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
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
House Bill 4463: Proposed Law Would Allow LLC’s to Pursue Landlord/Tenant Evictions without an Attorney
On March 30, 2017, Representatives VanSingel, Lucido, Sheppard, Webber, Howrylak and
Calley proposed House Bill 4463, which would amend MCL 600.101, et seq. by including a new section 5707. Under current Michigan law, a limited liability company (“LLC”) is required to be represented by an attorney for any landlord/tenant matters. The proposed law would allow single member LLCs (or two member LLCs if the two members are married) to handle evictions without requiring an attorney under certain circumstances.
First, the amount in dispute could not exceed the limit for small claims matters [currently $5,500]. Thus, if the damages exceeded $5,500 then an attorney would still be required. Second, the LLC may only be represented by a member, a property manager or other agent with direct and personal knowledge of the facts in the complaint.
At the beginning of any landlord/tenant relationship, it is common for a landlord and tenant to execute a Lease Agreement with a defined initial lease term. In most leases (particularly commercial leases), there is also a provision that allows for an additional extension or extensions of the lease term, commonly called an “Option to Renew” provision. Historically, Michigan courts have required tenants to strictly comply with all of the requirements of the Option to Renew in order for the extension of the lease to be valid. Recently, Michigan courts have taken a less stringent approach under appropriate circumstances and looked more toward the behavior, actions or conduct of the landlord and tenant to ascertain whether an Option to Renew was properly exercised. This article gives an example of an Option to Renew provision, discusses the historical approach compelling strict compliance with an Option to Renew and discusses recent cases that hold strict compliance for an Option to Renew is no longer required in appropriate cases. Read more