Home or condominium owners must comply with standards governing improvements to their homes, payment of fees and other requirements governed or imposed by condominium and homeowner associations. But these community organizations in Michigan may have to deal with the expiration of some agreements that are over 40 years old under a little known statute, which could reduce their authority under the condominium and homeowner association law.

Agreements may expire in March

Act 572, passed in the lame duck 2018 legislative session, could nullify association agreement that are over 40 years old this March under certain conditions. Adding to this problem, moreover, this law is unclear.

Act 572 could allow people selling property that is part of a community association to remove their property from the association if the documents governing the association are over 40 years old. This could be accomplished by omitting complete reference to the grant deed’s governing documents.

Protection

Associations that may fall under Act 572 may have some options to protect their interests. Associations could record a claim of interest before the 40-year deadline expires. This would allow association to keep their authority over all the units or homes in the original homeowner association agreement.

Homeowners may remove themselves from agreements where an association does not take this step and let the 40-year period lapse. This poses additional problems because condominiums and associations often share buildings, streets, and maintenance services among many residents.

House Bill 5260 was recently introduced to correct this problem. If enacted, it would prohibit enforcement of any provision mentioned or contained in a master condominium deed and its amendments.

However, this proposal should include homeowner’s associations and their restrictions. Also, there was no action on HB 5260 since it was referred to the ways and means committee in June.

Homeowner and condominium associations trying to address this situation should seek legal assistance. Attorneys can also assist associations with the other unique legal issues they face in Michigan.