MI HB 4015: Unfortunately Not the Dumbest Thing to Come Out of the MI Legislature

Representative Peter Lucido (R), from the 36th District (Macomb County), decided to start off the new legislative session with a whole slew of bills, among which are proposed changes to the Condo Act.  I won’t be commenting on the other bills, (even though some are just as bad), but I do worry about legislation such as this.  The Republicans have total control of the state government and courts so there is a real possibility that this could sneak through, during one of their famous late-night sessions, and do some serious harm to the citizens of this state.  This bill looks like he’s listening to one or two constituents who are ticked off with their association, and want to screw them all up in retaliation.

Basically, the bill would require a majority of all owners to pass the budget; get away with not paying their assessments if they don’t like the services provided by the association; bring back the state condo administrator so that any owner can request assistance from in a dispute with the association (but not the reverse) and allow the administrator to request the county attorney generals to bring actions against the association and board members.

I used to run an annual contest rating the worst proposed community association legislation, but I retired it when Arizona kept winning.  I may have to bring it back. (As an aside, the title of this article is worded the way it is because this isn’t close to the dumbest or meanest legislation our legislature has adopted or is proposing.)

It probably has no chance of passing in its current form, mainly because it provides absolutely no way of funding the administrator.  When the original Condo Act was passed back in 1978, it provided for an administrator and a funding mechanism.  Both disappeared in 1983.  There is no extra money floating around the government in Michigan and they’re certainly not going to raise taxes.  If this gets any traction at all, it will be if they get the idea to register and tax all of the condo associations, or units, to pay for it.

As for the other two sections, requiring the budget to be adopted by a majority of owners, that will just lead to more and more associations in financial trouble, unable to maintain the common areas, and setting off the other section of then allowing owners to skip out on paying their assessments because the work isn’t being done.  Just a downward cycle.  If the concept of owners OKing the budget is so important to Rep. Lucido, then I would expect him to allow the taxpayers of Michigan to vote on the state budget.  Same principle.

We’ll see if this even makes it to committee hearings and keep you posted.

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