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Michigan Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Civil Rights for Michigan on
Q: Neighbor is recording me in the parking lot of our apartment complex because he is trying to prove I have more than

More than two car per household in the parking lot to the main office. I have two and my boyfriend has one- I watched him record me while getting in my car- is this illegal? Also he has been giving me a hard time he lives across the street- I believe he is recording as well.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 31, 2024

Based on the information provided, it seems that your neighbor's actions are concerning and causing you distress. However, the legality of his recording depends on several factors, such as your location and the specific laws in your area.

In general, in the United States, it is legal...
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2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for Michigan on
Q: Is it legal for a cop to sit in an apartment complex parking lot posted private property and pull people over speeding

I live in an apartment complex in Michigan in a little village and a cop always sits in the parking lot and radars people and pulls them over because there's a big speed trap right were the apartment complex is goes from 55 to 25 mph

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

In Michigan, law enforcement officers are generally allowed to enforce traffic laws on public roads, including areas adjacent to or near private property such as apartment complex parking lots, especially if they have a direct impact on public road safety. However, the legality of a police officer... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I purchased some land approximately 10 years ago people from a private subdivision have been driving on a short road on

Through it there is not an easement can i close it and not allow people to use the road

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 28, 2023

In Michigan, if you own land and there is no formal easement allowing others to use a road on your property, you generally have the right to restrict access to it. An easement would typically be recorded in the property's deed or other legal documents, so it's important to verify this... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Is there a Michigan law that states property owners are responsible for costs to maintain a private road?

2 long existing, private roads, servicing approximately 50+ properties. (large acreage parcels) These roads are in Menominee County, Holmes Township, in the woods. Ownership of the roads fall on about 10 owners, owning different stretches of the roads. There was never a maintenance agreement... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Nov 27, 2023

Without actually examining the title it is impossible to say what to do. If there were some sort of road maintenance agreement, either created before the splits, or agreed to by ALL the property owners afterward, this is going to be difficult. You 'complicate' things by saying there is a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What are my options if a licensed demolition company tries to put Lien on my property?

Hello,

I had my property demolished recently and post demolition the contractor is asking for more money than the agreed amount stating that the city inspections had them fix the approach to garage as it was broken. We had gone back and forth over emails and texts as whose fault its, with... View More

David Soble
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David Soble
answered on Jun 12, 2023

An attorney would need to review your current work order agreement with the contractor. Generally speaking, a licensed contractor has a legal remedy for when they are not paid on a particular project - they can record a construction lien on the underlying property, and, if payment is not... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Can my neighbor put a shed, coop, etc on my 60’ foot wide private ingress/egress easement that cuts across his property?

My easement is a 60 foot wide, private easement for the purposes of ingress and egress and public and private utilities. It goes through my neighbors property back to mine. He currently has a greenhouse, chicken coop, shed that he has put within a few feet of the driveway Over the past couple of... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Apr 16, 2023

The SHORT answer is that the owner of the land cannot put anything on the easement that would impair the use of the easement by the other party.

So. plant grass? Sure.

Put gravel down to improve the access? Absolutely.

Put in a fence or building that prevents using the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Can my neighbor put a shed, coop, etc on my 60’ foot wide private ingress/egress easement that cuts across his property?

My easement is a 60 foot wide, private easement for the purposes of ingress and egress and public and private utilities. It goes through my neighbors property back to mine. He currently has a greenhouse, chicken coop, shed that he has put within a few feet of the driveway Over the past couple of... View More

David Soble
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David Soble
answered on Apr 16, 2023

Generally speaking, the owner of the easement is responsible for keeping the easement in good condition. The owner of the dominant estate is the one who has an easement over another landowner's land. The proprietor of the servient estate is a landowner whose property is traversed by an... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: We want to buy a HOA property adjacent to us. What do we do to buy? HOA board want us to find out all steps to buy.

We have maintained the HOA property adjacent to us for over 30 yrs. By-laws don't mention the sale/purchase of hoa property but amendments must pass by 2/3 vote. If a vote was passed to allow purchase, WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS FOR US TO PURCHASE THE PROPERTY. The board has asked us to find... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Mar 29, 2023

Want to buy it as in 'and remove it from the HoA'?

Want to buy it and keep it IN the HoA?

Want to fraudulently report it as 'not a sale' so the HoA doesn't have to pay capital gains tax?

While the last one is 'shady and likely to end you up in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
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... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 18, 2023

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...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation, Municipal Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Can I legally move (via tow-truck / paid service) another person's car from my property?

Next door neighbor owns a car (junk, not running); the car sits in the back yard between our houses. The car straddles the property line. It's been there for years. I want to clean up my back yard, get landscaping, and put up a fence. The car must be moved. But, my neighbor won't move... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jan 17, 2023

IF (and that is a HUGE unknown!) the car is on your land, the neighbor is trespassing.

