Is It Time for Michigan to Adopt “Limited” Super-priority Assessment Liens?

Super-priority assessment liens


By: Edward J. Lee, Esq.

All condominiums are created by statute and, depending upon the jurisdiction, by the recording of a master deed or declaration of covenants. The primary (if not the exclusive) source of revenue for maintenance or administration of condominiums is the assessments paid by the co-owners of the condominium property. In this regard, every jurisdiction in the country has adopted laws that give the condominium’s governing body a lien against any unit that fails to timely pay assessments.

When the condominium concept first began, it was virtually unheard of that real property would lose value over time. Because of this, the “priority” given to condominium assessment liens was not necessarily the hot topic of debate it has become today – regardless of whether the mortgage holder or the condominium association had seniority, these secured parties could generally rest assured that no matter which party initiated the foreclosure process, there was a reasonably-good chance that there would be sufficient equity in the property to cover both secured interests. This meant that the junior lien holder could safely protect its interest by paying off the senior lien and then proceed with its own foreclosure, knowing that it was likely to recover most or all of its money in the process. Continue reading


Don’t Be Disabled by Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Attorney John F. CalvinJohn F. Calvin, Esq

Whether you live in a condominium or a subdivision governed by an association, chances are either you or one or more of the residents living within your community are coping with some form of disability. When the U.S. Census Bureau released its report on Americans with Disabilities in 2010, it estimated that 56.7 million Americans were living with disabilities [1]. Of that number, more than half of the disabled individuals described their disability as severe. Despite those numbers, condominium and homeowner association boards of directors are often unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with a disabled person’s request to make a reasonable accommodation in the association’s rules, policies, practices or services when such an accommodation may be necessary to afford that individual the equal opportunity to use and enjoy their residence.

This article reviews the statutes applicable to condominium and homeowner associations and offers guidance to association boards, managers and attorneys in dealing with requests for accommodations.[2] Continue reading


Leasing Restrictions in Condominiums

Leasing Restrictions in CondominiumsLeasing Restrictions CondominiumsBy Stephen Guerra
Investors have long viewed attached condominium units as ideal rental properties since the condominium form of ownership often allows investors to enter the rental business without taking on many traditional landlord functions. That is, because condominium associations are typically required to engage in the maintenance and repair of what otherwise would be a landlord duty in a non condominium setting, it is simple for an investor to free themselves from many of the headaches associated with single-family rentals.

The last several years have seen falling home prices and an extremely tight lending environment.While those conditions frequently deterred or effectively prohibited owner-occupied unit sales, the conditions were ripe for investors with cash to deploy. Because of this, many condominium communities experienced unprecedented increases in the number of tenant-occupied and investor-owned units in their communities. While lending conditions are loosening and condominium unit prices appear to be on the rise, these favorable conditions do not change the reality that the number of tenant-occupied and investor-owned units in certain communities is approaching or perhaps exceeding levels permitted by both conventional and FHA-insured lenders. Continue reading