occupancy threshold itself will be raised as the owner occupancy rate rises.

While the Board does not consent to leasing and the presence of tenants, landlords should be aware that they have a variety of obligations and responsibilities defined in the Declarations and Bylaws, as well as specific House Rules related to leasing established by the Board of Directors. These rules are posted here, and should be considered a part of the House Rules by landlords.

Please read the linked section carefully, taking special note that: All owners of units not occupied by the legal owner must provide the board at least once per year with the names and contact information for all residents of the unit; landlord owners must perform an annual inspection of the unit; and landlord owners must obtain a condo owner's liability policy that allows for tenant occupancy.


Personal items cannot be stored in common areas (including, but not limited to, under the basement stairs; in any basement storage area outside of a designated storage locker; on the rear stairs/landings; on the roof; in the garden; laundry room (besides labeled laundry supplies inside the cabinet)), as stated in Article 5.7 of the Bylaws. Any owner who has stored or abandoned belongings in common areas will be asked to remove them, and if he or she does not promptly do so, the items will be removed and disposed of as the board sees fit. Any fees incurred from the disposal will be charged to the item’s owner. Temporary accommodations may be made if pre-arranged with a board member.

Quiet hours

"Quiet hours" begin at 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and at 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Be considerate of your neighbors; refrain from making noise audible outside your walls after these times, especially through your floor or on the rear stairs, in hallways, or in other common areas. Please pay specific attention to floors and ceilings: sound can travel more readily to other units via your floor and ceiling than between rooms in a single apartment. Heeled shoes are particulary loud to your downstairs neighbors. Repeated disregard of the quiet hour rules will result in monthly fines equaling 10% of all dues collected by the HOA, and increasing arithmetically by 5% each month until the issue is resolved.


Smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products, as well as consumption of marijuana products which produce an odor, is prohibited in every interior and exterior common area of the building, including the roof, rear stairwell, and from the front door to the sidewalk and the back door to the alley. Smoking tobacco products and consuming odor-producing marijuana products in an exterior location that allows smoke/odor to enter other units' windows is discouraged and may be banned in the future. Additionally, smoking of tobacco products is prohibited inside individual units. See Addendum 1 of the Third Amendment to the Declaration for more information on the consequences of breaking this rule.

If you or your guests smoke tobacco products outside the building, it is prohibited to leave cigarette butts, matches, cigar butts, etc. on the ground, sidewalk, rear stairs, or front steps, or in the garden or planters. Extinguishing cigarettes on the surface of the building is prohibited. Owners will be charged for any clean-up, repainting, etc. if this rule is violated.

Security/Exterior doors

The front and back exterior doors of the building may NOT be propped open without the constant supervision/presence of an owner/tenant. This is a matter of safety, as well as energy conservation. Please immediately remove props if discovered unsupervised, unless a known HOA project necessitates the propping of a door. Please note that since our thermostat is located near the front door, propping open the door during heating season will "trick" the boiler into turning on unnecessarily, wasting energy and money. Also keep in mind that the hydraulic arms of both main exterior doors need periodic adjustments to function properly: doors need to be checked upon entrance or exit to be certain that they have latched completely, and the board should be notified of a door which is failing to latch consistently.

To prevent unauthorized, and possibly dangerous, individuals from entering the building, residents should let in only their own visitors, other residents, or uniformed HOA vendors/workers. When phoned by a visitor using the intercom outside, residents should only buzz in a visitor who is expected by them (i.e. do not buzz in anyone who claims to be visiting a neighbor, nor anyone who claims to be delivering a package unless you feel comfortable first visually confirming that the person is wearing an official UPS, FedEx, etc. uniform AND watching the person leave the building after depositing the package).

Exterior keys and door codes are meant only for residents of the building, so if an owner or their tenant supplies a key/code to a non-resident (other than an authorized vendor or worker requiring access to the building for pre-arranged HOA, rather than unit-specific, purposes), and that key/code is misused in a way that threatens the building's security, the owner of that unit is physically and financially responsible for the swift changing of all exterior locks and the supplying of a sufficient number of new keys for all residents and necessary HOA vendors. It will be up to the owner to recover those costs from their tenant/guest/employee, etc, if the owner feels that the other party should be held responsible.

