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Are You Observing Constitutional Rights in Disciplinary Hearings?

Boards of directors of community associations (and, unfortunately, even the attorneys advising them) will sometimes mistakenly believe that co-owners are not entitled to certain Constitutional rights of due process with respect to disciplinary hearings. They might warn a co-owner not

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When the Inmates Take Over the Asylum and a Good Board Loses Control

Those of us who have been involved in representing community associations (in my case, for over forty-five years) have, no doubt, experienced a situation where so-called dissidents in a community association, for clearly irrational reasons, strive to seize control of

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Factors to Consider in Maintaining and Maximizing the Value of Your Condominium

One of the most important aspects in determining the value of a condominium complex to a prospective purchaser is the upkeep of its common elements. A well run condominium will make capital improvements as they become necessary, address maintenance issues

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Michigan Court rules that recreational use of a camper violates deed restrictions

In Vansteenhouse v Winslow, issued June 28, 2016 (Docket No. 326224) (Unpublished Opinion) the Michigan Court of Appeals was required to determine whether a property owner violated deed restrictions by having a camper on their property. The deed restrictions indicated,

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Pet Size or Weight Restrictions in Michigan Condominiums

When drafting or amending condominium bylaws, the Restrictions section—typically Article VI of the Condominium Bylaws—often garners the most feedback, review or modification. One of the key provisions within the Restrictions section addresses pet restrictions including: the registration of pets with

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Hot Topics in Community Association Law: Attack of the Drones

Given the ever-changing world in which we live, it is important for community associations to at least try to keep up with, if not stay ahead of, the latest trends. This can seem like a daunting task for even the

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MI Legislature Amends Sec. 67 of the Condo Act – “Big Developer” Wins Big, While “Average Joe Co-owner” is Left Holding the Bag (Again)

On June 22, 2016, Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill No. 610 into law, amending Section 67 of the Michigan Condominium Act. The Michigan Legislature had a prime opportunity to effect real change in the law to benefit the many thousands

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(Condo Act:) Modifications and Improvements to Protect Persons With Disabilities

Persons with disabilities who reside in condominiums have several statutory protections available to them designed to prevent discrimination against the disabled. These protections include the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FHAA”), 42 USC 3604, and its Michigan equivalent contained in

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What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act and its Impact on Pool Rules and Regulations

With the summer heat wave in full force, it is nice to enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool to cool down. Also, pools are not only good for cooling down but also provide numerous other benefits, including family time

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MI Court of Appeals Rules That (County) Treasurer Cannot Foreclose on Common Elements

In Carola Condominium Association v Dustin Chappell, issued July 19, 2016 (Docket No. 325851) (Unpublished Opinion) the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the Wayne County Treasurer could not foreclose on common elements that were identified as “garage spaces” in

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POKÉMON GO: What Does Your Condo or HOA Need to Know?

Pokémon Go is a free mobile video game that is taking the world by storm. Pokémon Go was released on July 6, 2016 in the United States and has already has more than ten million downloads. Pokémon Go is different

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Oppose HB 5655 – “Annual Budget Meeting” of Co-Owners and More (MI)

This bill would amend the Michigan Condominium Act to add a requirement that a condominium association must obtain majority co-owner approval of the annual budget at an “annual budget meeting” of the co-owners. The result of the co-owners’ refusal to

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Architectural Control: Sculptures, Statues, Lawn Ornaments, Birdbaths and Other Items on the Common Elements or Lots

Numerous condominiums in Michigan restrict (or outright ban) sculptures, statues, lawn ornaments, birdbaths or other items pursuant to the condominium documents. Many of these provisions were drafted by the developer when creating the condominium in order to provide uniformity during

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Senate Bill 610 Passes: Is the amendment to MCL 559.167 of the Michigan Condominium Act constitutional?

On June 22, 2016, Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 610 after it underwent several amendments in both the house and senate. Senate Bill 610 will become effective as of September 21, 2016 and will amend MCL 559.167 to read as

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MCL 559.212: How to handle unruly renters in a Michigan Condominium

Co-owners desire to rent units for a variety of reasons. By way of example, many co-owners desire to rent condominium units as they are underwater on the mortgage and cannot sell the unit, they inherited the unit, their job was

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What Do I Need to Know About a Conversion Condominium Under the Michigan Condominium Act?

