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Attorney General to Michigan associations: Condo act not enforceable.

Posted on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 @ 12:04 PM

I talked to the Attorney General today in Michigan. Guess what. There is no enforcement for our condo act in Michigan. AG does not have authority to enforce the rule. I was told to either sell, get an attorney, or get on the board. What that means to me is there are a lot of people on the boards in Michigan who can do what ever they want. They can abuse the condo association fees. They really do not need to account for the money spent. So I would like to get as many people together in Michigan as I can to see if we can change that. We need to have some way to enforce the condo act without people having to go to court.

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I completely sympathize with your frustration. Here in FL we have nearly the same situation. We have just boycotted our annual meeting, the only people who showed up were the board members. They said they had no meeting, yet the somehow 'dug up' 8 proxy votes. We told them there can be no voting for board members by proxy according to what we were told by the state of Florida, but rather they need to use a voting certificate which shows each person's signature. "not true" they keep telling us about everything. Our hands are tied, the state only makes suggestions and cannot step in, so WHY DO WE HAVE THESE RULES AND LAWS?!  
And guess what my friend, if you have any town ordinances (such as noise, no grills on the porch, no laundry hanging off the balcony etc) the cops cannot enforce it. Thats right! They consider condo buildings private property and cannot even come on to the property unless they're invited. So why have town ordinances that people are to uphold, if even the police cannot enforce them? 
Too bad the real estate market is in the toilet or I'd get out of here too

posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 8:24 AM by artDicicco

My husband & I live 6 mo. in Florida in a gated community made up of single family homes and carriage homes (condos). The problem being that the community assn. is governed by a HOA and not the condo assn. I was told by the former president that the community assn. does not have to follow the rules pertaining to budgets and their passage that the condos do. This is upsetting because now we have a number of board members who are doing what ever they want except for one member but she is only one vote against four others. The board is not presenting the budget to the rest of the community and are voting and adopting the budget without the community members permission. The answer I received is that they don't have to follow condo laws in Florida. They have their meetings for passage when the majority of the community aren't even present. (Late Nov.) What can we do? Is this Legal??

posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 8:52 AM by JoAnne Rudow

It's the same in Virginia. I was told to get an attorney or move. I am on the board and the other 4 members (who all had been on for over 15-20 years) and the property manager did not want to follow the Condo Act (or bylaws) and spent our money any way they liked. I think all condo owners across the country should be fighting for more reinforcement of the Condo Act. Otherwise, why do we have it? Condo Associations should be run like a business and when one is run badly they abuse money and power. Moving or getting an attorney is expensive and does not solve the problem. Even, as in my case, getting on the board does not help if you are the only one trying to make changes. Condo owners need better legal avenues and backup. Many people at my complex say we are living under a Dictator's rule, not Association rules. Unless the Condo Act is enforceable then everyone living in a condo is open to having anything happen.

posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:04 AM by AllieKel

So, does this mean that in Michigan, if co-owners refuse to pay for ridiculous assessments that the board decided to retro back 6-10 years for common area utilities, that the association would not be supported by the Michigan condo act to make them pay?

posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 11:59 AM by tja

You have to pay your assesments or the board can lien your condo. and if not paid take possession of your condo thru the courts. You have to follow the Master Deed and by-laws or you can be fined. Forced to pay again thru the courts that cost the board nothing to bring suit. At least not personally.

posted @ Wednesday, January 12, 2011 2:42 PM by l

I live in Michigan. If you are interested in forming a group to do something about the Mi. condo act you can contact me. Or even other states to make this a federal change. leahannkulin@yahoo.com

posted @ Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:12 AM by Leah Kulin

Can anyone in Michigan tell me if it is legal for the condo assoication to take it upon themselves to charge co-owners for commom area expensives 6-10 years after the fact. These expenses were already paid at the time by the developer. Now the new controlling association is wanting to go back the past 6-10 years and bill the co-owers for those expenses.

