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Some Homeowners Association Agreements Over 40 Years Old Could Expire In March

CBS Detroit - For many who purchase a condominium or home in a community association, they don't mind the homeowner association fees. As the fees pay for external maintenance, improvements, and for services in the community like a clubhouse and/or a pool. Others regret these agreements because depending on who is managing the association everything from the color of your tulips falls under the scrutiny of the association.

According to an article in Hometown Life, a lame-duck law passed in 2018 could null and void these association agreements if the association governing documents are older than 40 years old and if certain conditions are met in March. In a conversation with Robert Meisner of the Meisner Law Group, who specializes in representing condominiums, homeowners associations, and developers, said that Michigan Public Act 572 could impact some community associations in the state.

However, while the law is not too clear, it could be interpreted to mean that people selling a property that is part of a community association, and the documents that govern the association are more than 40 years old, the homeowner can remove their property from the association. This is done "by omitting complete reference to recorded governing documents in the grant deed.", said attorney Robert Meisner to Hometown Life.

For associations who fall under this possible interpretation of Public Act 572, there are avenues they can explore to protect their interests as well. If before the 40-year deadline expires in their governing by-laws, they could record a claim of interest. Which would keep their authority under the governing documents to all of the units or homes in the original homeowners association agreement. Those associations who don't take action and let the 40-year term lapse could find themselves with homeowners removing themselves from the agreements.

The apparent problem is that many condominiums and communities share buildings, streets, and maintenance services among many residents. According to Meisner, a bill has been introduced to fix some of the problems with PA 572. House Bill 5260 according to Meisner defines (section e): "Bar the enforcement of any provision contained in or referred to in a recorded master deed for a condominium and its recorded amendments."

Meisner says this should be expanded to include homeowner's associations and their restrictions. However HB 5260 hasn't been passed yet, and on June 2, 2020 it was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

For those who are concerned about what PA 572 could mean to their circumstances, they should consult their attorney and stay informed as this could change.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Information from the Hometown Life contributed to this report.

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