Author Archives: Katherine Hopkins

Vendees may rely on equity to extend land contract redemption period

On January 7, 2021, in Vasiliadis v Rubaii, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued January 7, 2021  (Docket No. 349982) the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the principles of equity can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.

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WHAT IS SLANDER OF TITLE?

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.

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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In People of the City of St. Clair Shores v Dorr, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued October 29, 2020 (Docket No 349910), the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled—in a highly fractured opinion—that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.

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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[1] 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.

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