posted @ Sunday, January 16, 2011 1:47 PM by tja

In Michigan the only way to take care of problems with a board is with a attorney. You need to contact an atorney. If you are older than 60 you can call Elder Law for free advice. Or you can call Legal Aide for advice. They will let you know if what the board is doing is legal.

posted @ Sunday, January 16, 2011 6:12 PM by l

Same thing here in Washington state. If anyone wants to contact me I would like to work on a national level. No way to get information and always the same reply, get an attorney, move, or get on the board. The same things happens in most or all states. Some communities, I hear, are run well. But, the majority aren't. 
E. Rich

posted @ Sunday, January 23, 2011 5:51 PM by E Rich

The AG is not for there to fix your condo by-laws BUT if the management or board are misusing association funds like...stealing them. Complain to the authorities. Stealing is stealing and you can use the law.

posted @ Friday, January 28, 2011 6:54 PM by c

Quess what. When I finish going over everything with a fine tooth comb, and find out what is going on I will go to the authorities. I am just keeping notes right now. I have about 12 things that they have violated already. I am going to see what they will let me of the books. They are hiding something I am sure. Other wise they would not give me such a hard time see the books. There is no reason to bully people unless you have something to hide. There day will come.

posted @ Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:08 AM by l

Make sure you request the records in writing. Most bylaws require association records to be made available to members. Read your bylaws. Know your rights.

posted @ Thursday, March 17, 2011 2:47 PM by Julia

We have by-laws that states that any one time expenditure of $1,000.00 requires the approval of the majority of the townhouse owners. Our Board paid out over $19,000.00 for the conversion of grass to rock, in our area. The board removed that amount from our reserve fund and did not get any homeowners imput or majority approval. Any comments?

posted @ Monday, March 28, 2011 5:17 PM by Dom Tomasso

i have 57 units in a 298 unit condo assoiatoin in michigan at the last general membership metting i voted my self on the board was this legal?

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 2:54 PM by haary v bourke

i live in what has to be be the most corrupt condo complex in the united states. the board members (except for two) are self absorbed, excute personal attacks on co owners and, are flat out stealing. the manager is a co-conspirator in the kick back schemes that go on continually. furthermore, projects are being executed without a board vote. there is absolute proof of the theft. i have my own nightmare going on in the sense that there is a co owner in my building who, for several years has destroyed my garden, furnace, cut electric wires to my house, threatens my life, makes loud noise ( BANGING, POUNDING, SLAMMING, SHOUTING, SLAMMING POTS AND PANS 24 HOURS A DAY, RUNNING A VACUME CONSTANTLY, EVEN WHEN NOT ON THE PROPERTY).i hace been to court and there is a restraining order issured on this person. this person was jailed at the county jail and when he was released his behavior escallared. the police have isssued a disorderly person ticket to this person. the court as well as the police have indicated that the board and management need to be involved. this is simply not happening. i have been told and recieved nasty letters stating that this is an "inter personal matter". clearly it is not. i have had to leave my condo for 25 days in 2010 and now for 100 days in 2011 and stay in hotels as the neighbor is dangerous. also the police advised me that i was not safe in my condo. management and the board are aware of the facts yet they refuse to take any action, let alone enforce the bi laws on this person. i am hoping that someone can tell me what it will take to have this person be evicted from the condo complex. he is a co owner but i am hoping that the crimminal behavior is a basis to have him removed. the person also has totally damaged 2 of my vehicles. also, what action should i be taking against the management company and the board? thank you.

posted @ Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:51 PM by lilly porter

Live in a Michigan Condo Complex, Road has Potholes, it's crumbling, City knows about it, been to board meetings, but nothing City can do, Developer has not paid property taxes since 2009 that i know of, They are trying to rent out the former model, that started without even Co Owners approval. Any advice is appreciated.

posted @ Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:19 AM by Patrick

Our president has voted himself a contract, management office will not let me view financials and contracts (even though bylaws state co-owners can; bylaws are not being enforced which makes property look a mess. What can I do?

