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Michigan Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: How can I pay delinquent taxes and take ownership of a home?

My childhood home has two years of unpaid taxes and if they aren’t paid by March 31st, 2022 the county takes the home. It’s abandoned and no one lives there. I’m not the owner and I cannot reach the owner (I’ve been trying). I was told if I pay the delinquent taxes and get a tax certificate... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 10, 2021

You can’t just pay the taxes and expect to be reimbursed.

That procedure works if you purchase the property at a tax sale, which is the official sale once the taxes have reached the level of delinquency that you mention.

The procedures for bidding at a tax sale or complicated and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: How does a surveyor split land in half using legal land description

I bought some land in sec 2 t12north range 16 west also except north 250ft and 110ft w. Seller deeded all of property to me. Year later I deeded south half back. New owner had servey done and south half has 4.72 acres and north half is smaller. Records show that the qauerter quarter section has... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 2, 2021

Your description doesn't make sense. Did you buy a whole section except for the North 250 feet and west 110 feet?

A section is an area nominally one square mile, containing 640 acres. A mile less 250 feet in one direction and 110 in a perpendicular direction from the first is not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a landlord come in & take pictures of the house while your occupying it because they plan on selling it?

I am a renter of a house for 2.5 years now. The landlord is going to be listing it to sell, but can they come inside to take pictures for the listing while I live here with all my personal belongings in it? I do not have any kind of written lease agreement or contract. Just a month to month rental.

David Soble
David Soble answered on Aug 2, 2021

Yes, if the lease provisions allow for the landlord to show the home to prospective purchasers, then they can come in an photograph the interior of the property.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I purchased a piece of land in April. I have a quit claim deed. There were renters in the home and refuse to leave.

Do I have a legal right to inspect the home? Renters won't let me in.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 30, 2021

Inspecting the home is the least of your problems. Hire a competent MI attorney to file a possessory action for either an Eviction, or possibly Ejectment. The SOL is running and you may have already lost the Title, or your Deed may have been void for Champerty. You need a title search... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Purchase agreement signed and homeowner passed away. House was in a trust. Given to one trustee as a life estate.

In the process of buying a home. Trustee passed away after purchase agreement signed. Other trustee alive. Home was given as life estate to the one that passed. Trust stated he could sell and had to share profit with any living trustees. (Sister gets 1/3). Is the purchase agreement still valid?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 30, 2021

The most likely outcome is the successor trustee is contractually bound to complete the sale of the house and distribute the proceeds in accordance with the terms of the trust.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: If easement bridge is destroyed may I as dominant tenement completely rebuild it, at my expense?

My landlocked residence has an appurtenant easement to cross adjacent undeveloped property to access the public road. A bridge over a creek is part of the easement path. I am the only private user of the easement. The path and bridge serve only my home. The servient tenement property owner never... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 23, 2021

It appears as if you're looking for legal representation. This forum is for answering general questions rather than specifics, and the NATURE of the easement matters a great deal so no 'general answer' is going to get you what you want. As for case law, again, you need to hire an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: I live In Westland Mi. Can I use my security deposit to pay my last month's rent when I am moving out?
David Soble
David Soble answered on Jul 9, 2021

Generally not. Most lease provisions will prohibit using security deposits for the last month's rent. Security deposits are used to offset any damages or other fees owed to the landlord upon the expiration of the lease. However, if you and your landlord agree otherwise, then you should do so.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Lis pendens property judgement

A neighbor filed a lis pendens (adverse possession) on my father’s property ‘in 02. The lis pendens ended in a judgement in my father’s favor (got to keep the property, but no improvements could be made to formerly disputed property). The neighbor has died and sold the property. I purchased... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 6, 2021

The lid pendins is no longer relevant after the judgment but the JUDGMENT may still be relevant. Without seeing RHC actual judgment and any documents recorded in the chain of title however , it is impossible to know the current state of affairs.

Judgments related to land OFTENZ (but not...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What does this statement from a warranty deed mean?

What does this statement mean exactly in lay terms: ..."for $100,000 subject to easements and building and use restrictions of record and further subject to any encumbrances that have arisen under or through Grantee since September 2019, the date of the land contract pursuant to which this... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 25, 2021

This is 'common boiler plate' language for a deed granted after payment in full on a land contract.

It means if the land contract buyer did something during the contract that may have impaired the title, the seller takes no liability for that.

If you don't...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Michigan on
Q: Mom is in the hospital in California and wants to do a ladybird deed for her house in Michigan how do we proceed?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 21, 2021

You should have a Michigan attorney draft the deed, and then somehow, your mother will need to sign it before a California notary.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Neighborhood voluntary HOA now claims they are mandatory. They are threatening to put a lien on deed. Do I have rights?

