Michigan Supreme Court Opinion And Co-Owner Premises Liability Claims Against Condominium Associations

On July 11, 2024, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a pivotal decision in Janini v. London Townhouses Condominium Association that directly affects how co-owners can pursue claims against condominium associations. In this landmark decision, the court ruled that a co-owner of a condominium unit can bring a premises liability action against the condominium association. Condominium […]

Should You Discount Assessments for Board Members? (MI)

When managing a community association, the question of whether board members should receive discounts on their assessments can arise. While it might seem like a small gesture of appreciation for their volunteer service, there are several reasons why this practice is not in the best interest of the community.    Read the article…………………………….

Michigan’s New Renewable Energy Siting Law and its Implications on Municipalities

Governor Gretchen Whitmer previously signed House Bill 5120 (now Public Act 233 of 2023) into law in November 2023. The regulations, which specifically affect municipalities and developers, create a new siting path for utility-scale wind, solar, and energy storage facilities with the Michigan Public Service Commission (“MPSC”) and become effective on November 29, 2024. Once […]

Installing Solar Panels In Michigan In 2024

Michigan aims to produce 60% of its electricity from renewable sources and phase out coal power plants by 2030. Although the state has been a leader in wind power production, Michigan’s solar energy capacity has been largely undeveloped until recently. As it rapidly boosts its renewable energy generation, numerous opportunities exist for contractors to install […]

Private property rights are more important than ‘local control’ (MI)

A new law is set to take effect in Michigan that would prohibit homeowners associations from limiting installation of solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, energy efficient windows and other energy-saving improvements. It would also prevent associations from banning clotheslines.   Read the article…………………………….

Energy bill affecting HOA’s on Governor’s desk (MI)

A bill to invalidate certain provisions in homeowners’ association agreements that prohibit the replacement, maintenance, installation, or operation of certain energy-saving improvements or modifications or the installation of solar energy systems; to provide for the adoption of certain policy statements; to prescribe penalties and remedies; and to provide for the powers and duties of certain […]

4 Step Process to Enforcing Condominium Bylaws

Enforcing condominium bylaws is essential for maintaining the harmony and integrity of a community. At Hirzel Law, we understand the complexities involved in this process and offer a straightforward four-step approach to ensure compliance and resolve conflicts effectively. Here’s a detailed guide on how to enforce condominium bylaws, incorporating our expert process:   Read the article…………………………….

Real Property — Condominium – Short-term rental (MI)

Where a plaintiff condominium association filed a complaint to enjoin the use of a condominium unit as a short-term rental, an award of summary disposition in favor of the defendant unit owner must be affirmed on mootness grounds since the unit has been sold.   Read the article…………………………….

Plugging into Progress: What HB 5109 means for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Michigan Condominiums

HB 5109 was introduced by the Michigan Legislature in 2023 to provide more flexibility for Michigan condominium associations when considering requests for co-owners to install electric vehicle charging stations. Specifically, as will be discussed below, HB 5109 would amend MCL 559.147, of the Michigan Condominium Act, to address co-owner modification requests for electric vehicle charging […]

Social Media Best Practices For Your Community

The primary allure of social media in community associations lies in its ability to foster enhanced communication. Platforms like Nextdoor and Facebook groups offer a space for neighbors to share information — from community events to security alerts — and foster a more connected and informed community. This real-time interaction boosts transparency and aids in […]

Ensuring Financial Stability: When to Initiate the Collection Process for Condominium Associations (MI)

Condominium associations occupy a critical role in maintaining the economic health of community living spaces, balancing the delicate intersection of collective responsibility and individual financial obligations. Ensuring financial stability within these communities hinges on the timely and effective management of assessment collections—a process crucial for sustaining essential services and upholding community standards   Read the article…………………………….