posted @ Thursday, March 01, 2012 1:05 PM by Dorothy wallingford

I am disgusted with my condo association/board. Our by-laws are not followed. Voting/ election process is a sham. How do we fight back?

posted @ Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:24 AM by Carmen Johnson

I have been meeting with a state rep. Anyone else interested can send me an email @ leahannkulin@yahoo.com 
What works best is unity.

posted @ Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:48 AM by Leah Kulin

Are there any Michigan condominium owners interested in meeting to discuss options to make our legislators more aware of the problems we encounter with respect to Condo Association Boards, and management companies.  
Has our state government taken a look at the risk of corruption and lack of accountability in all condominiums. This should worry anyone who believes condominium boards are transparent and free of corruption. Of course, no condominium is without flaws. Unfortunately, nearly every state’s regulation of condominiums should give residents cause for concern. 
There is no accountability in most state government for condominiums, which includes disclosure, financing , internal auditing, open meetings, and ethics enforcement. A review of the boards by residents, and watchdog groups, is essential to encourage board integrity. One of the most widespread issues throughout these condominiums is the lack of public access to information, which, is key to preventing other kinds of corruption and conflicts of interest from occurring. When you think about it, that is really the root of transparency. If residents can’t see how their board does business and decision-making, that’s a real problem Condo boards risk corruption without powerful watchdog agencies. In many states, the existing laws intended to ensure ethical action by condo boards lack real power. What we need in terms of corruption risk, is a statewide ethics commission. I suggest the reason many states need watchdog organizations is that the elected boards consistently vote in favor of restricting resident information, and preserving their power. 
Not surprisingly, the way to make boards have high accountability is by watchdog groups. This would lead to strict enforcement measures that would keep boards honest, and make information readily available. We as individuals should not be forced to hire an attorney everytime we need help with a board’s actions. 
Leah Kulin Contact Email: leahannkulin@yahoo.com 

posted @ Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:03 PM by Leah Kulin

i am on the bod with my association. i am having problems with the how the association is operated and the original bod's.  
i hired meisner law group in bingham farms, mi 
very good attorneys. they have told them to straighten up their crap. they even got their attorney involved. he did not know what was going on inside. so my attorney and their told the bod to straighten up their act or par the consequences. 
lastest was elections. contacted my attorney if they can hold elections like this. he said no our by-laws do not permit. the bod has been holding elections like this for the past 11 years. i lost the initial election after being on the board for 4 years. now because i have challenged their voting practices with a legal opinion. the president must now call a special meeting to hold the elections.  
i have spent a lot on legal fees out of my pocket for the protection of all 135 residents. because the bod not willing to obtain legal opinion. the bod has lost ever single battle.

posted @ Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:48 PM by john

I live in a failed condo conversion project in Michigan. We had hail damage in April 2010. Not sure if developer had units insured and pocketed the proceeds but we never got our roof replaced. In the winter people climb on our roof and take hammers to break up ice, this task is hired out by the developer. We do not have a homeowners association and were told we cannot until we have 75% ownership. Currently there are 56 units as apartments, 11 owned condo's. The landscaping has been let go for years now, no more underground sprinkling. We never received a master deed. We pay our condo fees to the maintenance man who lives in an apartment for free and does not maintenance. The developer raised our monthly association fees. I attempted to organize the owners for legal action and nobody can afford it. The developer dared me to pursue legal action saying his pockets were deeper than ours and he is right. I wrote to the attorney general and he cannot help. The developer erected a barn/shed in between two of the condos without a building permit. The township gave him a permit after the fact. The owner is a very powerful person in this community and people are afraid to take him on so we suffer in silence. We cannot sell because our condo's are non warrantable so 20% down is required of a buyer. We cannot refinance either for the same reason. Any ideas?

posted @ Friday, July 27, 2012 2:36 PM by Annie Luckey

In Michigan can a land contract holder be on the board and represent himself as a owner, when according to the county you must be a deed holder to be a legal owner.

posted @ Sunday, August 05, 2012 7:35 PM by Carol

Our BOA holds an open meeting for discussion and then goes into a closed meeting to vote. When I questioned if they followed Roberts Rules, the comment was "sort of"! Is it legal to go to a closed session for voting on general matters?

