Royal Oak, MI asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan

Q: We're part of a HOA, but can't vote on rules changes. Should we be subject to rules we can't vote on?

We own a parcel of land across the state. We're part of a HOA, although our lot is separated by a half mile from the main grouping of homes that are on a cul-de-sac. The main grouping has voting rights on rules changes, but we do not. The HOA wants to change the Home Rental clause (think Air B&B) so that people can't rent their homes out on a weekly basis. We are against this, but can't vote on the change. The HOA says we are subject to the change even thought we can't vote on it. Is that even legal?

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

A: It is impossible to say without reviewing the HOA rules.

The 'short' answer is 'probably'

As a private entity, they can set rules however they want including the rules about amending and voting on rules. If you don't like that, you shouldn't have bought in the HOA. If enough people don't like the HOA, it will fold and not be able to sell property so -- it has incentive to not make foolish rules like 'you have to obey but you have no say over the rules' sort of thing. But MANY MANY people (not just you and I'm not pointing fingers!) don't read and review or hire an attorney to read and review HOA rules, and then complain about how 'unfair' the rules are!

I would urge you to both consult with an attorney now to review the rules and what you may be able to do, and also DO NOT BUY IN A HOA without having YOUR attorney review everything including the HOA rules, by-law and articles of incorporation. If a seller/mortgage insurer is unwilling to provide that information, run, don't walk, in the opposite direction and certainly don't throw your hard earned money at this!

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