In the course of running a Condominium Association, various charges may be provided by the Condominium Documents to be assessed against or posted to the accounts of co-owners who are either delinquent or in violation of other provisions of the Condominium Documents. These charges are variously referred to as interest, late, fees, fines and attorney’s fees. Many times we find that due to procedural errors, or because the lack of understanding of the uniqueness of each type of charge, the charges become subject to legal objection as being excessive, constitutionally invalid, unreasonable or in violation of statute. For these reasons, it is important that Associations understand the nature of each of these charges, the legal requirements for validity, and the proper procedures to follow in order for these charges to be enforceable.
There are two main enforcement categories facing all Associations from which these charges flow. The first is in the area of collection of delinquent assessments. The second is in the area of enforcement of behavioral-based restrictions contained in the Condominium Documents, including the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. Common to both areas are attorney’s fees and, potentially, fines. Continue reading →
Unmanned aircrafts, commonly known as drones, are becoming increasingly popular both for recreational and business uses. Technological advancements have increased those potential uses and brought the costs down. Given the popularity, constant technological advancements and the potential risks and dangers, it is important for community associations to be proactive in addressing potential issues before they become real problems. This article will provide a brief review of recent legislation and some insight into a community association’s rights.
Effective April 4, 2017, Michigan enacted the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act (the “Act”) which addresses the operation and regulation of unmanned aircrafts (a/k/a drones). An “unmanned aircraft” under the Act is defined as “an aircraft flown by a remote pilot via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an on-board computer, communication links, and any additional equipment that is necessary for the unmanned aircraft to operate safely.” (MCL 259.303(d)) Additionally, an “unmanned aircraft system” expands upon the definition to include all of the associated support equipment and other equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. Continue reading →
By 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 →