Requirement of Michigan Public Bodies to Hold Public Meetings In-Person Under the OMA Suspended

Access to state and local government meetings has been a hallmark of American democracy for most of our country’s history. All states have enacted open meetings laws that generally require municipalities and local agencies to provide advance notice to the public of meetings held by commissions, boards, tribunals, and councils. This includes a broad spectrum of entities, such as unemployment commissions, tax tribunals, and school boards. These statutes permit any […]

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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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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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Health and Safety precautions for Community Associations during the Covid-19 Outbreak

The state of emergency caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has been of great concern to everyone these days. Business and governments have scrambled to establish protocol and implement guidelines and regulations to contain the spread of the virus. There is currently a plethora of information available to the public in the form of legal declarations and recommendations for health and safety purposes. However, there appears to be no clear directive […]

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Recent Michigan Court of Appeals Decision Holds in Favor of Condominium Association’s Amendment of its Bylaws to Preclude Short-Term Rentals

In the case of Highfield Beach at Lake Michigan v. Sanderson, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled on the issue of enforceability of a condominium Bylaw which affected short-term rentals of units. The ruling effectively negated the plan of a new unit owner to use his condominium for rental to vacationers. As a result, the Association was successful in its efforts to limit the types of rentals allowed, similar […]

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Attorneys Participate in CAI Conference and Expo

Attorneys from the Firm’s Community Association and Real Estate Law practice group are at the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Annual Conference and Expo today, Friday, March 6.  If you are attending the Conference, please plan on stopping by CMDA’s booth (#807).  We look forward to sharing information on the various legal services our Firm’s Community Association and Real Estate Law practice group provides.

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