Navigating Community Association Construction Agreements with Contractors for Renovation and Remodeling Projects

Construction agreements can often be some of the most costly expenses that condominium associations and homeowner associations (HOAs) will ever review and consider for approval regarding their common element projects. However, many associations neglect to retain legal counsel who has the expertise needed to draft and implement the most effective terms and agreements. Instead, Boards of Directors focus mostly on securing competitive bids, as most associations are required to do […]

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Avoid Risky Policies when Collecting Assessments from Delinquent Condominium and HOA Homeowners

Question: Can the Board of a Condominium Association or HOA post a list of delinquent members on the Association’s website to shame them into paying? In a word, NO. Associations who post a list of delinquent members by name may face a defamation/slander lawsuit or violate other privacy protections by doing so if the information is incorrect. (Some Board’s and management companies may also be slow to update the list […]

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Appropriate Steps to take when Collecting Assessments from Delinquent Condominium and HOA Homeowners

If you are a Board Member of a condominium or homeowners’ association, you may encounter residents who do not pay their monthly or annual assessments on time. Although an association’s governing documents, along with Michigan law, outline the procedure for collecting assessments, they do not always include the timing or strategies involved. A collection policy is the foundation of a successful assessment collection program in order to maintain necessary cash […]

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Are Short-Term Rental Occupants Considered to be Tenants or Guests under Michigan Law?

As vacation rental marketplace websites, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, continue to gain popularity, landlords, homeowners, tenants, and municipalities must grapple with various legal issues involving Short-Term Rentals (STR) of residential property. Accordingly, Michigan Courts have had to interpret the legal status and rights of STR occupants under the Summary Proceedings Act (MCL 600.5701 et. seq.) Indeed, some property owners build clauses into their leases that more clearly define the […]

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Force Majeure Clauses in Commercial Leases in the Age of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Pandemic has unfavorably affected many Michigan businesses over the past several months. The loss of revenue associated with shuttering a business during this ongoing global epidemic is placing a strain on some commercial tenants’ ability to meet payment obligations under the terms of existing commercial leases. As a result, force majeure clauses contained in commercial lease contracts have increasingly come into play these days. The term “force majeure” […]

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Collection of Accrued Interest Not Allowed in the Absence of a Written Contract Provision

A common query posed to collection attorneys by their small business clients is whether, upon the default of a standard contract agreement, the client will receive the “benefit of the bargain” and be made whole as part of the collection process. Many business agreements have not been drafted in a comprehensive manner, nor with the aid of competent legal counsel. As a result, an often-raised question is whether accrued interest […]

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Summary Disposition Granted in Condominium Association Case

Joel Ashton, a partner in our Livonia office, recently had a case dismissed for a Condominium Association on summary disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(8) in the Oakland County Circuit Court. In this case, a disgruntled condominium owner represented himself in his quest to obtain a preliminary injunction to avoid the imminent March 2020 election of three directors to the Board of Directors or, alternatively, to set aside the results of […]

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The Use of Lady Bird Deeds to Convey Life Estate Interests in Land

One of the most common requests from clients to probate practitioners is when an individual, upon their passing, wishes to transfer ownership in real property outside of probate proceedings while preserving present control and use of the land.  The utilization of certain deeds as an estate-planning tool to accomplish that goal – affectionately known as “Lady Bird” deeds – is available only in a few states, including Michigan.  This type […]

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Michigan Governor Encouraging the Use of Electronic Signatures, Remote Notarization and Witnessing during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Governor Whitmer’s latest Executive Order in effect through May 6, 2020 allows any notarial act required under Michigan Law to be done using two-way video technology.  As a result, a financial institution, title insurer, or a register of deeds is prohibited from denying a copy of an electronic record if a notary certifies it under the terms of the Order. (The only exception will be if state law specifically requires […]

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Alternative Methods to Conducting Meetings and to Limit In-Person Interactions within your Community Association during the Covid-19 Outbreak

To help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus we have all had to substantially alter the way we work and live and social distancing has become the new normal – at least for now.  As a result, it is more important than ever for Community Associations to maintain solid and steady communication between Board members and their residents. Many Condominium Associations and HOA’s are required to hold their annual meetings […]

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