Landlord – Tenant
Real estate law is a diverse area of practice which ranges from relatively simple landlord-tenant matters and residential purchase agreements to complex commercial transactions. Click below to find out more about each sub-practice areas – and contact us if we can assist you with your real estate needs.
Residential Real Estate
Most residential real estate transactions in Michigan are often handled without the advice of an attorney. Unfortunately, this can lead to a variety of problems down the road – problems that can be avoided by engaging with an attorney early on in the negotiation. We work with many individuals, real estate agents and brokers in the area to review your purchase agreement before it is signed to ensure that it is drafted to meet your situation.
If you have already entered into a purchase agreement and problems have arisen, we will represent your interests while helping you navigate the process. In addition to the initial transaction, we can also help you deal with title concerns, easements, boundary disputes, and a host of other issues that residential real estate often involves.
Commercial Leasing and Real Estate Acquisition
Whether you need to buy, sell, or lease commercial property, our attorneys have the experience and expertise to facilitate a smooth transaction. Our experience ranges from small, single-use buildings to multimillion-dollar office and commercial buildings. Commercial real estate purchases and sales involve a variety of complicated issues ranging from ensuring environmental and zoning compliance to securing appropriate financing and investment backing. We will guide you through the process to ensure that your transaction is handled thoroughly and professionally.
Commercial property also often involves commercial leasing, which can be highly complex. We provide advice to both tenants and landlords, and will handle your lease from preparing an initial letter of intent to negotiating the final lease terms.
Real Estate Holding Companies
Purchasing real estate often means entering into an investment partnership which often takes the form of a limited liability company. Real estate holding companies are unique, and carefully structuring the relationship among the owners is of paramount importance, especially where the owners have varied responsibilities (it is not uncommon where 1 owner provides the capital and the other owner provides the skilled labor and construction management).
Real Estate Development
We have successfully represented clients in multiple development projects, ranging from site condominium projects, traditional condominium projects, and commercial developments.
Because we represent numerous contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, we understand the construction business and the importance of the Michigan Construction Lien Act (“Act”). We have handled a wide variety of construction lien-related matters including but not limited to issues related to the Notice of Commencement, the Notice of Furnishing, Sworn Statements, Lien Waivers, Claim of Lien, enforcement of liens, collections under liens and avoidance of liens. It is critical that you follow the process under the Act every step of the way. If you do not understand how and when to use the Act, please contact us to take advantage of the advantages of the Act – while avoiding the harsh outcome if the Act is not followed correctly.
Joel is an expert in the Michigan Construction Lien Act and the Michigan Builders Trust Fund Act and has been interviewed by local news source, Fox 17. Click on the following link for more information.
Condominiums / Condominium & Homeowners Association
The Michigan Condominium Act can be a stumbling block both for developers, owners and the Association that manages the project. We help developers to ensure that the condominium documents are competently and professionally drafted, and suited to the project. For an existing condo project, we help numerous associations review their documents, determine if updates are necessary, prepare the necessary updates, and assist with the ongoing management of the project as issues arise.
We have drafted numerous land contracts when the situation calls for seller-financing. These unique transactions should not be undertaken lightly, but can be very beneficial when appropriately used and the documents drafted accordingly.
Landlord / Tenant
Michigan landlord / tenant laws can be stumbling blocks to many landlords. We guide them through the eviction process where necessary, and assist on the proper disbursement of a security deposit – a common area where landlords must be certain to comply with the deadlines and requirements under State law.
Property taxes in Michigan are supposed to be at a level which does not exceed the fair market value of a piece of real estate. Property taxes are also supposed to remain “capped” even if the value has increased, and are not supposed to “uncap” unless certain transfers occur. Unfortunately, taxes often are higher than they should be by law, which requires a tax appeal. We have successfully handled multiple property tax appeals at the local level and in the Michigan Tax Tribunal for owners of both residential and commercial real property. We have also assisted many families in avoiding the “uncapping” of real property taxes for a family cottage, resulting in substantial savings to our clients in the short and long term.
Zoning laws have become increasingly complex, with municipal zoning codes often running to hundreds of pages. Our attorneys are experienced in deciphering zoning codes and determining what is and is not acceptable on a particular piece of property. We have successfully worked with many local municipalities in obtaining zoning approval of a project, whether it is in the form of a variance or even a re-zoning application.
Our attorneys can also assist you with areas such as real estate financing, real estate litigation, adverse possession / quiet title, cottage law, riparian rights, survey reviews, and title examination. Our experience in real estate law is broad and diverse, yet tailored to meet the needs of your specific situation.