Possession and Use Agreement Washington State

Possession and Use Agreement in Washington State: What You Need to Know

A possession and use agreement (PUA) is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of a real estate transaction. In Washington State, PUAs are commonly used for properties that are subject to restrictive covenants, such as those found in homeowners associations (HOAs). In this article, we will discuss what a PUA is, what it entails, and how it affects property owners.

What is a Possession and Use Agreement?

A PUA is a contract between the property owner, usually the seller, and the buyer. It is designed to govern the buyer`s use of the property, and it usually accompanies a deed for the property. The PUA outlines certain restrictions or covenants that the buyer must adhere to in order to use the property. These restrictions typically include things like architectural restrictions or limitations on the types of businesses that can be run on the property.

In Washington State, PUAs are commonly used in HOAs when a property is sold. The HOA may require the buyer to sign a PUA that outlines various rules and regulations of the community, such as guidelines on landscaping, building size, and noise restrictions. Some HOAs may even require the buyer to pay fees for maintenance or other services.

What Does a Possession and Use Agreement Entail?

The details of a PUA can vary widely depending on the property and the parties involved. However, typically a PUA will include the following:

– Restrictions on the use of the property

– Requirements for maintaining the property

– Conditions for selling or transferring the property

– Stipulations on the use of common areas (for properties in an HOA)

– Any fees or assessments that the buyer is responsible for

For example, if a property is subject to an HOA that requires all homes to be painted a certain color, a PUA may include a provision that requires the buyer to maintain the property`s exterior color according to the HOA`s guidelines. Similarly, if the HOA requires all homes to be a certain size, the PUA may stipulate that the buyer must adhere to those guidelines.

How Does a Possession and Use Agreement Affect Property Owners?

If you are a property owner in Washington State that is subject to a PUA, it is important to understand the terms of the agreement. Failure to adhere to the conditions of the PUA can result in legal consequences, such as fines or even eviction. Additionally, if you are looking to sell your property, you will need to disclose the existence of the PUA to potential buyers.

However, PUAs can also have benefits for property owners. For example, if you are part of an HOA, a PUA can help maintain property values by ensuring that all homes are well-maintained and meet certain standards. Additionally, if you are seeking to purchase property in an HOA neighborhood, a PUA can give you peace of mind that there are rules in place to ensure the community remains cohesive and well-kept.


A possession and use agreement is a crucial document for property owners in Washington State, particularly those in HOAs. Understanding the terms of the PUA can help property owners avoid legal consequences and maintain property values. If you are considering purchasing property in an HOA, be sure to understand the terms of the PUA before signing on the dotted line.

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