Question

Can a Michigan condominium or homeowner’s association change its bylaws?

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Adam Randall - Real Estate - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Adam Randall

Located in Northville, MITilchin & Hall, P.C.

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There are many reasons why Michigan property owners would seek change to their association bylaws. The bylaws affect several aspects of their property as well as the lifestyle of those within it. It is not always a simple process, but condominium and homeowners associations can change their bylaws.

Putting The Change To A Vote

First, the individuals or parties desiring the change will propose an amendment, and then a vote takes place on whether to approve the proposed change. The voters will include the co-owners and mortgagees of properties within the association. For the amendment to pass, there must be a two-thirds approval vote. The mortgagees will have one vote for each held mortgage, and they do not need to be present for the vote as long as they provide a written ballot. However, each mortgagee must receive copies of pertinent documents from the association, including:

  • A statement containing the number of units mortgaged
  • A ballot for the approval or rejection of the amendment
  • A date on which return of the ballot is due
  • Their own copy of the proposed amendment

The date on which the vote takes place is also known as the “control date.” Only those in ownership or possessing a mortgage under the association as of the control date may vote.

Reasons To Amend Association Bylaws

The environments in and surrounding residential property are no exception to the ever-changing world around them. People buy, rent and sell their property. New cultures enter the conversation, and others evolve from within. The principles by which we form governing documents — such as bylaws — transform over time. An association might seek change to their bylaws for reasons including those related to:

  • Resale marketability
  • Issues with pets
  • Improperly maintained landscape or parking situations
  • Current bylaws no longer serving the best interest of the owners
  • Bylaw clarity issues – instances in which the bylaw confuses most or all of whom it affects

There are some cases in which condominium documents may be changed without permission from mortgagees and co-owners. But that is only the case if the change does not alter the rights of those mortgagees and co-owners.

For more information regarding association bylaws, contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can examine all related documents and knows what questions to ask to ensure associations have your best interests in mind.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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