Michigan law allows the creation of a condominium project under terms and conditions set forth in the Michigan Condominium Act, Act 59 of 1978, MCL 559.101, et seq. (the “Act”). For the most part, the Act contemplates the creation of

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Allegan County Trial Court Rules That Short-term Vacation Rentals Violate Deed Restrictions (MI)

As mentioned in our previous blog article, technological advancements have increased the ability of individuals to do short-term leasing, as opposed to the traditional long term, six month or greater, leasing arrangement, in particular looking at the new phenomenon of

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Quorum Issues in Michigan Condominium Associations

Typically in the spring or fall, Michigan condominium associations hold annual meetings to elect directors, distribute financial statements to the Co-owners and otherwise provide an update to the membership regarding the status of the condominium. All too often, the annual

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Water Losses, Co-owner Negligence, and the Shifting of Association Insurance Deductibles

A classic “right of spring” for attorneys at our firm every year is handling the resolution of water loss disputes for Associations. Most often, these situations arise from a non-resident co-owner’s or foreclosing lender’s failure to properly winterize a vacant

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Michigan Court of Appeals rules that Unincorporated HOA may govern under Declaration

In Suttons Bay Yacht Village Condominium Association, et. al. v Board of Representatives of Port Sutton Community, et. al., Docket No. 325327 (May 19, 2016) (Unpublished Opinion), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an unincorporated voluntary association had legal

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House Bill No. 5655: The Effective Repeal of a Condominium Association’s Ability to Collect Assessments and Other Misadventures in Legislation

On May 17th, 2016, Rep. Peter Lucido introduced a bill into the Michigan House which seeks to remake some very important laws that govern life at condominiums. Among other things, the new law would make it effectively impossible for associations

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Proposed amendment to Michigan Condo Act

Housing; condominium; co-owner approval of budgets; provide for, and require LARA to provide investigative, enforcement, and dispute resolution services in conflicts between a co-owner and an association. Amends sec. 107 of 1978 PA 59 (MCL 559.207); adds sec. 70 &

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Is a Community Associations’s Board of Directors Required to Make Board Meetings Open to Members?

The State of Michigan primarily has two so-called “Sunshine Laws”- the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”), MCL 15.261, et seq., and the Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.231, et seq. These two acts together help promote and create open government by

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Court holds Michigan Condo Developer liable for changing sale price of unit

In Gordon v Cornerstone RG, LLC, No. 324909, 2016 WL 902195 (Mich Ct App March 8, 2016) (unpublished opinion), the Michigan Court of Appeals confirmed an arbitration award in favor of Robert and Debbie Gordon against the developers of the

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Moon Lake Condominium Association v. RBS Citizens Bank

As the real estate market contracted over the past decade, surplus proceeds, resulting from an overbid at foreclosure sale, occurred infrequently. However, as the property market rebounds, the mortgage servicing industry is likely to see a rise in competitive bidding

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Does a Successor Developer Have an Obligation to Pay Assessments under the Michigan Condominium Act?

The recent upswing in the real estate market has led to a resurgence of failed condominium projects in Michigan. During the economic downturn, many condominium developers went out of business and lost title to all of their units via a

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Residential Associations and Social Media: Legal Considerations

The rapid development and availability of mass social communication tools that has occurred over the last dozen years or so has been transformative. Anyone from our grandmothers to the largest multinational corporations can have a social media presence, using platforms

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The Mystery of “Site Condominiums” Unravelled

People who live in detached single-family homes may be surprised to learn (sometimes to their chagrin) that they are actually living in a condominium. This realization may cause the owner to experience some confusion and perhaps even disappointment, as he

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Encouraging Lenders to Foreclose: Don’t let your Condominium and HOA units sit vacant without collecting assessments

Even though the real estate market is gradually improving, condominium and homeowner communities are still faced with instances where a delinquent member abandons their unit/home and stops mortgage payments, but the lender does not foreclose. While condominium associations often believe

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Taxes in Your Michigan Condominium or Homeowners’ Association: Is Your Association Current with the IRS?

As April 15th approaches, many Michigan residents are reviewing various sources of gross income, tax credits and tax deductions in order to prepare individual or joint income tax returns. In addition to personal income taxes, newer directors may be unaware

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Hoverboards: Addressing Their Risks for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

Two-wheeled personal mobility devices, or hoverboards, were the ubiquitous holiday gift in 2015. Small, new and exciting, these contraptions quickly shot to the top of the wish list for many individuals, even those not technologically savvy. Once the wrapping paper

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Was your condominium properly expanded under the Michigan Condominium Act?