Untenable Tenants! How To Address Problem Renters In Your Condominium (MI)

Tenants in condominium communities are often viewed as challenging, since they may not be familiar with condominium living. Because of this lack of experience, tenants may interfere with management, refuse to maintain the decorum required by the bylaws, or damage general common elements. This article addresses how to deal with the unruly tenant, outlines the […]

Understanding Landscaping Architectural Requirements for Co-owners

When it comes to maintaining the aesthetic and functional integrity of shared properties, understanding the landscaping architectural requirements is crucial for co-owners. Whether you are part of a homeowners association (HOA), a condominium association, or any other type of residential community, staying informed about these regulations can help you avoid legal pitfalls and ensure your […]

Important Construction Contract Provisions for Major Repairs in Condominiums & HOAs (MI)

The overwhelming majority of condominium and homeowners associations will, at some point in time, need to enter into a large construction contract for a major repair or replacement. Complex construction contracts are more frequent in condominiums, where associations have a much larger number of items that they are responsible for maintaining. However, even smaller homeowners […]

Nightmare Board Meetings (MI)

We have all been there at some point – a nightmare board meeting. This is the meeting that never seems to end. It is unorganized and chaotic. A nightmare meeting is the meeting where Ms. Smith, the longtime resident, shows up with a laundry list of complaints and completely derails the board’s meeting agenda. It […]

UPDATE: The Deadline to Record a Notice Under the Michigan Marketable Record Title Act Has Been Extended to September 29, 2025

Michigan’s Marketable Record Title Act, MCL 565.101, et seq. (the “MRTA”), has been around since 1945, yet many homeowners associations are unaware of the MRTA and its potentially devastating impact on their communities. This article provides a brief background on the MRTA and its 2018 amendment that opened the door to the possible extinguishment of […]

Marketable Record Title Act 2024 Amendment Update (MI)

We are pleased to announce the Governor signed Senate Bill 721 into law March 28, 2024, which extends the deadline for compliance with the Marketable Record Title Act notice requirements from March 29, 2024 to September 29, 2025.    Read the article…………………………….

Deadline Regarding The Marketable Record Title Act (MI)

The Michigan State legislature amended the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) in 2019. While many community association boards and managers may not be familiar with the MRTA since its provisions historically have not affected community association administration, the 2019 amendments make it necessary for some homeowners associations to act before March 29, 2024. Subdivisions/homeowners associations […]

Unlocking Success: Using Legal Representation Over Collection Agencies for Delinquent Condominium Assessments

Community associations in Michigan play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of shared living spaces. However, when faced with delinquent condominium assessments, these associations often encounter significant challenges in recovering the owed amounts. While some may consider turning to collection agencies as a solution, there are compelling reasons why community associations should […]

MCL 599.211: Who Is on the Hook for Those Unpaid Assessments? (MI)

Imagine this. After weeks, months, or maybe even years of searching, you finally found the condo unit of your dreams and have decided to make it your own. There’s only one issue—unpaid condo association assessments on the unit. Fear not, the Michigan Condo Act provides clarity on matters of this sort.    Read the article…………………………….

Key Rulings for Condominium Associations in Square Lake Hills Association v Russel Garland and Highlander Group MMC, Inc. (MI)

On March 23, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided several important issues in favor of Michigan condominium associations. In Square Lake Hills Association v Russel Garland and Highlander Group MMC, Inc et al, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, (Docket No. 360405), the Court of Appeals made the following rulings:   Read the article…………………………….

HOA Transitions from Declarant to Homeowner Controlled Boards

Transitioning an association from a developer-controlled Board to a homeowner-controlled Board can be a complex process with various challenges. However, with careful planning and execution, it can be a smooth and successful endeavor. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps and considerations for the newly elected HOA Board members to ensure a seamless transition,  […]

How to Fix the Roads in your Condo or HOA: Increase Assessments or A Special Assessment District? (MI)

The majority of new residential condominium and subdivision developments in the State of Michigan are established with private roads. When a new condominium project or subdivision is established with private roads, the roads are typically identified as a “common element” or a “common area” and are owned collectively by all members of the applicable condominium […]

MCL 599.211: Who Is on the Hook for Those Unpaid Assessments? (MI)

Imagine this. After weeks, months, or maybe even years of searching, you finally found the condo unit of your dreams and have decided to make it your own. There’s only one issue—unpaid condo association assessments on the unit. Fear not, the Michigan Condo Act provides clarity on matters of this sort.   Read the article…………………………….

