The Importance of Using an Attorney Relevant to your Legal Matter
Attorneys are often hard-pressed to find someone willing to jump to their reputational defense. In fact, they can either be a blessing or a curse. Often we need attorneys to defend us in court, collect an unpaid debt, or draft an estate plan. An attorney not knowledgeable with a specific legal matter can cause confusion and leave clients feeling over-charged and disappointed.
Developers and real estate buyers alike often retain attorneys to help arrange and consummate smooth real estate closings. When a condominium is involved, sales and closing documents are generally more voluminous and complex. Getting a properly trained attorney on your side can help get a long term-relationship between new condominium owners and their associations off to a healthy start.
Attorneys who focus their practice on real estate or community association law will take the time to explain that condominium ownership is a mix between exclusive and shared ownership. A buyer’s unit is owned exclusively by her, while she also will enjoy shared ownership with her neighbors in common and limited commons areas, such as sidewalks, recreational areas, walking paths, parking lots, and clubhouses. This shared aspect differs from homeownership in a platted subdivision where property rights typically begin and end with clearly-defined lot lines.
Shared ownership also gives rise to the legal and practical need for written bylaws, which establish rights, rules and duties for condominium owners, developers, and associations. Buyers are entitled to receive and review a copy of a condominium association’s bylaws at the time they contemplate purchase, so they can ensure the restrictions and obligations, including mandatory monthly dues for maintenance, are satisfactory to them. A well-versed real estate or community association lawyer can be invaluable in drafting clear, fair bylaws for developers, as well as reviewing bylaws with prospective buyers to navigate and explain the duties unique to each association. Bylaws are comprised of legal covenants, or promises, which can ultimately be enforced by a civil court.
Teaming up with a skilled attorney in the early stages of development and sales can avert the expense and stress of seeking a court’s help to resolve condominium ownership disputes later. If you have any questions or concerns regarding real estate or community association law matters, please feel free to contact our office to discuss.
Margaret A. Lourdes (Maggie) focuses her practice on construction law and commercial and residential real property. She has over 20 years experience in community association and real estate law. Further, she represents corporate clients throughout Michigan and has a detailed knowledge of commercial litigation and corporate and business law. Ms. Lourdes is an adjunct professor at Cleary University where she teaches business law. Further, she has extensively published articles on a variety of legal topics. She may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.