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2012 6:56 AM by Janet Holmes

I made an offer on a condo contingent on the tree blocking the only two windows being trimmed/removed but the assn said NO. Any suggestions???

posted @ Wednesday, November 14, 2012 1:43 PM by Felise

There is a way and yes a God. 1 AG will disolve non profit domestic corp. which most HOA's are, for fraud, criminal purpose, act INAM exceeding authority. see SOM DLEG re Corporations rules and forms. compare facts, . They don't proseecute, AG does so contact them. Did I mention the criminal conduct is a Misdeamoner $1000/ jail some none or both. good hunting!

posted @ Friday, November 16, 2012 7:29 AM by 2ND VOICE

2nd Voice. Where did you find this? Are you from Michigan? I talked to Ag and was told there is nothing they can do about asso. I caught them with their hands in the til, along with a long list of problems. I also talked to some politicians that said they will look into the condo asso. guidelines.

posted @ Friday, November 16, 2012 10:48 AM by l

The simplest way to describe step one,is remove the words Condo, Act and anything in ACT 59 from your mind. 2. See MCL 450.1821 repting non profit dom cor fraud. Condo= click, see DLEG occ.fraud,lic.etc. sorry this is short. nice thing about lies is whats left when their gone (yes go blue)

posted @ Sunday, November 18, 2012 7:23 PM by 2nd Voice

Co-owners need to come together with a plan to get a positive response from the legislature to do something to address this level of governing groups of people. Act 59 of 1980 speaks mainly to the development of these communities and the requirements of the developer rather than when co-owners take over the properties. We need a law that speaks directly to the development of boards of directors and how these boards will function in these communities with enforcement availability of the law. Only if there is a large number of citizens voicing their concerns in this matter, will the legislature pay it any attention. It seems ridiculous to have to do this to keep volunteer boards doing what they have volunteered to do--representing the best interests of the co-owners. Sadly, however, that is the case, apparently not only for my condominium association but many others. I have written my legislator regarding this but have heard nothing to date which has only been a couple of weeks. I am hopeful that some positive action will take place.

posted @ Monday, April 01, 2013 3:18 PM by nancy

Totally agree. Boards can issue legal action against owner based on 3 people opinion, Then use association dues to sue owners based on their judgement. We are forced to get atty to defend ourself even if there information is wrong. Cost us everything and board is protected. What happens when board member is out to get you?? You may as well pack up and move out. Unless your rich and can afford thousands in atty fee. Board would not be so apt sue a neighber if it came out of own pocket they would think twice. Some Board members control so much you can be blocked from getting on board and they never leave. They have unlimited access then use our dues to sue and harrass us.

posted @ Friday, May 24, 2013 4:49 PM by Denyse Clarkston

Same problem here in chicago il as above and like nancy

posted @ Saturday, July 13, 2013 2:28 PM by deb

We have a developer that is collecting fee's in his personal name? Will not give us accounting of reserves or give us a budget? 
What is the best route to take if Michigan is not enforcing there laws?

posted @ Sunday, December 08, 2013 8:23 PM by Sandy Dells

Is an association required to register by-laws that are 23 years old without change to obtain FHA financing approval for a potential buyer? Our by-laws were not registered when the complex was conveyed to the co-owners and the by-laws were used for all previous purchases and refinancing. We previously had FHA approval but it expired. Now the lending institution is requesting registered by-laws. Our condominium complex is located in Michigan. I am the president and have supplied all the documentation required for FHA recertification. 
Registering the by-laws is a new entity.

posted @ Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:04 AM by Michael A. Uleski

