Great contracts are the foundation of healthy relationships.
Your CIC's declaration / CC&Rs is special kind of contract called a covenant (a dedicatory instrument) between homeowners that "runs with that land." The contracting discussed on this page is dedicated to relationships between your CIC and third party vendors.
Your association can, and in many cases should work closely with your vendors, but that does not make vendors your "colleagues" or "partners." Whether formally incorporated or not, you should think of your community as a business. Homeowners who share a vested interest via their mandatory assessments are much like partners and/or shareholders of your corporation. Alignment with a shared interest is the primary reason many CICs require that Board members (volunteer directors) own real property within the community. The vendors your association hires cannot and will not share the same interest in the overall nuances and success of governing and operating your community as your homeowners.
While you should not need to consistently reference contractual provisions, contracts are intended to include specific deliverables and protections. Contracts require 3 basic elements to be binding:
Indemnification, Liability, and More
YOUR ASSOCIATION can safeguard against wayward indemnity clauses by adopting a standard contract amendment that establishes fair and balanced terms that are relevant for almost all agreements with third party vendors and especially for vendors who will perform on-site services.
Certain state statutes, such as RCW 4.24.115, invalidate specific lopsided contractual provisions as a matter of public policy.
contracts or agreements related to construction, alteration, repair, addition to, subtraction from, improvement to, or maintenance of, any building, including moving and demolition in connection therewith, and including architectural, landscape architectural, engineering services… purporting to indemnify, including the duty and cost to defend, against liability for damages arising out of such services or out of bodily injury to persons or damage to property… are void and unenforceable when the indemnitee and its agents are solely negligent and in other circumstances.
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