Court Rules that Restrictive Covenant Banning Sex Offenders is Enforceable

Can your HOA’s restrictive covenants or condominium documents ban sex offenders? The ability to ban sex offenders from homeowners associations has become a controversial issue in recent years. Until recently, many attorneys across the country believed that some type of ban on sex offenders was permissible. This was largely based on a New Jersy case, […]

The 2018 Amendment to the Michigan Marketable Record Title Act Goes Into Effect on March 29, 2024: Does Your HOA or Condo Association Need to Record a Notice?

Michigan’s Marketable Record Title Act, MCL 565.101, et seq. (the “MRTA”), has been around since 1945, yet many homeowners associations are unaware of the MRTA and its potentially devastating impact on their communities. This article provides a brief background on the MRTA and its 2018 amendment that opened the door to the possible extinguishment of restrictive covenants […]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: A New Era of Transparency for Homeowners

In a significant shift towards transparency, Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, has recently announced that it will make its once-secret “Condo Unavailable Projects and Phases Report” accessible to the public. The decision to make this report publicly available reflects a broader industry trend towards transparency, acknowledging the pivotal role that information plays in […]

Deck the Halls, Mind the Rules: Navigating Association Decorations Restrictions with Holiday Cheer (MI)

‘Tis the season to stow away the skeletons, pumpkins, and witches, and usher in the festive spirit with twinkling lights, wreaths, and snowmen. As the allure of multicolored lights and decorations brightens the early darkness, residents of condominium associations need to align their festive expressions with community rules. For association boards and property managers, enforcing […]

Navigating the CTA: A Guide for Condos and HOAs to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act (MI)

The Corporate Transparency Act is a federal law that was enacted in 2021 to stop individuals in foreign countries from illegally moving money into the United States. The Corporate Transparency Act creates new reporting requirements for certain types of corporate entities in the United States. The Federal Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), is the federal agency […]

Can A Michigan Condominium Association Collect Attorney Fees for Bylaw Violations?

In Michigan, the responsibility for attorney fees and costs in litigation typically lies with the parties involved. Following the ‘American rule,’ attorney fees are not recoverable unless expressly allowed by statute, court rule, common-law exception, or contract. Dessart v. Burak, 470 Mich. 37, 42, 678 N.W.2d 615 (2004); Grace v. Grace, 253 Mich.App. 357, 370–371, […]

What Every Condo or HOA Needs To Know About Emotional Support Animals (MI)

Over the last several years, emotional support animals have been a continuous source of speculation and confusion for many Michigan condo and HOA boards. We all have seen the news stories of individuals attempting to bring animals such as squirrels and even alligators into places of public accommodation under the claim that they are emotional […]

Michigan Condominium Act Amendments: Enhancing Financial Transparency and Security for Condo Associations

In an effort to strengthen the financial stability of condominium associations in Michigan, the state legislature has introduced a bill to amend the Condominium Act of 1978. This amendment, specifically targeting section 105 (MCL 559.205), aims to enhance the financial accountability and security of condo associations across the state.   Read the article……………………………

Condominium Association Funds and Capital Projects: Walsh v Hawthorn Hills Owners of Rochester, Inc. (MI)

Boards of Directors of community associations are often charged with the responsibility of maintaining the capital assets of the corporation and administering the community itself. This responsibility involves difficult decisions regarding the spending and raising of association funds, especially when it comes to capital improvement projects.    Read the article…………………………….