Due to recent reports, communicated to our HOA by the SPD's East Precinct, of thefts of realtor-type key boxes affixed to nearby buildings, the following rule now applies: In the event that any key box on the exterior of our building is stolen or broken into, the owner of the key box's associated unit is responsible for the building's necessary new locks and keys, as stated in the item above. The board must be notified when a key box is to be attached to the building for realty purposes; for non-realty purposes, permission must first be sought from the board. Additionally, to eliminate potential confusion over whether a key box has been stolen, owners must alert the board when their unit's key box is to be removed.

Clean-up in Common Areas

It is the responsibility of every owner to clean up after themselves and their guests if you or your guests create a mess in a common area.

It is the responsibility of any owner employing contractors or other service workers in his or her unit to clean up any debris or dirt/dust left behind in the common areas at the end of each workday.

The Board may assign the costs of cleanup to an owner if the owner repeatedly disregards this rule. If another apartment owner cleans up said mess, then the cost assigned to the owner shall equal 25% of the building's the monthly janitorial bill.


Pets are not allowed in common areas, except as necessary to enter and exit the building. Pets should not be "exercised" or be allowed to roam in common areas. They must be supervised at all times, and either leashed, in arms, or in a carrier while in a common area. These rules are to protect our carpets from staining and excess wear from claws, and to prevent noise from pets in hallways, on stairs, and in the basement from disturbing other residents. Owners must clean up after pets that do enter the common areas, including prey or excreta, indoors or on the exterior property; hair; toys; dirt from paws, etc.

Owners are wholly responsible for the actions of pets residing in their unit (including pets owned by tenants), or pets brought into the building by their guests. The Board may require an owner to pay the cost of any damage, regular clean-up, etc. caused by pets in common areas. If another apartment owner cleans up any mess left by a pet, then the cost assigned to the owner shall equal 25% of the building's monthly janitorial bill.

The declarations grant the Board of Directors the power to order the removal of any pet the Board deems a nuisance.

Laundry Room

Please take special note that overnight storage of laundry (whether clean or dirty, wet or dry) is not allowed anywhere inside the laundry room, nor is the storage of laundry baskets or any other personal items (with the exception of labeled detergents, etc. kept inside the cabinet). Unfortunately, items visible through the laundry room window could prove tempting to would-be thieves lurking at the rear of the building.
Rules for the Laundry Room may be found here.


Do not install light bulbs over 60 watts in your unit unless you know for a fact that the electrical fixture is serviced with modern (post-1975) wiring; in this building, higher wattage bulbs on aging wiring could cause an electrical fire. Wiring in the common areas was modernized in Spring of 2010 and can accomodate higher wattage bulbs. Replacement of bulbs in common areas is the responsibility of every owner, especially owners on the floor where the fixture is found out. Replacement bulbs can be found in the "Janitorial Room", or can be purchased and submitted for reimbursement.

External Window Installations

Nothing, including pots, plants, air conditioners, etc., may be placed on outside window sills or balcony railings. This violates both the Declarations and our insurance policy.


In the event of a conflict with a neighbor, please first attempt a calm, face-to-face discussion with that person before involving the board.


The roof surface is NOT to be walked on, except for legitimate cleaning or maintenance purposes. Our insurance carrier and roofing professionals do not consider it “walkable”; unnecessary pressure on it can cause premature wear that we might not be reimbursed for in the event of an insurance claim. The Board may assign the costs of repair damage to the roof surface to an owner if s/he or their guests walk on the roof.

The maintenance of any structure on the roof (e.g. a deck, or loft, vent, skylight, or other penetration) which is owned by an individual unit is the sole responsibility of the owner of the corresponding unit. Damage to the roof, building, or any units below, which is caused by the presence or use of the structure, is the responsibility of the owner of the structure.

Roof and deck: specific to unit 304's conditional right to a private deck

Reminder: the roof is a common area, owned by the HOA and subject to HOA rules; this includes even a part of the roof that a deck sits upon. The roof is fragile and requires careful treatment, both to protect its integrity and to satisfy the HOA's insurance requirements. Past experience has shown a need for explicit roof-protection rules pertaining to unit 304 and the conditional permission granted to it by the HOA to have a private deck on our roof:

