Homeowners associations (HOAs) manage many planned communities in Michigan. Various local and federal regulations as well as governing documents oversee HOAs in Michigan.
Who Regulates HOAs in Michigan?
In Michigan, there is no statutory law that specifically governs HOAs. Most HOAs are registered as a nonprofit and are regulated by the Nonprofit Corporation Act 162 of 1982 found in Chapter 450 of the Michigan Laws.
This law covers any type of corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, joint venture, or other association of any kind.
An HOA in Michigan is also regulated by its own governing documents. The governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and other rules and regulations. However, all HOAs are different in what documents they may or may not include.
HOAs in Michigan may be subject to applicable federal laws such as:
HOAs may be subject to certain state laws such as:
- Michigan Condominium Act
- Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act
- Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act
- Michigan Land Division Act
How to Find HOA Regulations in Michigan
HOA governing documents are public records in Michigan. Records can be obtained from the HOA directly for a fee depending on the turn-around time and business type. Other HOA information can also be found online at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
This site consists of HOA entity type, date of incorporation, agents, officers, and business filings. Any document filed with the Corporations Division of the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs can be purchased online for a fee.
HOA Powers in Michigan
In Michigan, HOAs have the power to:
- Collect payments for common expenses
- Regulate common areas
- Levy reasonable fines
Each HOA’s governing documents contain provisions regarding the powers of the HOA. The governing documents are able to grant more powers such as restrictions on exterior paint colors, fencing, membership, and parking requirements.
Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in Michigan?
In Michigan, HOAs can impose fines on homeowners as long as it is properly within the scope of their governing documents. The HOA’s governing documents will also likely note the amount and types of fees in the HOA as well as notice requirements for such fees.
An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit) displaying the American flag so long as it is consistent with federal law and installing satellite dishes and antennas.
Reasonable rules and regulations about the placement, manner, and display of the American flag and satellite dishes and antennas may be included in the HOAs governing documents
Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in Michigan?
In Michigan, there is no provision in the state laws that conveys if an HOA can take a homeowner’s house. The governing documents will note if an HOA is allowed to take a homeowner’s house and steps to take action.
However, Michigan has specific state provisions on condos that may be governed by an HOA. These types of HOAs can foreclose on a home for unpaid assessments and liens.
There is also no provision regarding evicting homeowners or tenants in an HOA. Condos run by HOAs are allowed to evict tenants for breach of any association rules or regulations. A notice must be provided to the tenant and given 15 days to correct the alleged breach before an action for eviction can take place.
Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in Michigan?
There is no state provision in Michigan that governs HOAs entering a homeowner’s property. Clauses of if, when, and how an HOA can enter a homeowner’s house will be listed in its governing documents.
Typically, an HOA may be able to enter a homeowner’s property in case of emergency, maintenance, or violation of any rules or regulations.
Except in the case of an emergency, reasonable notice should be provided to the homeowner before the HOA is to enter the property. A reasonable timeline can range depending on the reason for entry between three days and a couple of weeks.
Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in Michigan?
The appropriate agency to file a complaint against an HOA depends on the type of complaint.
If a homeowner feels they are a victim of housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Urban Housing, or file a private lawsuit in Michigan state, eastern federal court, or western federal court.
For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state, eastern federal, or western federal court within one year of the violation date.
A homeowner can bring all other complaints to state court in the appropriate jurisdiction by filing a claim.
Joining and Leaving an HOA in Michigan
In Michigan, there is no state provision on joining or leaving an HOA. These processes are determined by the HOA’s governing documents. Documents explaining the HOA and its membership rules should be presented at the closing for a new owner’s home purchase.
Typically, there are two types of HOAs that regulate joining and leaving clauses:
- Mandatory HOAs. When a person buys a home, they automatically become a member required to abide by any HOA rules listed in the governing documents. This usually includes that a homeowner is not able to leave the HOA freely.
- Voluntary HOAs. When a person buys a home, membership is a choice for each homeowner. If they choose to become a member, they may leave at any time by stopping their payments with the HOA.
To leave a mandatory HOA, a homeowner can sell their house or try to petition the court to have their home removed. However, there is no guarantee the petition will be granted.
How to Dissolve an HOA in Michigan
The dissolution process of an HOA in Michigan may be found in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, the board must first propose an action for dissolution at a meeting to HOA members. The members conduct a vote and must meet a majority approving the dissolution.
If the dissolution is approved by members, a Certificate of Dissolution needs to be submitted to the appropriate agency. An HOA is considered dissolved upon the filing of the certificate of dissolution.
- 1 Mich. Comp. Laws § 450.2131
- 2 Mich. Comp. Laws § 450.2261
- 3 4 U.S.C. § 5
- 4 Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule (OTARD Rule)
- 5 Mich. Comp. Laws § 559.206
- 6 Mich. Comp. Laws § 559.212
- 7 When You Must Allow an HOA Representative to Enter Your Unit
- 8 Can you refuse to join an HOA?
- 9 Mich. Comp. Laws § 450.2804
- 10 Mich. Comp. Laws § 450.2831