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Meisner Law Group Wins in Michigan Court of Appeals

The Meisner Law Group recently notched a significant win in the Michigan Court of Appeals for our client, Sunflower Village Homes Association. In an assessment collection case against owners who did not pay assessments, the trial court judge only awarded $500 in attorney’s fees and costs to the plaintiff Association, which was much less than…

Record Marketable Title Act Update

Michigan community associations and their attorneys are concerned about potential unintended consequences from Public Act 572, which amended Michigan’s Record Marketable Title Act. While it is not entirely clear, many community association attorneys are of the opinion that the language might be interpreted to cause some community associations’ recorded restrictions to expire if they were…

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Amanda Skeel Leads our New Charlevoix Office

In order to address growing demand for our services in northern and western Michigan, we are proud to announce that we have opened a new satellite office in Charlevoix, which will be led by Amanda Skeel. Amanda will work with The Meisner Law Group as an “Of Counsel” attorney. Amanda brings to the firm many…

Just. Follow. The. Rules.

Ob-sti-nate. adj. Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so. We might add to the above definition a picture of the defendant in Fox Pointe Association v. Ryal, where summary disposition in favor of the plaintiff condominium association was recently confirmed by the Michigan Court…

Directors Serve Until Someone Else is Elected

Occasionally, we work with boards of directors that have not held an election for some time, usually because nobody else has ever expressed an interest in running as a candidate. A recent decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals makes clear that the board’s decisions are not invalidated just because elections have not been held.…

Court of Appeals Affirms Public Policy in Favor of Adult Care Facilities

Just about every condominium’s or subdivision’s bylaws has them – restrictions on “commercial” activity and the requirement that a home/unit be used only for “residential” purposes. However, litigation regularly erupts over whether certain activities are commercial or residential in nature. With regard to adult foster care facilities and whether they constitute commercial or residential activity…

Dept. of Veterans Affairs Makes Site Condo Approval Easier

“Effective immediately, site condominiums in the state of Michigan will be processed in the same manner as a single family detached residence. VA will no longer review legal documentation for site condominiums. Lenders will be responsible for ensuring that any site condominium proposed as collateral for a VA-guaranteed loan meet requirements for the state of…

Stay on Top of Co-Owners’ Obligation to Insure

Unfortunately, we have witnessed a recent spate of fires that have occurred in various condominiums throughout Michigan. This has reminded us, and the associations that we represent, how important it is to have appropriate provisions in the condominium bylaws requiring co-owners to insure their units, and to enforce those provisions consistently. Some co-owners mistakenly assume…

Massachusetts Gets it Right Regarding Anti-Litigation Provisions

We have previously written about Michigan HB 4446, advocating for removal of the exemption for developers in the bill, or in the alternative, abandoning it. Now, a new Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling in Trustees of the Cambridge Point Condominium Trust vs. Cambridge Point, LLC has been published, where the court found an anti-litigation provision in the…

Homeowners Try to Defend Themselves, Association Brings Them Back to Earth

This one had us shaking our head. Why do some people refuse to seek professional legal guidance when it is obvious that they need it? Few attorneys with any experience in community association law would have advised these homeowners to fight the association in this matter. In Hawthorne Ridge Homeowners Association v. Wang, Not Reported…

California Gets Aggressive With Solar Power in Community Associations

In what may be interpreted as an overreach by California’s state government through legislation (AB 634) enacted in October 2017, community associations in that state (including condos) now have significantly less control over installation of solar systems by owners, including installations on roofs that are part of the “common area” (what we know here in…

View Our Recorded Webinar – Pets in the Community Association

On December 12, 2017, we hosted a webinar, “Pets in the Community Association.” It’s everything you need to know about creating and enforcing pet restrictions in your Michigan condominium or subdivision. Are your current restrictions actually enforceable if challenged, and what accommodations might you have to make to comply with fair housing laws? Follow this link…

Are You Sure You’re Insured? Read Your Condo Policy Carefully

Condominium insurance policies can be incredibly confusing to the average board member. Even though there may be no “fine print” and everything is typed the same size, the many definitions, endorsements, and cross references can create a forest of exceptions that make it difficult to know exactly what you’re paying for or getting. Sometimes, even…

Foreclosure by Advertisement and the FDCPA

In most circumstances, we at The Meisner Law Group have found that the best recommended option to pursue foreclosure on a property for delinquent assessments is a judicial action as opposed to nonjudicial foreclosure by advertisement. Now, there is even more reason to prefer judicial action, as a recent decision concerning the federal Fair Debt…

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No, It’s a Drone!

With the exponential rise in the popularity of drones (technically referred to as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”) over the past few years for personal use, as well as current testing by businesses like Amazon for commercial delivery to residences, the federal government and many states, including our state government in Michigan, have taken the first steps…

New Michigan Law Confirms Landlords May Ban Medical Marijuana Smoking

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed SB 72 into law, which should be effective on or about April 10, 2017, codifying part of a 2011 opinion by the State Attorney General. SB 72 has added the following (bold text) to the state statute created by the previous voter-initiated legislation on medical marijuana: “Nothing in this act…

Appeals Court Interprets “Residential Use” to Exclude Transient Leasing

An interesting case was recently decided by a Texas Court of Appeals in the matter of Tarr v. Timberwood Park Owners Association, Inc., No. 04-16-00022-CV (Tex. App. Nov. 16, 2016). Timberwood Park’s governing documents stated that the homes in the subdivision were to be used exclusively for residential purposes but did not contain any specific prohibition…

New Fair Housing Act Rule Effective October 14, 2016

We were alarmed when we first read the Community Association Institute’s (CAI) blog post regarding a new Fair Housing Act rule that is effective as of October 14, 2016. Of particular concern was the following statement: Under the rule, community associations may be liable under the Fair Housing Act for the discriminatory actions of residents who harass…

Federal Housing Administration Certification for Condominiums

Good news for condominium associations throughout the nation – the National Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI) reports that H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act, has been signed into law by the President. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will be required under the legislation to make the following changes to the FHA’s condominium approval process:…