In Michigan, when a developer creates a condominium, the developer is required to record a master deed. Pursuant to MCL 559.108, the master deed and condominium subdivision plan must identify the total number of units in the project and assign

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You’ve Got Fine Written All Over You: A Guide on How to Properly Assess Fines

Almost every Association has at least one co-owner or homeowner who thinks that the Condominium Bylaws or Declaration of Restrictions does not apply to him or her. Luckily, most Associations also have neighbors that are more than happy to report violations of

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Co-owners Cannot Withhold Assessments in a Dispute with the Condominium Association

Quite often, when a co-owner becomes dissatisfied with the maintenance or services provided by the Condominium Association, he or she may decide to withhold condominium assessment payments until the issue is resolved. Not only is the co-owner’s withholding of assessments frustrating to the

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Michigan Condominiums and the Rights of the Disabled

Michigan Condominium Association Boards regularly receive requests and complaints regarding condominium access from co-owners or guests who suffer (or claim to suffer) from physical and mental disabilities. It is important that Boards seriously consider these communications because the American people have strongly

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Condominium Associations as Landlords: Legal rights and Issues involved in an Association’s Leasing of Units after Foreclosure of Condominium liens

Michigan Condominium Association Boards routinely file lien foreclosure lawsuits while seeking to recover overdue condominium assessments. While the goal of each such lawsuit is to motivate and facilitate payment of the unpaid assessments – whether from a neighborhood resident or an absentee

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The Association and Small Claims Court: Why “Going it Alone” to Collect Assessments May Not be a Community Association’s Best Option

The recent real estate crisis has caused an increase in assessment delinquencies for both condominium and homeowners’ associations alike. In order to stay solvent and provide for the needs of the community, it is important for associations to pursue delinquencies vigorously and to

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The Problem with Rentals in Condominiums (and Some Possible Solutions)

There is no question that the Great Recession hit the world of condominiums perhaps harder than any other sector of real estate. Condominium owners were hit with an unprecedented “double whammy,” having to suffer not only the devastating loss of most (if

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A Co-owner Filed Bankruptcy, What Now?

Condominium associations are solely dependent upon the collection of assessments from its members for their survival and to purchase and provide the goods and services necessary for the maintenance of the project for the benefit of its members. Thus, when

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Where Does the Money Go? Maybe We Should Ask the Michigan Legislature. . .

In Michigan, foreclosure is not only a contractual right, but a statutory right as well. Michigan is primarily a foreclosure by advertisement state; however, foreclosure may proceed through the court system as well. This is referred to a judicial foreclosure.

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Hoarding in Your Condominium: What Every Michigan Association and Property Manager Should Know

As the weather becomes warmer here in Michigan, many homeowners or co-owners undergo the yearly “Spring Cleaning.” Unfortunately, many condominium associations in Michigan face co-owners, tenants or residents who do not maintain the same sanitary living space as their neighbors.

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How much lead is in your water?

With the recent exposure of elevated lead levels in the Flint, Michigan public water systems, many are wondering how much lead is in their water.    Read the article………..

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The Role and Importance of the Reserve Study in Determining an Appropriate Reserve Fund

A well-run condominium can be thought of as having two components: (1) physical assets, which are the buildings, structures, and grounds on which the condominium is located; and (2) financial assets, which are the funds necessary to maintain the condominium’s

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MI Ct. of App. Rules That HOA Developer is Subject to the Michigan Consumer Protection Act

In Liss v. Lewiston–Richard Inc, 478 Mich. 203; 732 NW2d 514 (2007), the Michigan Supreme Court held that a residential home builder was exempt from compliance with the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, MCL 445.901 et seq. The Michigan Supreme Court

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Michigan Ct. of App. Rules That Amendments to HOA Restrictions Require Unanimous Consent

The Michigan Court of appeals recently made the following significant rulings that impact Michigan Homeowners’ Associations in Conlin v Upton, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 322458 (November 24, 2015) (Published Opinion):   Read the article……….

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Legal Update: Recent Statutory Changes Impacting Service Animals in Michigan

On October 20, 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Senate Bills 298 and 299 and House Bills 4521 and 4527, which became effective January 18, 2016. The Bills updated rules on the use of service animals in places of

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Did the State of Michigan inversely condemn the entire City of Flint?: Environmental justice meets the Takings Clause

A complaint filed in mid-January by plaintiffs in Michigan’s Court of Claims alleges a novel, and intriguing claim. Taken to its limits, the class action essentially alleges that the State of Michigan inversely condemned the entire City of Flint, or

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Expressing Opposing Views in a Condominium: Does Your Condominium Have the Right to Silence Free Speech?

Another election year is upon us, and with that comes the realization that neighbors in your condominium may not hold your political and ideological views. With this realization also comes the belief that, regardless of your own political views, those

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Quick Update: Proposed Changes to FHA Condominium Project Approval Process

According to Community Associations Institute (“CAI”), a leading national community association organization, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on important changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s (“FHA”) condominium project approval process. The changes to the FHA condominium project

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The Difference Between an Officer and a Director: Selection, Removal and Eligibility Restrictions

In most Michigan condominium associations, the same individuals serve as both directors and officers of the nonprofit corporation in charge of the condominium. Often times, there is confusion or misunderstanding about the difference between a “director” and an “officer.” Thus,

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