Are Tenants Required to Strictly Adhere to “Option to Renew” Language in a Lease?

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

Regulating Land Use: An Introduction to the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act


Introduction

            Zoning is the regulation of the use of land.  It is the exercise of police power intended to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare.  Zoning does not create divisions of land nor does it guarantee development.  Zoning constitutes an effort on the part of the designated governmental body to avoid land use conflicts between neighbors by ensuring that uses and structures are generally compatible with other uses and structures in the area.  It is a means to promote the welfare of the community by guiding orderly growth.

The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act

            In Michigan zoning is implemented and statutorily authorized under the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3101, et seq. (“MZEA”).  The MZEA was enacted in 2006 and consolidated several prior zoning enabling acts Read more

Michigan Eliminates Dower

Since 1846, Michigan has recognized a statutory right of dower in favor or women. Dower rights allowed for a widow of a deceased man to use 1/3 of the lands of her husband that were acquired during the marriage for the remainder of her life.  The concept of dower is dated and has been eliminated in many states.  At the end of 2015, the Michigan legislature passed a serious of bills that abolished dower in Michigan.  Specifically, Senate Bill 558 provides as follows: Read more

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