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Kevin Hirzel to Present on Legislation Impacting Condo Associations at Michigan CAI Annual Conference on March 10, 2017

On March 10, 2017, Kevin M. Hirzel, Chairman of the Legislative Action Committee for CAI’s Michigan Chapter, will present on the following bills that are pending or have recently passed and will have a significant impact on Michigan Condominium Associations:

HB 4919. Michigan House Bill 4919 would amend MCL 559.160 to prevent the inclusion of anti-lawsuit provisions in condominium documents. Anti-lawsuit provisions have been an increasing concern for condominium associations as a recent decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals precluded an association from enforcing restrictions that were violated by a co-owner due to the fact that the association did not obtain two-thirds co-owner approval to initiate litigation. Anti-lawsuit provisions have also been used to preclude condominium associations from defending themselves in litigation as well. House Bill 4919 would allow for the board of a condominium association to make decisions relating to litigation and protect the association’s interests in litigation in the same manner as all other Michigan corporations.
HB 4015. Michigan House Bill 4015 would make three radical changes to the Michigan Condominium Act. First, House Bill 4015 would require co-owners to approve a condominium association’s budget at a meeting with quorum by a majority vote in order to pay for essential services that are necessary to operate a condominium. House Bill 4015 would require in person voting and would not allow co-owners to vote by proxy in approving an annual budget. Condominium associations would not be allowed to increase the annual budget unless co-owner approval was obtained at a meeting with quorum or multiple meetings were called and quorum could not be obtained. Second, House Bill 4015 would repeal MCL 559.239 which precludes a co-owner from asserting a defense that services were not provided by the association in answering a complaint for nonpayment of assessments. Third, House Bill 4015 would revive the authority a governmental administrator, which has not had enforcement authority since 1983, to monitor co-owner complaints regarding condominium associations and their directors. House Bill 4015 would also allow for the administrator to investigate co-owner complaints and refer complaints to the prosecuting attorney or attorney general to file lawsuits against condominium associations.
2016 PA 233. Senate Bill 610 (2015) became law on September 21, 2016 through 2016 PA 233. MCL 559.167, as amended by 2016 PA 233, eliminated the automatic reversion of “need not be built” units to common elements after the expiration of the six-year or ten-year statutory time periods. MCL 559.167(4) will now require two-thirds of the co-owners that are in good standing to vote to approve a reversion of “need not be built” units to common elements by adopting a declaration that will be recorded in the register of deeds after the expiration of the statutory time periods. If two-thirds co-owner approval is obtained, the condominium association must then send the declaration to a developer or successor developer at its last known address. The developer or successor developer may withdraw the land on which the “need not be built” units were to be located or amend the master deed to make the units “must be built” within a sixty day time period. If the developer or successor developer fails to withdraw the land or amend the master deed within sixty days, the condominium association may record the declaration, which becomes effective upon recording and the “need not be built” units will remain in the condominium as common elements. Mr. Hirzel will also discuss a recent circuit court opinion that held that the amendment to MCL 559.167 was not retroactive and that 2016 PA 233 could not abolish the co-owners’ interest in the common elements.
H.R. 555. Federal H.R. 555, the Amateur Parity Radio Act, is currently pending in the United States Senate after it was passed by the United States House of Representatives on January 23, 2017.  The bill would prohibit  community associations from completely restricting the use of HAM radios in community associations.  H.R. 555 would allow for community association to impose reasonable restrictions on HAM radio users.

Mr. Hirzel’s presentation will take place between 11:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. in the Jade Room at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave, Novi, MI 48374.   You can register for the event here.

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Kevin Hirzel is the Managing Member of Hirzel Law, PLC. Hirzel Law has offices in Farmington, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City, Michigan with a fourth office location in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Hirzel focuses his practice on condominium law, homeowners association law, and real estate law. He is a fellow in the College of Community Association Lawyers (“CCAL”), a prestigious designation given to less than 175 attorneys in the country. Mr. Hirzel formerly served on the CCAL National Board of Governors and is a former member of the Community Associations Institute’s (“CAI”) Board of Trustees, an international organization with over 40,000 members worldwide that is dedicated to improving community associations. Mr. Hirzel has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Michigan by Leading Lawyers, a distinction earned by fewer than 5% of all lawyers licensed in Michigan. He has been named a Michigan “Rising Star” in real estate law by Super Lawyers Magazine, a designation is given to no more than 2.5% of the attorneys in Michigan each year. Mr. Hirzel was also named as a “Go-To-Lawyer” in condominium and real estate law by Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly. Hirzel Law was also voted the best law firm in Metro Detroit in the Detroit Free Press Best of the Best awards. He is the Co-Chairman of the State Bar of Michigan’s Real Property Law Section Committee for Condominiums, PUDs & Cooperatives. Mr. Hirzel has authored numerous articles on community association law for publications such as the Michigan Community Association News, Michigan Real Property Review, Macomb County Bar Briefs and the Washington Post. He is also the author of the first and second editions of “Hirzel’s Handbook: How to operate a Michigan Condo or HOA”, which is available for purchase on Mr. Hirzel has been interviewed on community association legal issues by various media outlets throughout the country, such as CBS, CNBC, Common Ground Magazine, Community Association Management Insider, the Dan Abrams Show on SiriusXM Radio, the Detroit News, Dr. Drew Midday Live on KABC Radio, Fox Business News, Fox News,, the Law & Crime Network, Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly, NPR, WWJ News Radio and WXYZ. Mr. Hirzel is a dynamic speaker and frequently lectures on community association law throughout Michigan, as well as nationally at the CAI National Law Seminar, and is a two-time winner of the best manuscript award at the CAI National Law Seminar.

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