Fall 2015-Fall 2016

Volume 42, Nos. 3-4, Volume 43, Nos. 1-3


The Michigan Condominium Act: Time for a Change

Why Michigan should adopt a modified version of the Uniform Condominium Act.

By Kevin M. Hirzel

blog_nov2015.jpgApproximately 1.6 million people live in one of the over 8,000 community associations in Michigan, many of which are condominium associations. While there has been an increase in the popularity of condominium developments, the law has been slow to evolve. The Michigan Condominium Act was enacted in 1978 and is now over thirty-five years old. While significant amendments were made to the Act in 2001 and 2002, the Act does not currently meet the needs of various stakeholders, such as attorneys, accountants, banks, condominium associations, co-owners, developers, property managers, potential purchasers, municipalities, realtors, surveyors, and title companies.

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A Socratic Discourse Regarding Section 67(3) of the Condominium Act


By Gregory J. Gamalski

Application of Section 67(3) of the Condominium Act in practice tends to be like the old actuary joke about the sum of two plus two. The answer: "What do you want it to be?" But Section 67(3) is in fact no laughing matter to real estate attorneys, condominium association attorneys, local assessors, lenders, condominium unit buyers, and title insurance companies. Problematic Section 67(3) became part of the Condominium Act via Public Act No. 379 of 2000 and Public Act No. 283 of 2002. However, in June, 2016, Senate Bill 610 was signed into law as Public Act 233 of 2016, making important revisions to Section 67(3) and adding new subsections. The general issue addressed by Section 67(3) was the so-called "close out" concept and the issue of fallow units, which were created but had never been built. This created problems for condominium associations, particularly as to assessments and voting rights, where inattentive owners or long-departed developers were unresponsive and uncommunicative with respect to ownership issues, financial obligations, and general community participation. For instance, an ordinary amendment to the master deed (say, transferring responsibility for front porch light bulb replacement) might be frustrated because not enough units voted or too many were not eligible to vote. The general intent of Section 67(3) was to allow associations to be able to make operational realities match up with legal documents. That has an intuitive and common sense appeal.

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Chair's Report

Brian Henry

By Brian Henry

The Real Property Law Section is comprised of great leaders who want the Section to flourish. In my final report as the past chair, I wish to share some reflections regarding our past and current leaders. They laid a foundation that has enabled us to grow and flourish because the strength of their original vision has supported many additional innovations.

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Judicial Decisions Affecting Real Property

David E. Nykanen

By David E. Nykanen

The Section is active in the judicial process in a variety of ways, such as preparing amicus curiae briefs and monitoring cases of interest to real estate lawyers. This article provides a quarterly report designed to inform Section members about the Section's efforts to maintain the integrity of the law and to advise Section members about published decisions that may affect real estate practice.

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Legislation Affecting Real Property

Melissa Collar

By Melissa Collar

The Section is active in the legislative process in a variety of ways, such as appearing before House and Senate committees, lobbying for and against bills, and monitoring legislation of interest to real estate lawyers. Before taking a formal public position for or against a bill, the Section follows procedures specified in its bylaws, and members with an interest in particular legislation should bring it to the attention of members of the Section Council or the chairs of the Special Committees listed on the Section's website. Policy positions of the Section can also be found on the Section's website.

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Real Property Law Academy II

May 10-11, 2023 in Troy
Michigan State University-Management
Education Center
811 W. Square Lake Rd., Troy
May 10-11, 2023
9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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Summer Conference 2023

July 19-22, 2023
Mission Point, Mackinac Island

Uncertainty permeates today’s real estate environment. Interest rate hikes, supply chain issues, and other disruptors create risks and opportunities in equal measure. When even the Magic Eight Ball cannot provide answers, practitioners who are well-versed in both current development trends and the latest in distressed real estate law will be at a decided advantage. Co-Chairs Scott Lesser of Miller Canfield in Troy and Aileen Leipprandt of Hilger Hammond in Grand Rapids invite all real estate practitioners to meet their colleagues at Mission Point to exchange and explore creative solutions to modern real estate dilemmas and help you maintain an edge—no matter where the market takes us.

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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.

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Thomas A. Kabel
e-mail: kabel@butzel.com

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Karen Schwartz

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