contractual interpretation

In Wilkinson v. Chiwawa Cmtys. Ass ‘n, the Washington Supreme Court determined that homeowners may offer their home to short-term vacation renters without violating community covenants restricting lots to single-family residential use.  In so holding, the Court looked to the full text of the covenants and found that the drafters anticipated short-term rentals by dictating the size of rental signage that residents could hang.  Though duration was absent from the discussion of rentals, the court held that “silence as to duration does not create ambiguity.”  If this language is picked up in future contract interpretation cases, it could provide useful clarification about the application of the context rule of interpretation announced by the Court in 1990’s Berg v. Hudesman and debated by lawyers ever since.
Continue Reading Vacationers Are Welcome, Property Restrictions Aren’t: Washington’s Supreme Court Narrowly Reads Covenants