Is Your Community Association Prepared for the Corporate Transparency Act? (MI)

Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) in January 2021 to provide law enforcement agencies with further tools to combat financial crime and fraud. The CTA requires certain legal entities (each, a “reporting company”) to report, if no exemption is available, specific information about themselves, certain of their individual owners and managers (“beneficial owners”), and […]

The Impact Of The Corporate Transparency Act On Condominium Associations, Homeowners Associations, And Management Companies

In a world where transparency and accountability have become paramount in both public and private sectors, the U.S. government has taken significant steps to address financial secrecy and prevent illicit activities through the implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). The CTA, signed into law in January 2021, is primarily aimed at increasing transparency in […]

New Proposed Michigan Bill Will Require Condominiums Conduct Reserve Studies

HB 5019 is a new bill pending in the Michigan House that will require condominium associations in the state to conduct periodic reserve studies to help plan for future repairs and replacements. The Community Associations Institute’s Michigan Legal Action Committee fully supports this bill and is undertaking efforts to gain legislative support.   Read the article………………………………

Slip & Fall Case at the Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) will hear oral arguments in 12 cases on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, and Thursday, November 9, 2023, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on both days in the 6th floor courtroom at the Michigan Hall of Justice at 925 W. Ottawa, Lansing.  Oral arguments will be livestreamed from the MSC website.  Wednesday, November […]

HB 5028: Solar Energy Bill And Michigan’s Community Associations

The Homeowners’ Energy Policy Act was recently introduced in the Michigan State Legislature as HB 5028. This bill would force community associations to accept installation of energy-saving devices like clothes lines, heat pumps, insulation, rain barrels, reflective roofing, efficient appliances and windows, electric vehicle charging equipment, etc.   Read the article……………………………….

How To Deal With The Rogue Board Member (MI)

The Board of Directors is charged with making the important decisions of the association. Whether it’s hiring a management company to deal with the day-to-day affairs of the association or making the tough decision to pass an additional assessment to cover the cost of an improvement, the actions of the Board affect every member of […]

Red Flags in Green Legislation: SB 558 and HB 5028 may ban Michigan HOA’s from regulating Solar Panels and other Energy Saving Improvements

The Michigan legislature has recently introduced two bills that would limit the ability of condominium and homeowners associations to exercise architectural control authority within their communities related to energy-saving improvements. SB 558 was introduced on October 4, 2023, and it may prohibit certain Michigan community associations from banning solar panels, except in cases where the […]

Til Death Do Us Part, Or Do We?: Collecting Community Association Assessments from a Deceased Owner in Michigan

As the population of their communities age, Community Associations will be faced with the question of who is responsible for payment of Association assessments when an Owner passes away. This article examines the various scenarios when an Owner passes away and the steps an Association should and can take to recover unpaid assessments.    Read the […]

Master-Planned Communities Associations vs. Sub Master Associations: Understanding the Differences

Master-planned communities are large housing developments that typically feature various neighborhoods, sub-divisions, recreational facilities, amenities, and possibly multiple builders. They also usually represent a blend of lifestyle, convenience, and quality living, offering residents a variety of housing options.    Read the article……………………………..

Should Your Condo Association Allow Ring Doorbell Cameras? (MI)

For better or for worse, we live in a society where security cameras are everywhere. With the rise of technology companies such as Amazon and Google, security cameras are now available to the average consumers. For under $200.00, anyone can now buy a doorbell camera that can record high-definition video (day or night) and audio […]

Guidelines for Preparing Your Association Budget

Preparing an annual budget is essential for the financial stability of community associations. However, not all associations know how to effectively create an association budget. To help you with this task, here are some guidelines that will make preparing your budget a straightforward process:   Read the article………………………..

Reconsidering The “Open And Obvious” Doctrine: Implications Of The Michigan Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision

In a significant ruling that affects property owners throughout the state, including Michigan’s community associations, the Michigan Supreme Court substantially altered premises liability law. On July 28, 2023, the Court ruled in the cases of Kandil-Elsayed v. F & E Oil, Inc. and Pinsky v. Kroger, overturning the long-established “open and obvious” doctrine.   Read the […]