Real Estate Law
The attorneys in the Real Estate Group at CMDA represent individuals and corporate entities in a wide variety of general real estate matters.
The Real Estate Law practice group is prepared to assist you with any boundary dispute matters that you may have. Boundary disputes arising when adjoining property owners dispute whether recorded legal descriptions accurately set forth the boundaries of adjoining properties. A claim for adverse possession is established when a property owner can demonstrate that they have had possession of real property that has been actual, visible, open, notorious, exclusive, continuous, and uninterrupted for at least fifteen years. A claim for acquiescence re-establishes a boundary line after the parties have recognized a particular boundary line for at least fifteen years. The real estate attorneys at CMDA are well prepared to assist you with respect to any boundary disputes with owners of adjoining property.
In addition to boundary disputes, CMDA also assists clients with the creation and recording of easements. In the event that an easement was not created or recorded, an easement by prescription can be created through the actual, visible open, notorious, continuous and uninterrupted use of another’s land that is not exclusive. In addition to the creation of easements, CMDA also handles litigation matters involving disputes as the scope of an easement and/or if the holder of the easement attempts to impose additional burdens on the subservient estate. The real estate lawyers at CMDA are prepared to assist you with any easement issues that you may encounter.
Development – Commercial
CMDA Attorneys have represented developers in connection with land acquisition, subdivision and/or § 1031 exchanges, environmental compliance and work closely with local governments regarding land use planning, zoning and platting. We also advise clients of alternative strategies for expanding, renovating, or disposing of commercial real estate holdings and establishing and modifying land use agreements including variances, easements and zoning to protect desired access, signage and building design criteria.
CMDA Attorneys will guide our clients through the due diligence phase of development and, at the conclusion, if our clients elect to proceed, CMDA Attorneys will help negotiate and draft contracts with architects, engineers and contracts. CMDA Attorneys will also help secure all necessary zoning permits and approvals with the appropriate federal, state and/or local authorities.
CMDA’s goal is to add value to each of our clients’ real estate transactions. Therefore, upon completion of the development, CMDA Attorneys will not only ensure the proper release of all construction and performance bonds, but also establish maintenance bonds and negotiate and draft property management contracts, office, and retail and ground leases to facilitate the successful conclusion and stabilization of the project.
Development – Residential
The Real Estate Law practice group at CMDA represents builders and developers with respect to all aspects of residential development. We assist builders and developers in establishing Condominium Projects and Subdivisions by preparing the Master Deed, Bylaws, Declaration, Rules and Regulations along with obtaining the necessary governmental approval for the project. The real estate lawyers at CMDA also prepare the sales documents, such as the disclosure statement, escrow agreement, limited warranty and purchase agreement, that a builder or developer needs to sell units.
We provide representation throughout the entire sales and development period, and assist the builder or developer in compliance with the Michigan Condominium Act, all the way through the date that control of the association is transitioned to the co-owners. The real estate lawyers at CMDA are also prepared to assist individuals and/or builders with respect to construction of individual homes and issues with building permits.
CMDA Attorneys help negotiate and facilitate construction development loans, mezzanine financing and/or permanent financing for commercial projects. CMDA Attorneys will also discuss with our clients the use of other options for financing a project that is best for them, such as, venture capital, equity investments, recapitalization or restructuring of properties and entities.
Landlord/Tenant – Commercial/Residential Leasing
CMDA attorneys handle all aspects of landlord/tenant law including creating and revising lease terms, handling problematic tenants, advising landlords regarding the landlord’s duties and responsibilities, filing evictions, obtaining possession and money judgments and utilizing multiple and various methods to obtain collections.
CMDA attorneys advise landlords and tenants regarding Fair Housing Act compliance, the Truth in Renting Act, the Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Summary Proceeding Act, the United States Bankruptcy Code and related legislative bills before the Michigan legislature which may impact commercial or residential landlords.
Land Division Act/Plat Issues
The real estate attorneys at CMDA can assist builders, developers and individual property owners with splitting lots and obtaining municipal approval for the same. While a lawsuit is not always necessary, certain modifications to plats, such as vacating, correcting or revising a highway, road, street or other land dedicated to public use require the filing of a lawsuit in a Michigan Circuit Court.
The Michigan Land Division Act, specifically MCL 560.221 through MCL 560.229, sets forth circumstances in which a court order is required to revise a plat, the necessary parties to the action and the requirements for fully or partially amending the plat. Upon entry of a final order, MCL 560.227a sets forth the manner in which title to the property will vest after it has been vacated.
The real estate lawyers at CMDA are prepared to assist individual property owners, builders and developers in property amending and revising plats, either litigation or other methods allowed under the Michigan Land Division Act.
There are two related legal remedies in the State of Michigan regarding annoyances such as smell, sight or sound and/or the exclusion of unwanted intruders: nuisance and trespass. A nuisance interferes with a property owner’s reasonable use and enjoyment of his/her property. A trespass is the unlawful entering of another person’s property without permission. CMDA attorneys represent landowners to protect and fight against such annoyances and to protect our clients’ aesthetic enjoyment of their property.
Purchase and Sale of Real Property
CMDA attorneys have the experience and knowledge to ensure that all parties enjoy a smooth closing experience. CMDA Attorneys offer full legal representation of both buyers and sellers of residential real estate. CMDA prides itself on maintaining constant communication with our clients in order to make the closing experience a positive one.
Quiet Title Actions
CMDA attorneys represent individuals and companies through negotiating the resolution of title disputes prior to litigation or by filing a quiet title action in Michigan Circuit Courts. The purpose of a quiet title action is to establish superior title against adverse claims to interests in real property and insures that any other potential interest holders’ claims to real property are forever barred and extinguished. Whether addressing claims for superior title or adverse possession, CMDA attorneys protect our clients’ interests in real property. In addition, CMDA attorneys draft and record the Notice of Lis Pendens in the Register of Deeds to give notice to the public of any pending action to quiet title.
Zoning/Land Use Planning
All zoning authority in the State of Michigan is governed by the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3101, et seq. The Act defines the responsibilities and the authority of the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals performs three basic functions:
- Interpreting ordinances
- Deciding appeals from previous administrative decisions
- Granting or declining variances. A variance allows for a divergence from a particular requirement of the zoning ordinance.
CMDA attorneys handle all aspects of zoning and land use planning from project conception through municipal approval.