In Michigan, the seller of a residential property has an obligation to disclose certain information to the buyer of the property in what is commonly referred to as a “Seller’s Disclosure Statement.” The Seller Disclosure Act, MCL 565.951, et seq. imposes a legal duty on sellers to disclose to buyers the existence of certain known conditions affecting the house.Read more
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the ability of landlords to collect delinquent rent. One of the main obstacles for landlords that desire to collect delinquent rent has been the CDC residential eviction moratorium. Since the CDC residential eviction moratorium was put into place on September 4, 2020, attorneys have questioned whether the CDC had the legal authority to impose the eviction moratorium and litigants in several cases have challenged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (the “CDC’s”) September 1, 2020 Order (the “Order”). While various cases around the country regarding the enforceability of the CDC residential eviction moratorium remaining pending, two cases out of the Fifth Circuit—one from the Eastern District of Texas, the other from the Western District of Louisiana, have reached differing conclusions regarding the constitutionally of the CDC’s Order. Accordingly, this article will discuss the analysis in each case and potential arguments that landlords could make to challenge the viability of the CDC eviction moratorium. Read more
What is Receivership? What You Need to Know about the Recent Changes to the Michigan Receivership Act
Effective May 7, 2018, Michigan adopted what was previously called the “uniform commercial real estate receivership act”, MCL 554.1011, et seq., which was described as: “AN ACT to enact the uniform commercial real estate receivership act; to provide for the appointment of receivers to take possession of commercial real property of another and to receive, collect, care for, and dispose of the property or proceeds of the property; and to provide remedies related to the receiverships.” On October 15, 2020, the statute was amended and the name was changed to the “receivership act”, along with several other substantive amendments. This article will discuss some of the relevant provisions of the new Receivership Act and their application to commercial and residential real estate. Read more
On January 7, 2021, in Vasiliadis v Rubaii, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued January 7, 2021 (Docket No. 349982) the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the principles of equity can be used to extend the redemption period for a defaulting land contract vendee (Defendant), when the land contract vendor (Plaintiff) acts in bad faith to prevent the vendee from redeeming the property. Land Contract vendees and vendors should be aware that courts are empowered to extend the statutory redemption period in some cases, using principles of equity.
In Michigan, an individual may gain ownership of real property even if that person does not have a deed or hold legal title to the property. The concept is called adverse possession and most often, but not always, occurs due to a boundary dispute between two neighbors. Adverse possession can also occur by a trespasser to land that occupies the land for fifteen (15) years. To establish adverse possession, an individual must demonstrate possession of the real property for a period of fifteen (15) years and that the possession has been actual, visible, open, notorious, exclusive, continuous, hostile and under a cover or claim of right. This article explores the law that governs adverse possession and the elements necessary to establish adverse possession in Michigan.Read more
Many people are familiar with libel and slander, which are two causes of action meant to allow individuals to protect their reputation. All owners of real property should also know that there is a comparable type of claim that one can bring to protect a person’s interest in the ability to sell his or her real property. That claim is called slander of title.
Appeals Court Affirms Lower Court Finding That City’s Zoning Ordinance Permitting a Home Business Does Not Include the Business of Providing Short-Term Rental Accommodations
In People of the City of St. Clair Shores v Dorr, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued October 29, 2020 (Docket No 349910), the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled—in a highly fractured opinion—that “a person of ordinary intelligence would reasonably understand from [a zoning ordinance that requires a home business be ‘incidental’ to the use of the dwelling as a dwelling] that the business therefore cannot be coextensive with the primary use of the dwelling as a dwelling.” As such, the Court of Appeals held that the City’s zoning ordinance prohibited him from using his home for short-term rentals through Airbnb.Read more
In Michigan, residential evictions are normally handled at the local District Court pursuant to Michigan’s Summary Proceedings to Recover Possession of Premises, MCL 600.5701, et seq. However, on September 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) issued an order (the “Order“) temporarily halting some, but not all, residential evictions throughout the country, including Michigan, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The Order is presently in effect through December 31, 2020, but may be extended or modified in the future. The CDC’s Order upended the normal residential eviction process and thrown interpretation of the Order to the Michigan Supreme Court Administrator’s Office (“SCAO”) and the local District Courts throughout the State of Michigan.Read more
Most people who own real estate obtain their water for the property from the local municipality. While the timing of billing and costs for water charges vary among municipalities, all municipalities are given the right under Michigan law to collect delinquent water charges through imposing a lien against the property. Specifically, MCL 123.162 provides:
MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT RULES THAT SURPLUS PROCEEDS FROM THE TAX-FORECLOSURE SALE OF A PROPERTY MUST BE RETURNED TO FORMER PROPERTY OWNERS
On July 17, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an unanimous decision, finding that the retention of surplus proceeds from a tax-foreclosure sale under the General Property Tax Act (“GPTA”) is an unconstitutional taking without just compensation under Article 10, § 2 of Michigan’s Constitution of 1963. Before the decision by the Court, Michigan was among a minority of states who permitted the retention of surplus proceeds from tax-foreclosure sales. Accordingly, property owners that have lost their property as a result of a tax foreclosure sale now have a claim against the county for the difference between the amount of taxes owed and the amount realized at the tax sale by the County.