U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Repeals the “Cole Memo” – The Feds Take Aim at Marijuana Use

Attorney Mark B. DavisIn early January 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he had repealed the 2013 “Cole memo”, thus removing the primary barrier that had restrained federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana cases in states that have legalized the drug.  This action by the Attorney General signals a major change in the Department of Justice’s marijuana enforcement policy.

By way of background, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug under the federal drug regulation scheme.  This means that the U.S. does not recognize any legitimate medical benefit from marijuana use, and it is not recognized as a drug that can be dispensed for such purposes, even with a prescription.  Most uses of marijuana that are permitted under federal law are for research purposes only. Continue reading

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Medical Marijuana and Condominiums: A Growing Problem in Michigan?

Attorney Mark B. DavisThere is hardly any area of the law that is evolving and changing as quickly as the law surrounding marijuana, especially medical marijuana.  Almost everyone is aware that in 2008 the voters in the State of Michigan legalized marijuana for medical purposes.  We are now 10 years into that change, and still the parameters of the permitted use of medical marijuana are anything but clear.  In the community association context, there have been a number of growing problems (pun intended) associated with the use of medical marijuana.   Continue reading

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MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS RULES AGAINST CONDO ASSOCIATION AND INVALIDATES SPECIAL ASSESSMENT TO FUND LITIGATION WITHOUT A CO-OWNER VOTE AS CONTRARY TO BYLAWS

In a recent unpublished Michigan Court of Appeals case entitled Nottingham Village Condominium Association v. John and Jane Doe Pensom, the Court ruled against the condominium association, and affirmed the co-owners’ right to have a condominium lien invalidated because the association failed to levy a disputed assessment in accordance with the association’s bylaws. The Court also upheld an award of costs and attorney fees of $7,739.00 granted to the co-owners. Continue reading

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The Condo & HOA B.E.A.T. – SCHEDULE UPDATE AND CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

The The Condo & HOA B.E.A.T.
Board Education and Training
Presented by

Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC
Attorneys at Law

Experienced Condominium & HOA Attorneys

The Board Education and Training program is designed to educate Condominium and HOA Board Members and Property Managers regarding the vast array of legal issues that they face in serving their associations.

This ongoing series of monthly educational programs is free of charge and open to any Condominium/HOA Board Member, Manager or interested party in the community regardless of whether or not they are currently represented by our firm.

  • Always taught by attorneys
  • Always free of charge
  • Convenient locations near your community
  • Valuable advice given by experienced professionals

Reserve Your Spot Now! Continue reading

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JANUARY B.E.A.T. CLASS

CONTRACTING FOR ASSOCIATIONS

January 17, 2018

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

at

Macomb County Community College

Professional Development Center

44575 Garfield Rd., Building U1

Clinton Twp., MI 48038

The Holidays will be over and the BEAT goes on… Continue reading

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The Condo & HOA B.E.A.T

Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC presents

“The Condo & HOA B.E.A.T.”

(Board Education and Training)

A new monthly series of free educational seminars for condominium and homeowner’s association board members and property managers.

Serving on a condominium/HOA board can be a daunting task for the uninitiated.  In the interests of furthering education for board members and property managers, Zelmanski, Danner and Fioritto, PLLC offers a series of free monthly educational seminars covering a different condo/HOA legal topic every month.  These seminars are open to both existing clients and non-clients of the firm, as well as property managers. Continue reading

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TO AIRBNB OR NOT TO AIRBNB – HOW MIGHT THE AIRBNB PHENOMENON AFFECT YOUR CONDOMINIUM COMMUNITY?

PART I OF III

Your neighbor has decided to rent his unit out on weekends when he is out of town.  You worriedly wonder:  How will this affect you?  Is it even allowed in your condominium?  Will it have any effect on the value of your condominium unit?  The dawn of the brave new “AirBNB” era (short for “air bed and breakfast”) is upon us, raising many new questions and concerns for condominium co-owners.  This blog post (the first in a three-part series) will examine the basics of the AirBNB issue and the possible problems it presents for condominiums.

The popularity of websites such Airbnb, VRBO, FlipKey, and HouseAway has seen a recent boom due to the increased demand for short-term rental AirBNB’s.  Such rentals usually last for a period of less than thirty days, and sometimes less than a week (e.g., a weekend getaway, or a business trip). Sometimes the property owners stay at the unit during the rental period, but many times they do not. These transactions often involve an agent (such as the aforementioned website companies) who acts as intermediary between the property owner and the renter.  The agent company may also perform other services or functions related to the rentals, such as cleaning and minor maintenance of the rental property. Continue reading

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PARTNER TRACY DANNER-BOND AND SENIOR ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY RICHARD L. WAGNER, JR. TO SPEAK AT 43RD ANNUAL UNITED CONDOMINIUM OWNERS OF MICHIGAN (UCOM) SEMINAR ON OCTOBER 28, 2017

We are most pleased to announce that experienced ZDF attorneys Tracy Danner-Bond and Richard L. Wagner, Jr., will speak at an upcoming United Condominium Owners of Michigan (UCOM) 43rd Annual Seminar, which will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the MSU Management Education Center on Saturday, October 28, 2017. Continue reading

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6 BIG REASONS WHY YOUR ASSOCIATION SHOULD CONSIDER AMENDING ITS GOVERNING DOCUMENTS (OR, 6 BIG REASONS WHY YOUR BYLAWS ARE PROBABLY TERRIBLE)

By Gregory J. Fioritto

There are a myriad of reasons why it may be in the best interests of an Association to amend its governing documents, which include the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, Master Deed, Condominium Bylaws, Subdivision Plans, as well as any Board-adopted Rules and Regulation.

Here are six of the biggest reasons why Associations usually amend (in no particular order of importance, and with all due respect to Developer attorneys and Co-owner Landlords alike):

 

1. PURGE ALL UNNECESSARY DEVELOPER TEXT:

If your governing documents date back to the Carter Administration, there’s a good chance that they have never been amended and are still rife with Developer-related terms and provisions. Many Associations can greatly simplify (and shorten) their Master Deeds and Bylaws by simply removing all Developer-related terms.

Readers of your documents will thank you when they no longer have to slog through 3 Articles of intricate Expansion/Contraction/Conversion paragraphs in your Master Deed for no reason, or wade laboriously through provisions of your Bylaws addressing the transition of control of your Condominium from the Developer to the Co-owners (which may have happened for your community in 1982). Continue reading

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CONDO LAW FAQ’S: Late Charges and Interest

Is it acceptable for a condominium association to charge a co-owner both late charges and interest on unpaid assessments?

Yes. The Michigan Condominium Act, MCL 559.206 (c), authorizes an association to impose late charges on a delinquent co-owner’s account “as provided in the condominium bylaws or rules and regulations of the condominium.” Michigan courts have expressly recognized that the purpose of late charges is to defray the association’s administrative costs (e.g., bookkeeping services, etc.) incurred as a result of having to carry and address delinquent co-owner accounts. Continue reading

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