Warning! If You Rent A Condominium or Live in One that You Do Not Own, You May Not Be Able to Challenge an Eviction by the Condominium Association.

Warning! If You Rent A Condominium or Live in One that You Do Not Own, You May Not Be Able to Challenge an Eviction by the Condominium Association.

| Jul 15, 2021 | Firm News |

 

If you are a tenant or do not own the condominium unit you are living in and your landlord/owner wants to evict you, you have what is called “standing” to challenge the landlord/owner in court. However, if you rent or live in a condominium unit you do not own and the condominium association governing the condominium wants to evict you because you have broken the rules, you may not have “standing” to challenge the condominium association in court.

Recently, in Harbour Cove Condominium Ass’n v Adzima, Case No. 21C-0310, 14B Judicial District Court of Michigan, Hon. Erane C. Washington, determined that under the Michigan Condominium Act (“Act”), only the owner of a condominium unit and not a tenant living in a condominium unit had “standing” to challenge an eviction proceeding brought by the condominium association.

Our firm was successful in its motion for summary disposition on behalf of the condominium association wherein we asserted that a provision in the Condominium Act, MCL 559.212(4), prohibited a tenant from challenging the eviction action where the owner of the condominium unit was provided notice that the tenant/nonco-owner occupant had violated the condominium documents and did not challenge the violation.

MCL 559.212(4) states:

(4) If the association of co-owners determines that the tenant or nonco-owner occupant failed to comply with the conditions of the condominium documents, the association of co-owners shall take the following action:

(a) The association of co-owners shall notify the co-owner by certified mail, advising of the alleged violation by the tenant. The co-owner shall have 15 days after receipt of the notice to investigate and correct the alleged breach by the tenant or advise the association of co-owners that a violation has not occurred.

(b) If after 15 days the association of co-owners believes that the alleged breach is not cured or may be repeated, it may institute on its behalf or derivatively by the co-owners on behalf of the association of co-owners, if it is under the control of the developer, an action for both eviction against the tenant or nonco-owner occupant and, simultaneously, for money damages against the co-owner and tenant or nonco-owner occupant for breach of the conditions of the condominium documents. The relief provided for in this section may be by summary proceeding. The association of co-owners may hold both the tenant and the co-owner liable for any damages to the general common elements caused by the co-owner or tenant in connection with the condominium unit or condominium project.

According to the Court in the Adzima case, this means that if you live in a condominium unit and do not own the unit and you break the rules:

  • You are not entitled to receive notice of your violation of the rules from the condominium association under MCL 559.212(4). Only the owner is entitled to notice; AND
  •  If the owner of the unit does not respond to the condominium association or does not challenge the violations set forth by the condominium association in the notice, you do not have the ability to challenge the eviction in court. Only the owner does.

The full opinion of the Court can be read by clicking: here

The defendant in this case has filed an appeal challenging the trial court’s decision. If this is an issue that may concern you or your rights, keep checking our blog for updates on the case. This case is what is called a “case of first impression,” which means that there are no cases of binding precedent on the issue.

If you have immediate concerns or questions regarding similar issues, please give our firm a call at (248) 349-6203 or email us below. Please be advised that we cannot give legal advice over the phone and can only provide legal advice to our clients.

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