DRONES: REGULATION UNDER STATE AND FEDERAL LAW, AND CONTROLLING VIA A COMMUNITY’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

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Michigan Condominium Act

Evan Alexander

 

Evan M. Alexander, Esq. *

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.

Michigan Regulation

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

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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

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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

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