  • In the *absence* of a permitted deck, unit 304, like any other unit, has *no* right to recreational use of the roof (i.e. no using or storing personal items on it, and no sitting or walking on it unless conducting maintenance or HOA business).
  • Leaving the deck to walk onto the roof surface is prohibited except for legitimate HOA-sanctioned reasons (and guests/renters are never allowed on the roof for any reason other than emergency escape).
  • The use and building of a deck are subject to the terms of the "Amendment to Rights and Responsibilities for Third-Floor Units with Outdoor Structures" (1999). Changes to the deck must be approved in advance by the board, and the City of Seattle, if applicable.
  • If repair to the roof or building necessitates the removal of the deck, it will be removed at the deck owner's expense. The deck may be rebuilt, subject to the terms of the aforementioned "Amendment to R&R for…", following the conclusion of the work.
  • The owner of the deck is responsible for damage to the roof or building caused by the use or construction of the deck.
  • The HOA is not responsible for injuries to individuals using the deck, or to users of the deck who are injured after leaving the deck to go onto the roof without authorization.
  • Behavior and activities on the deck are expected to be as respectful to property and other Gayle residents as if the deck were located in any other common area of the building. The owner is responsible for the behavior of guests and employees using or constructing the deck. No items may be thrown from the deck or from inside the unit, due to the possibility of those items landing on the roof. There may be no running, jumping, or other physical activity on the deck that puts extra stress on the roof underneath.
  • Minors must be supervised at all times on the deck.
  • Established Gayle quiet hours apply.
  • No personal items may be placed or stored directly on the roof surface, or on top of the hatch, skylights, or vents.
  • A weight limit and/or per-person limit (to be determined by a professional whose authority is recognized by the HOA) will be enforced.
  • No items kept on the deck may be visible from the ground.
  • Items light enough to be blown off in a strong gust of wind must be secured to the deck or brought inside while not in use.
  • Debris that may harm the roof (for ex.: broken glass), or clog the building's rooftop drain, must be immediately removed from the deck to prevent it from migrating onto the roof surface.
  • No gardens or pots incorporating soil may be kept on the deck, due to the hazard that a spill or flood would pose to the drain.
  • No food or items that might attract pests may be left out overnight.
  • No cooking is allowed on the deck, and no burning materials (including cigarettes or other smoked substances) or heat- or flame-producing devices may be used.
  • No wading pools or other receptacles that might collect significant amounts of water may be used on the deck.
  • Animals on the deck must be leashed and confined at all times to the deck space, and may not relieve themselves anywhere on the deck or roof, regardless of the method or type of receptacle used.
  • Random roof/deck inspections (without physical, uninvited entrance onto the deck) will be conducted by a board member or an agent of the board to ensure that the roof is being treated appropriately.

Pipes and clogs

Much of the building retains the original pipes and plumbing. Use of pipe snakes are strictly forbidden, unless a professional plumber has exhausted all other methods of loosening a clog. If any person other than a plumber breaks a pipe using a pipe snake, the owner of the apartment in question shall be liable for the costs of all damage and repair.

Use of chemical cleaners such as Liquid Plumbr are discouraged. Owners must first attempt the following: empty one-half cup baking soda down the drain, followed by one-half cup white vinegar. Cover the drain and let mixture stand for a few minutes. Then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda and vinegar dissolve fatty acids, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.
Owners having plumbing work done in their units are required to give residents/owners in the building at least 48 hours notice if the water to the building is to be turned off for any non-emergency reason. Notification by email AND posting in the common mailbox area is required.


In order to prevent damage to radiators, each radiator must be left totally on or totally off—not partially on (i.e. the handle must be twisted completely up or down, not halfway up). Incorrect operation of a radiator in a unit may result in its owner being charged for the repair and for any damage caused to other parts of the building.

Owners must submit to having their radiator(s) inspected by the Association's boiler repair service (at the Association's cost) once every two years, or less often at the board's discretion. Any damage from radiators that have not been inspected every two years, due to an owner's lack of cooperation, shall be assessed in full to the that owner.

Required safety devices:

Both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector (or a combination) with working batteries is required in every unit, in addition to the heat detectors hardwired to every unit's entryway ceiling. Note that state law already requires CO detectors in rental units, and in all units at time of sale. The account of a non-compliant unit will be charged the cost of the required detectors and batteries if necessary, in addition to shipping charges or travel expenses as necessary to compensate the person who purchases the detectors on the unit's behalf.