I'm at my wits end with an unethical egomaniac President. I was briefly on my board when we took it over from the developer, but I quickly resigned when I saw it wasn't for me...politics anger me. Anyway, the new President took it upon himself to run this place like he's Hitler. He's an ex CIA, ex prosecutor (was fired & he sued), failed politician and has a wikipedia page, he has made my life hell since. Not just me, most others I've spoken to. He will refuse a request then turn around and allow the same thing if it's for him. I could go on & on. Malicious prosecution...he lied & tried to have me arrested, but when the prosecutor saw the real evidence, she dismissed charges and admonished this guy. He's know in the Oakland County legal community as King James. I don't have the money to hire an attorney, he knows this. What do I do? I'm current always on my dues and I don't cause problems, I have a great relationship with my neighbors, but this clown does as he pleases. I've won on their bogus claims most times, but when they fradulently used the fire marshals name and what he allegedly said, I've had it. I have proof directly from fire marshal that they lied & he had not told them what they told us.

posted @ Thursday, February 06, 2014 2:52 PM by Jerry

My condo is located in Michigan. Once again, the only way to get the legislature to address the problems that they helped to create by allowing these types of communities to form, undoubtly because it created a large property tax base, is for all of the owners in these communities to come together to force the legislature into action on this. My letter that I wrote to my legislator was not addressed. The standard response from the state's department that originally had responsibility for enforcement and the legislature is to hire an attorney. When I purchased my condominum I was given a copy of the by-laws and master deed which was supposed to be how the association would be governed and was what I based my decision to buy a condo. It, however, had no meaning since our board and managment company, whose owner is a friend of the board president, simply ignores it and does as they please. We have tried to change board members but have been unsuccessful due to proxies being given to the president, who is then voting for herself and others she has placed on the board. This is due to many of the owners' apathy. There currently, to my knowledge, are no avenues available for the owners to force the boards and managment companies to follow the master deed and by-laws without costly attorney fees if you can even find an attorney who is willing to take a case without a large payout for them. This needs to be changed. If there are interested people, lets form a committee.

posted @ Friday, February 07, 2014 1:45 PM by Nancy

Here, in Michigan, this condo president SCARES anyone who goes against him! (I noted many others in this condo complex got medical problems {probably caused by the stress this condo president caused.}) Translation: Every condo resident pay the monthly fee.....And only people I like will have repairs done to their property!.......And I'm open to form a committee, with Nancy and others!

posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 2:55 PM by Lynne

As in many places of employment, when a company can't fire the employee, the company moves the employee out of their office into a higher office....The condo president, in the condo complex I live in, retired in a VERY HIGH position in this big company! Translation: he has a very irritating personality and is EXTREMELY annoying! (When I find damage to my property, I find his porch light (which is often turned off), ON! Take note on how WONDERFUL the condo president's property looks (as people he doesn't like, their property looks awful)!...A few years ago, there was a board to oversee condo associations in Michigan, but I hear this attempt had fizzled out...I tell you, for me to buy a condo was one of the worst decisions I made, in my life!

posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 3:50 PM by Lynne

Our condo unit has roof leaks since Feb 2014 with wet interior which was reported and they still have not done any repair. What recourse do we have? I am afraid since one leak goes inside the wall to the ceiling of the room below---that after all these weeks we have MOLD. I have an immune dysfunction and I am concerned for my health. What can we do?!?!?

posted @ Wednesday, April 02, 2014 11:08 AM by Cynthia Doniger

Lynne: I wrote one representative and got no response regarding this issue. If any action would be taken a large group of condominium property owners would have to come together to get action from the legislature. I believe a separate law needs to be enacted that establishes regulations as to how these types of communities will be governed after the developer has relinquished his ownership. The government created Act 59 in 1978 that addresses regulations of the developer and very few guidelines for the governing of these properties by volunteer boards and then took away enforcement in 1983. Of course, they created these types of communities for the high volume of property taxes that comes from bulidings where all separate units are taxed. Our Master Deed and by-laws allows for proxies for voting on Board volunteer positions so they collect proxies from co-owners that have no interest in being involved and vote themselves into office. Our board follows very few of the regulations of our Master Deed or by-laws. The only option I have been told is to retain an attorney. It is very expensive and most attorneys will not want to take a case they feel will cost their client more than what can be accomplished. I am in that situation right now. 

