There are more legalities that people often realize in the area of homeowners associations. It's not just the board members making arbitrary decisions based on whatever whims may pop up from one day to the next. Just like homeowners are expected to remain in alignment with the policies put forward, the board members and managers also have their own policies that they must adhere to.

Sure, some of these will require ensuring that the HOA is managed as expected, but that doesn't change the result. There need to be considerations for assessments for homeowner association fees, handling disputes, dealing with appeals of violations, etc.

Don't forget about HOA board member certification for HOA, condo, co-op, etc. While some of these are pretty straightforward, others are more complex and will certainly require legal counsel.

With that said, what can attorneys and law firms in Michigan do for a homeowners association?


Homeowners association lawyers assist in the area of collections. An HOA will need to collect assessments from the members who make up the group. This is mandatory as HOA dues are used to fund essential services and other key elements of the operation.

One look at the governing documents for any condominium associations or HOA will tell you that all property owners will usually need to pay. A homeowner may fail to pay for one reason or another, and this cannot be allowed to happen freely as it creates an imbalance.

When one person doesn't pay, that cost must come from somewhere. What will usually happen is that other homeowners who are a part of the HOA will be forced to make up for that lack of payment. Remember that the costs of community associations are going nowhere regardless of the circumstances that may lead a homeowner to be unable to pay.

Therefore, the onus is on the homeowner associations to ensure that they are very diligent about the collections. All legal elements of real estate matters tend to be guided by some kind of policy and this one is no different.

There will usually be a collection policy. The Community Associations Institute actually recommends having such a policy as it will ensure that anyone who is delinquent has a set process to go through. This means that there will be no violator who will be able to argue being treated unfairly assuming the process is followed.

Though an HOA is allowed to send reminders and requests, only attorneys in Michigan can perform legal services that can lead to the collection of delinquent payments. This is why professional homeowners association attorneys will usually be called upon to render these kinds of services.

Covenant, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) Enforcement

Whether it's Grand Rapids, Detroit, Sterling Heights, or elsewhere in Michigan, the rules of HOAs are consistent. If a person should choose to purchase a home in a community regulated by one, they are agreeing to abide by the CC&Rs set out.

Remember that one of the primary purposes of any such organization is to ensure that the rules and regulations are followed.

Bear in mind that these aren't mindless rules that appear out of the blue. Reviewing them will typically reveal that there are good reasons behind them such as retaining property values, keeping community members healthy, and ensuring that the expected aesthetic is maintained.

Overall, it's about ensuring that the community association members can enjoy the quality of life that is to be expected. The boards of Michigan condominium associations must ensure that the rules that are established are properly upheld. There may be limited exceptions, but these will typically be clear.

Note also that the contents of CC&Rs will typically allow the HOA to recoup any legal fees that were spent while taking action where violations may have occurred.

It stands to reason then that professionals in the field of homeowners association law will be called upon to ensure that the values are upheld.

HOA Bylaw Amendment

Michigan homeowners associations refer to CC&Rs for governance as indicated above. Be that as it may, these are not always going to be foolproof, nor will they maintain relevance indefinitely. Community association law, like other legal areas, is subject to change.

There may be certain circumstances that are not the case anymore. On the flip side, there may be new variables introduced to the governing of the HOA that will need to be accounted for. What if this affects key areas such as community homeowners association insurance?

That's just one possibility. It stands to reason then that the HOA needs to go through a process of reviewing and updating its governing documentation. Remember that apart from stipulating how homeowners are expected to act, these also need to be in line will applicable laws while meeting the needs of the said owners.

You would be surprised to know the extent to which ensuring that amendments are made can save significant costs in litigation proceedings.

Community association attorneys should always be a part of the amendment process since they will have a working knowledge of the appropriate policies and areas of law that need to be factored into the equation.

Note that there is no stipulated frequency when amendments should be made but general good advice says that somewhere between every 3 to 5 years is a good timeline.

Don't just proceed based on time though. If you can identify where new laws, requirements, or even types of technology have been introduced that need to be addressed in your documentation, reach out to one of the available community association lawyers to get the assistance you need.

Fiduciary Guidance

There doesn't have to be something wrong or something that could potentially go wrong for legal assistance to be required. Sometimes it's nothing more than having a working knowledge of key areas.

To this end, you will tend to find that Michigan HOA attorneys and law firms will also be willing to provide fiduciary guidance, as well as direction where meetings and voting are concerned.

Boards of directors sometimes need assistance in ensuring that they have a working knowledge of their duties of care including good faith and loyalty.

Tough decisions are just a part of running an HOA and unfortunately, not everyone will be equipped to make them at the onset.

Here, attorneys are simply meant to ensure that whatever actions are being taken align with the best interest of the community.

Additionally, the idea is to reduce the extent of potential liability that board members will need to deal with. If this is possible while gaining the confidence and trust of the community, then the objective will have been achieved.

A Few Great Michigan HOA Law Firms

Now, you know a bit more about what you can expect as far as services from Michigan HOA attorneys. The next question on your mind is probably what some of the recommended law firms are. Where do you go when you want to know where your lines of responsibility lie or when there is delinquency? Try a few of the options below.

Hirzel Law

Hirzel Law serves Michigan HOAs end to end with a slew of curated services to ensure that both boards and homeowners can remain within the realm of compliance while looking out for the best interests of all involved.

The intake process is one of the most seamless you'll find, consisting of an optional interview, a fee agreement, provision of information, and identification of the legal issues that may be at play.

Client services are to be expected and these are present including general counsel, collections, as well as CC&R litigation and enforcement.

However, there are other value-added services such as education initiatives, hotline calls, meeting minute reviews, and more!

Meisner Law Group

Meisner Law Group has been serving the state for over 40 years, meaning that there is a wealth of relevant experience for clients to benefit from. It describes itself as "Michigan's most experienced community association condo law firm" for a good reason.

The solutions offered include bylaw enforcement, assessment collection, mediation, and more. The team has an admirably relentless approach to working on behalf of their clients which is the kind of passion you will need.

Makower Abbate Guerra Wegner Vollmer PLLC (MAGWV)

MAGVW with the final option to be covered today and its approach is to do everything it can to make the lives of board members easier. This starts from a pillar of information and support to ensure that the basics of understanding responsibility, handling disputes, voting, etc. are properly covered.

From there, you can access the more "active" services including document amendment, collections, and the enforcement of your rules and regulations.

Need HOA Software?


While there are many professional legal experts certified by bodies such as the Oakland County Bar Association that can help you, there are actions you can take to make your own life easier.

DoorLoop has an end-to-end software solution meant to streamline your operations in the following ways:

  • Free website with a resident portal that makes payment, request submission, and more a breeze,
  • Automated payment implementations that cover rent, dues, penalties, and more
  • Manage your accounting with a straightforward interface and access shareable AR/AP reports, and more
  • Invite unlimited management users to carry out the required association tasks on the platform
  • Management maintenance, architectural, and other requests from one convenient place
  • Communicate conveniently via phone, text, portal messages, or email.

The Bottom Line

There is a lot that Michigan HOA attorneys can do for you. From documentation amendments to collections and more, you don't want to be on the wrong side of the law in a Michigan court.

Remember to lean on their expertise in the areas above. Additionally, schedule a free demo today with DoorLoop to see what the most convenient HOA software solution looks like in action.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!