Are you 100% Absolutely Positively Undeniably CERTAIN of us on your land? You can have it removed but not necessarily onto the neighbor’s land — unless they neighbor consents to that. (You don’t...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Our neighbor is the owner of a shared easement with us. We maintain. Can I push snow onto their land . .

We maintain the land and have only six feet easement beyond the road at that point in the easement. She shares the easement in that area. Since she benefits and there is no other place to put the snow, if the land I push over the embankment lands on her land is it illegal?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Nov 26, 2022

Whose land is the easement on? Yours or hers? It sounds from your question that hers is the 'dominant estate' and yours is the subservient one?

If that is the case, then you are moving snow from HER land that you have a right to use, onto HER land, that you don't have a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: is there anything I can do about a blighted property? the city wont act. can I go over there head?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Nov 15, 2022

"Over their head"? Who would you expect to go to if the city won't act? The State? The Federal Government? A Supreme Being?

You can certainly take some 'out of the box' steps. Why not offer the owner a reasonable amount of money to buy the blighted property and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a twp restrict or deny multifamily zoning if it doesn't have any land zoned as such?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Nov 14, 2022

While there may be issues if the township has EXCLUDED specific types of structures from all zones, the lack of a 'multifamily' zoning district in and of itself is not necessarily an issue.

The FULL answer would require examining and analyzing the whole zoning ordinance and the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Business Formation for Michigan on
Q: Is there a minimum size of land requirement for a private particle accelerator laboratory?

Research and development physics laboratory that would include particle accelerators. For the state of Michigan

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Dec 9, 2023

Zoning requirements vary depending on WHERE in the state you are. Your best bet is to contact a local lawyer to provide specific information for the city/township where you are interested in building.

That said, there are LOTS of legal issues before building a complex thing like this, and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Can heir property be divided by percentage and owned separately by the family, even if the will says to be in unison?

I ask this due to certain family members getting in the way of decision making, payments etc.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Nov 28, 2023

Yes, particularly when there is agreement to an equitable division by the heirs. In fact, typically it is wiser to do things that way, and people should plan their estates with that in mind, especially when dealing with real estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Well house building dispute. Can we take quiet title or take adverse possession?

Five cottages which all used to be rentals until 1967 are only buildings hooked to the well house building which has its own address and bills come to me. A neighbor bought a cottage next door to it (which is not hooked up to the well house), yet wants access to it. He says building is on his... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Nov 7, 2023

You need a local real estate attorney to review all the facts and provide you advice. That is not something that can be provided in a forum like this.

Seriously — this is FAR more complicated than can be accommodated in a public forum. You need to hire an attorney!

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: If I bought a house from somebody and paid 95% of the home but the person did not have the deed yet and use my money to

To give them the rest of the money which was $900 and they went ahead and sold it to somebody else behind my back but I have been living in the home for over 5 months and the person that sold me the house had already had somebody come to the house once before with a gun and basically threaten my... View More

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jul 10, 2023

In Michigan, an agreement to purchase real property must be in writing to be enforced in court. This may be a problem if you file suit to enforce the sale agreement.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Is listing a home for sale as residential but is actually on commercially zoned property illegal?

Home was (and is now again) listed on realtor.com and zillow.com as residential property; my son put in an offer and paid for inspection and appraisal. A closing date was set. The lender called 2 days before closing and advised that the structure was actually on commercially zoned property and only... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Oct 11, 2022

Did your son use a realtor? I'm not sure the listing agent has any responsibility to your son. This sounds more of a ethical or professional responsibility issue to address, perhaps, with the local board of realtors, than a legal issue, unfortunately.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I inherited a lake house from a grandparent via a Lady Bird Deed, but the land deed isn't in our name.

They found a descendant of the original land owner and they are willing to negotiate. Our grandparents have always said they owned the land, did all the upkeep, paid all of the taxes, and everything that comes with it. Is there any documentation I should be looking for? Is there a way to prove it... View More

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Aug 25, 2022

Your question isn't exactly clear.

If there is a ladybird deed you record the death certificate and the deed is then 'in your name'

Are you suggesting your GRANDPARENTS didn't actually own the property they deeded to you?

Was there some sort of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: I'm buying a home that has an easement, can I legally build a garage that overlaps the easement

The lot is .52 acres, however with the easement the home and yard are on .30 acres the rest is easement

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow
answered on Jul 26, 2022

When it comes to infringing on an easement, it might be wise to first contact the persons who use the easement and ask them if they would be ok with you moving it. On the other hand, it sounds like this particular easement takes up a large portion of the useable yard, so perhaps this easement... View More

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