Association Property Damaged by an Automobile – What every association should know to recover under Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Laws

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Amy M. Smith, Esq.*

When people think of Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Act (“Act”), their mind is likely drawn to thoughts of a roadside automobile accident. But what if an automobile damages subdivision common areas or condominium common elements? Under State law, drivers are required to carry insurance for injury to or destruction of other’s property resulting from an accident caused by their vehicle. This insurance is intended to benefit third-party property owners (such as a condominium or subdivision association) by imposing liability for property damage on the insurers of vehicle owners or drivers. Continue reading

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RESPONDING TO A MEMBER’S REQUEST TO REVIEW AND INSPECT YOUR ASSOCIATION’S BOOKS AND RECORDS

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John L. Finkelmann, Esq.
Member requests to review and inspect an association’s records and books are a fairly typical occurrence and should not be a reason to panic, but such requests should be dealt with in a prompt and orderly fashion for reasons explained in this article. Some members are just generally interested in the ongoing management and administration of the association and want to keep a closer eye on the details. Unfortunately, in other cases, you may have a member with an axe to grind and whose intent may ultimately be to try and find some error or oversight to justify their allegations against the association. Regardless of the intent behind these review and inspection requests, it is of utmost importance that the association address them and respond accordingly. How an Association responds and reacts to these requests may ultimately save it a great deal of time and headaches later on. Therefore, it is a good idea for your association to develop a response protocol that addresses these requests both in terms of the language of the Michigan Condominium Act, Michigan’s Nonprofit Corporation Act, and the language of your governing documents. Continue reading

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Make Sure Your Enforcement Charges are Collectible

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Lawsuit Money

Attorney Stephen Guerra

By Steve Guerra

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

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