Brighton, MI asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan

Q: If a home is part of a HOA, is the owner legally responsible to disclose that to the new owner/protentional buyer?

I purchased my home back in March this year and I wish to put up an additional garage/pole barn (following all local permit rules). Some of the neighbors have mentioned that this cul-de-sac was a part of a HOA years ago. This was never disclosed to me and I was never given any information during purchase of the home about a HOA. None of my neighbors that I have talked to pay a association fee, nor have I been informed that I need to do so. If this home was part of a HOA in the past, could I be liable if I put up and garage and it goes against any rules that I was never informed of? I just don't want to put up a garage and have a neighbor come back on me, after the fact, and force legal action, causing me to remove the garage. I want to make sure I have leverage in this situation.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Howell, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Because there was a HOA at one point does not mean there still is. Failure to disclose, failure to collect dues, failure to provide you notice etc all point toward it may not exist any more.

PLEASE take your paperwork to a local real estate attorney to review ASAP (as you should have done when buying the place) to review the title work and determine what if anything may be hiding out there. There is no way to know what if any consequences there may be at this point, but obviously, getting the appropriate building/zoning permits is a 'first step' and if no one complains from a potential HOA then you're probably going to be OK.

The cost to have the closing paperwork reviewed is not going to be large, and will provide some real answers and peace of mind. Don't delay.

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