December 2019

An informative e-newsletter for the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Tear Down That House: Defining “Modular Home”

Tear Down That House: Defining "Modular Home"

By Jonathon J. Andersh, Miller Johnson
Mark N. Greidanus, Miller Johnson

In Thiel v. Goyings, (Mich No. 156708, July 24, 2019), the Michigan Supreme Court sought to define the phrase “modular home” as used in a residential restrictive covenant. The defendants, the Goyingses, constructed a new home in a lakefront subdivision. The lots within the subdivision were subject to the following restriction:

All residences shall be stick built on site and no geodesic dome, berm house, pre-fabricated or modular home, mobile home, shack or barn will be erected on any of the Parcels unless provided for herein.

Read More or Comment

Co-owners are Responsible for Pre-existing Bylaw Violations

Co-owners are Responsible for Pre-existing Bylaw Violations

By Kevin M. Hirzel, Hirzel Law, PLC

In Fox Pointe Association v. Ryal (Mich App No. 344232, July 23, 2019, unpublished) , the court of appeals held that a co-owner was responsible for the pre-existing bylaw violations of a prior co-owner. In this case, the co-owner purchased a condominium unit in 2013. The condominium bylaws prohibited alterations to the common elements or exterior of a unit without the prior written approval of the association. At the time the condominium unit was purchased, there were pre-existing bylaw violations as the paint color of the front door had been changed without permission from the condominium association and a different style of address numbers had been placed on the front door. After purchasing the unit, the co-owner later changed the door handle and front door lock without permission. In 2015, the condominium association filed an action seeking injunctive relief to remove the unauthorized improvements.

Read More or Comment

Legislative Report

Join a Committee!

Take the opportunity to get involved by writing for one of our publications, presenting at a conference or seminar, or joining one of the committees that cover virtually every area in real estate law. See our committees and how you can join or see the committees you're already subscribed to.

Note to Committee Members:
Communication settings for RPLS Special Committee members have been changed to "Daily Digest." This means when a message is posted on your Committee page, you will receive the message the day after it is posted.

  Find Us on Facebook   Join Us on LinkedIn   Find Us on Twitter

Write an Article

Interested in writing an article for the e-Newsletter? Contact co-editors Samuel Kilberg at or Glen Zatz at

Can't remember where you saw that e-Newsletter article? Check the e-Newsletter article index.

We are also looking for suggested authors and topics for the Michigan Real Property Review. Please contact Chair-Elect, Mike Luberto at for suggested topics and ideas.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.