I checked with the county records and there is definitely no HAO for my property. These people got together and just decided it's within their rights to create one. What can I do so I don't end up with issues when I go to sell?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 21, 2021

If you've never signed anything and there is nothing in your chain of title, there is no HOA.

If you've agreed to something then all bets are off however.

Without seeing all the documents however, we're shooting in the dark. You need to consult with a LOCAL real...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: A leasing agent is asking me to sign a lease/pay surety bond before I see the apartment. This legal? My rights? Options?

When I insisted I want to see my actual unit prior to move in, the leasing agent indicated I can’t view the apartment until move in day. I was informed in writing that if the apartment doesn’t need my standards I have the option to decline to move in. But that option will place my family at... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 19, 2021

Advice?

Seek a different leasing agent/apartment.

Would you buy a house without looking at it first?

There is nothing LEGALLY requiring someone to show you an apartment before leasing it, but there is nothing LEGALLY requiring YOU to lease it either. If they are unwilling...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: I have a money judgement in Michigan. Can I have SOS suspend license for nonpayment?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 28, 2021

No. But have you tried filing for a debtor's exam with the court? If debtor doesn't show up, you can ask the court for a bench warrant. If they do show up, they must produce information regarding their assets under oath.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Our neighbor followed our property surveyor around as he staked our property last week…he verbally shouted at my husband

Immediately after surveyors left the neighbor appeared in his driveway abruptly and shouted toward my husband and I that “ it will all be moved tomorrow” and “ he isn’t approaching us about it…it will be handled”

What is our next action legally as he has not removed his fence... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 24, 2021

You need to 1) document where the survey stakes are and include in the photo things like how far the fence is from the corners etc, by photographing tape measures along with the features of the land etc.

2) get a copy of the written survey report which ideally will also show these...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Does the CDC eviction moratorium apply to land contract forfeiture?
David Soble
David Soble answered on May 23, 2021

No. Land Contracts are not leases and occupants under a land contract are purchasers, not tenants. In either case, during the pandemic, the court dockets have long delays, so if you can work out a settlement with the other party to resolve your issues, it will benefit both sides.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal for real estate selling company to require purchase merchandise credit for store where outlot is located?

purchasing an outlot piece of land and they are tying theland purchase to the requirement to purchase a merch credit of 15% of the sale price at closing-- we would never purchase that much of material from them-- seems very shady

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 19, 2021

I’m not sure exactly what they are requesting, but they can ask anything that is not illegal.

You don’t have to agree to the terms requested though.

However — and I can’t emphasize this enough — before you sign an offer to purchase you absolutely should have it reviewed...
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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a hand written receipt legally binding on the sale of a house

Friend of mine sold me her house for very little money, and now a year later wants to take it back. I have a signed receipt from her and her ex husband. Will that be enough to stop her from kicking me out?

David Soble
David Soble answered on May 13, 2021

The best receipt for a home sale is a deed. Anything else is suspect and may not evidence the parties intent. See more at www.provenresource.com

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I cancelled my purchase agreement...Seller will not sign release

I, the buyer, entered into a purchase agreement which stated closing would occur by 4/23. On 4/28, I instructed my realtor to cancel agreement. Seller refuses to sign release and my realtor is suggesting that I offer up a portion of my earnest money deposit to the seller to cover money spent with... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on May 11, 2021

The answer depends upon whether your realtor is correct is his or her assessment of the issue whether you were within your rights when you claimed to cancel the agreement. You have not provided enough information to permit an assessment of that issue.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can sellers realtor sue me if I cancel purchase agreement when closing did not occur by date listed in Purch. Agreement?

My realtor says I was within my right to cancel but also suggests I release all or part of earnest money to seller to make the sellers broker go away. Will I end up paying more if he takes this to court? Closing was to occur by 4/23 and I cancelled on 4/28.

David Soble
David Soble answered on May 4, 2021

Generally "no," the seller's agent has no rights against you directly for commission or any other fees. Their agreement is between the seller only. However, a buyer's agent can bring an action against you for their portion of the commission that buyer agent would have earned... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Am I able to sue for damages of undisclosed fire damage in my home?

Hello, hopefully I can get some answers as local attorneys i've spoken with have told me I am out of luck. Approximately two years ago I purchased my first home. Last year when I went to replace drywall and flooring I discovered that my home was structurally unsound, even being condemned by... Read more »

David Soble
David Soble answered on May 1, 2021

Past fire damage is definitely something that a seller should disclose about their home if indeed the seller knew about the past fire damage and that it affected the structural integrity of the property (known structural issues are a line item on the disclosure form).

Under Michigan law,...
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