The hardwired heat detectors, since they are connected to the building's fire alarm system, are considered "common area" and may not be painted, removed, or otherwise disturbed in any way that affects their functionality. Their purpose is to trigger the building-wide alarm's siren when they detect a certain amount of heat, alerting all Gayle residents to evacuate. Since they take longer than smoke detectors to be triggered, while smoke detectors' sirens sound only inside an individual unit, each unit must have both a heat detector and a smoke detector.

The fire extinguishers stored in each floor's hallway are intended to put out fires in common areas or in outdoor areas which threaten the building. Each unit should have a working fire extinguisher of its own for use inside that unit. In an emergency, the common area extinguishers may be used inside a unit, but that unit's account will then be charged the cost of AAA Fire & Safety's visit to refill the extinguisher. The board must be informed immediately upon the discharge of a common area extinguisher, to ensure that AAA is contacted ASAP. Fire code dictates that we have usable fire extinguishers on each floor.

Postings by the board

Signs/notices/communications, meant to be either temporary or permanent, which are posted in common areas by the board, may not be removed without permission. Temporary signs or notices will be explicitly marked as communications from the board, and laminated or professionally-printed signs will be assumed to be products of the board.

Heat and water temperature:

No changes to the building's heat or water temperature settings may be made without permission from the board.

Access and Keys

Per section 8.2 of the Declarations and Article V Section 4 of the Bylaws, the Association has the right to enter any apartment in case of emergencies or to rectify serious violations of the House Rules. To facilitate emergency access, all owners are required to provide a key to the Board of Directors. If an owner does not provide a key, or the Board is otherwise unable to enter an apartment in case of emergency or to rectify serious violations of the House Rules, the apartment owner will be financially responsible for all entry costs (including locksmith fees) and any damage (if the emergency or violation is serious enough that the Board must break doors or windows).


Owners are expected to meet a minimum level of involvement in building governance.

  • Responsiveness: Owners are expected to respond to inquiries and requests from the Board of Directors, even if the answer is “no” or “I won’t help.” If the Board is asking for information or for your input, it is likely a matter of significant importance to the building.
  • Serving on the board: All owners are expected to take turns serving on the Board of Directors. This is a standard responsibility of condo ownership, and our HOA is required to have a President, Secretary, and Treasurer at all times.
  • Annual Meeting: Owners are required to attend the April annual meeting either in person or via a proxy. If any owner or their proxy misses two or more consecutive annual meetings, then beginning with the 2011 annual meeting the owner shall pay a fine of $50 for each consecutive year they did not attend or did not provide a proxy (e.g. if an owner missed the 2010, 2011 and 2012 consecutive annual meetings, s/he would be fined $150).
  • Emergency Meetings: If, at the regularly scheduled Annual meeting, the Association is unable to elect a new Board of Directors, all owners are required to attend subsequent emergency meetings of the ownership in person or pay a $50 fine. The fine shall be waived if the owner resides outside the United States and Canada, if the owner can provide a travel itinerary precluding her/his presence in Seattle, if the owner has served on the Board of Directors in the preceding three years or is on the new Board of Directors, if the owner must be at a place of work at the time of the emergency meeting, if the owner reasonably expects to no longer be a member of the Association by October of that year, or if the Board approves of an owner’s application for an exemption due to some other hardship. Emergency meetings shall be held at the discretion of the Board of Directors until a new Board is elected.
  • Voting: Owners are required to vote on amendments to the governing documents proposed by the Board of Directors in a timely fashion. If the Board proposes an amendment to the Association’s governing documents, owners are required to return their written ballot within fourteen days of notice being sent to the owner. The Board may levy a $10 fine for each day a ballot is returned late (as judged by the postmark).

Due Process

Washington State law requires that the Board of Directors must notify owners in writing of any violations of the House Rules and provide a hearing (either in person or via teleconference) to address the violation prior to any fines or fees being assessed. If the Board fails to provide written notice and a hearing, the Apartment owner is under no obligation to pay the fine. If the Apartment owner and Board are unable to agree on a mutually acceptable time for a hearing, the Board will propose three times during normal business hours for a hearing. If the Apartment owner does not accept any of these times, the Board may schedule the hearing for any of those three proposed times. If the Apartment owner does not attend a hearing, this shall be deemed as the Apartment owner consenting to the fine, and the Board may proceed to levy that assessment to the apartment.

Please note that, in addition to monetary fines, the Board may, after a hearing, suspend an owner's voting rights, leasing rights and right to use common and limited common areas in cases of regular and repeated violation of the House Rules.

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