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.…

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Making Sure HB 4219 Helps Community Associations

Recently, new state legislation was introduced that would significantly change property tax foreclosures. Right now, counties get to keep everything. So even if you owe just $1 and your house sells for thousands, it’s a big windfall for the county. However, if HB 4219 becomes law, it would ensure that owners of real estate are…

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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…

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Botsford Commons Lawsuit Against Beaumont Health in the News

Many thanks to the Farmington Observer and Farmington Press for their stories about our condominium association client’s suit against Beaumont Health. The suit alleges dangerous conditions exist because Beaumont has not properly executed its responsibilities for maintenance and repair of the common elements in the development, of which Beaumont-Botsford hospital is a part. The suit also…

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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…

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Senators Push for Federal Housing Administration Certification Reform

“FHA’s current condominium rules place significant restrictions on the purchase and sale of condominiums, even though they are the most affordable homeownership option for first-time buyers, small families, urban and older Americans. Importantly, condominiums also offer residents access to the amenities, services, and public transportation that build stronger communities and promote sustainable homeownership.” The above…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Robert Meisner on FOX2 News “Let it Rip” With Charlie Langton

Mr. Meisner discussed a condominium smoking complaint that was recently filed in federal court, notable because it not only alleges a nuisance but also alleges violation of the federal Fair Housing Act by the condominium association. Mr. Meisner appears on a panel with the plaintiff’s attorneys and opines that neither the association nor the management…

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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…

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More Icy Slip-Fall Claims Fail to Find Their Footing

Two more recent unpublished Michigan appellate court decisions have been finalized which provide further examples where individual condominium co-owners and their invitees have been held to a high level of responsibility to ensure their personal safety when traversing the condominium’s common elements, even in the case of “black ice”. Zimmer v. Harbour Cove on the…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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HAM Radio Antenna Bill Not Approved By Senate, But Stay Tuned

The Government Affairs arm of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) reported today that federal bill H.R. 1301 was not approved by the U.S. Senate. Proponents of the bill have lost this round, but the final outcome remains to be seen. The bill faced stiff opposition in the senate from Senator Bill Nelson. However, the sponsor…

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Owner Occupancy Requirements Change for the FHA Certification Process

On October 26, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) changed the owner occupancy requirements under the FHA certification process for condominiums, effective immediately. This was done in response to general guidelines for changes provided by federal bill H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. Follow this link…

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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…

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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:…

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