Now Accepting New Clients!

REAL ESTATE 94: Short-term lease violates property owners restricted covenants.

This case arises from a dispute regarding the application of restrictive covenants to a short-term rental property.

Restrictive Covenants

Plaintiff, a property owners association, enacted restrictive covenants to govern the lot owners of a subdivision. It asserted that the covenants provided that each lot in the subdivision shall be used only as a single-family private residence, and no business of any sort, other than a home office, shall be conducted from or on any lot.

In April 2021, defendant purchased lot 106 of the subdivision. It was undisputed that defendant advertised it as a short-term rental property on its corporate website.

Breach of Covenant

After receiving information that three lot owners, including defendant, were using their properties contrary to the conditions set forth in the restrictive covenants, plaintiff, through counsel, sent cease-and-desist letters to stop the violations.

Defendant continued to advertise and lease its property for short-term rental. Because plaintiff concluded that defendant used its lot and the home thereon for business purposes, specifically as a rental property, plaintiff filed suit.


Defendant filed a counterclaim. Defendant alleged that it reviewed the covenants before the lot purchase and determined that the covenants allowed it to lease the property, without restrictions, to a third-party. Defendant sought a declaration that the lease of the property did not constitute a commercial purpose or that leasing the property was exempt from the prohibition of commercial purposes.

Court Decision

The restrictive covenants, when read as a whole, require that leasing or renting comply with the single-family private residence and business restrictions and defendant’s short-term rentals violate those provisions. Although leasing of the premises was permitted, it did not allow a lot owner to deviate from using the premises as a single-family residential home. Advertising the property on the worldwide web for lease to up to 16 people on a year-round basis changed the character of the use from single-family residential into a business operation of the premises. The court granted summary disposition in favor of plaintiff.

Assistance with Real Estate Litigation

Are you involved in a real estate dispute in Michigan? Are you seeking an efficient and effective resolution to a property litigation matter? If you are facing a residential or commercial real estate, seek the advice of an experienced and skilled real estate litigation attorney at Aldrich Legal Services in Plymouth.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000

MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE 95: Property owners did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves.

When the delivery of a deed is contingent upon the happening of some future event, title to the subject property will not transfer to the grantee until the event has occurred. However, in this case A and J did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves, then deposited the deed with their attorney with the instruction to record the deed only upon the happening of a future event, thereby placing a condition only upon the recording of the deed.

MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000