Commercial lease on desk with rent payment, keys, and calculator

Commercial Leases and Frustrated Purposes

Unlike residential tenants, most commercial tenants were not relieved of the obligation to pay rent during the pandemic. In a recent case, the tenant alleged that the purpose of the lease—to use the property to operate a gym—was frustrated by the… Read More
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Pay Rent marked on calendar

Michigan’s New Universal Assignment of Rents Act

Commercial property owners wishing to obtain financing will likely be required by their lender to sign a document generically referred to as an “assignment of rents and leases” as additional security for repayment of the loan. In the even… Read More
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Hands of different generations in family holding family cottage

In the Family

A family cottage can be a gathering place that brings loved ones together generations to come. Unfortunately, without a proper succession plan, disputes over ownership and operation can lead to litigation among the family. Consider the example of a c… Read More
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A Property Tax Tug-Of-War

A Property Tax Tug-Of-War

Retaining a principal residence exemption (“PRE”) can sometimes be tricky. (The PRE exempts a homeowner’s principal residence from property taxes levied for school operating expenses.) Naturally, the tax assessor wants to collect every tax doll… Read More
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Tangled Title

Tangled Title

Recently, frantic ads have warned that thieves can record forged documents to steal title to your home. While title theft insurance companies claim to offer protection to homeowners, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a policy: A fo… Read More
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Stake a Claim

Stake a Claim

In early spring of 2019, a home was damaged by fire, nearly a year after the homeowner’s death. The heirs submitted a claim under the homeowner’s policy, which had been issued in the name of the deceased. The insurance carrier denied the claim, c… Read More
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As Intended

As Intended

In the 1960s, the owner of lakefront property sold two parcels that were not on the lakefront and granted a 20-foot-wide easement across his lakefront parcel “for access to [the] Lake.” The owners of the “back lots” installed a dock w… Read More
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Title Insurance Essential…

Title Insurance Essentials

A few weeks ago, I used this forum to write about the importance of purchase agreements in every real estate transaction. This time I want to address title insurance. With each real estate deal, sellers need to make sure they own what they’re selli… Read More
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Purchase Agreement Essent…

Purchase Agreement Essentials

Because it sets forth the terms of sale and the relative rights and obligations of the parties, the purchase agreement remains the single most important document in any real estate transaction – residential or commercial. While not all purchase agr… Read More
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"Let the Seller Beware"

There’s an old proverb, “Let the buyer beware.” A recent opinion issued by the Michigan Court of Appeals (Galvan v Poon, Mich App No. 76047, August 19, 2021), however, has turned this time-honored legal principle a bit on its head. In Michigan,… Read More
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