posted @ Sunday, June 15, 2014 11:42 AM by Nancy

My question is, HOW COME IN MICHIGAN, IT'S NOT LIKE IT IS IN FLORIDA! In Florida, it's required by law, to have a CPA firm look through the condo books, to see if there is any FRAUD!

posted @ Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:43 PM by Lynne

Our assn. in MI wants to change the CO-OWNER meeting to a RESIDENT meeting" .

posted @ Monday, June 30, 2014 2:59 PM by Felise

Jerry -your condo association sound like mine. Are you in Clinton Township? 
The BOD doesn't follow bylaws although they say they know them inside and out. They have had mostly the same members or their friends for years. They don't allow anyone to speak at annual meeting, don't send out financials, don't take minutes at some meetings. The management company doesn't keep the web site current. Information is 2 years old. 
I am composing a letter to make other co-owners aware of the things they are doing that are not right. I will mail at my own expense, cheaper than a lawyer. I may even go door to door. I 'm hoping to get enough people involved to get things changed. Nobody goes to the annual meeting because "it's only to elect the BOD" their actual words. Why waste a night to vote for the same people and learn nothing but their opinions. 
I may seek some advice from a lawyer

posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2014 7:13 PM by Debbie

Is there any way to have all concerned condo owners get together? 

posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 4:18 PM by David

I could not get books in 2011 filled case in 6th circuit court as pro, got order --but not about their poor services, still unable to get books, motions repeatedly denied, show cause denied no order for appeal, only partial documents given by mistake one time, for one motion appeal pending- the board is strong defendant can't fight and more so without attorney- main appeal denied with absurd arguments --- Now the board and the agent kramer triad troubling me by not listening for services-- tough but I am holding as retired and ready to file one more case. The judge while giving original order in 2012 " can see books" when I went again as a motion for not allowing to see books in 2014 was told file new case strange order- The judge does not look on the file evidence and comments you coming often- complaint to judicial commission -- like complaining to the friend ---will keep fighting for honesty -till breathing

posted @ Sunday, August 17, 2014 5:52 PM by shalbhadra bafna mD

Now I am director in one condo. association echo valley 48334-- the past president was dictator and finally removed by co owners -so only option remove and make other coowners active otherwise sit watch TV play golf at home and sleep in peace ==== don't take frustration on close by-------------------no one cares so be same BEST ADVISE OF THE DAY

posted @ Sunday, August 17, 2014 5:57 PM by shalbhadra bafna mD

Recently my HOA has administered a $100 fee per year to the owners of any units being rented. There was a change to the Master Deed seven years ago that the board could do this. It has never been initiated until now. In addition there has been no notices sent out informing owners of this. There is plenty of discussion about this with owners even though it is in the Master Deed. Doing some quick research first of all seems that law in Michigan does not govern HOA’s and secondly there is allot of discussion in other states that this is illegal in some and legal in others.  
Bottom line does anyone know of or have any information about Associations implementing a yearly feed to owners of rental properties. They stated it is because of the additional cost of renters contacting the association. Isn’t that what we owners pay our association dues for? 
Anyone with advice on this or where I may further get additional information would be great. 

posted @ Friday, November 07, 2014 3:05 PM by Kevin Neisch

I'm open to suggestions on what good attorneys I could talk with, to see of I could go to, against the condo association.......I'm never told of the condo meetings.....When I wanted to improve the inside basement to my condo unit, the Click (Condo board) called the police, so the basement foundation had to be stopped.......The only thing the condo association give me, is the yearly condo fee association book.

posted @ Saturday, December 20, 2014 11:36 AM by Lynne

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