Second Home Legal Checklist

Legal Considerations for Owning a Second Home

Whether it’s a summer home, an inheritance, or a rental property, owning a second home comes with its share of legal implications. Consider the following tips for your second home.

UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS FOR OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE.

● A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to ownership structure.
Determining the proper structure is a fact dependent analysis with significant,
long-term consequences. Whether your second home is structured as sole ownership,
joint tenancy, joint tenancy in common, a partnership, or some other ownership
structure, may impact, among other things:
○ Tax liability;
○ Succession;
○ Selling options;
○ The division of property in a divorce proceeding.

DEVELOP A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

● If multiple individuals are involved, defining responsibilities and authority is critical. (For example, who has the authority to make financial decisions?) A written agreement can help effectuate smooth operation of the property.
● In certain circumstances, setting up a trust may make sense.

CONSIDER THE IMPLICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR RENTING THE PROPERTY.

Landlord-Tenant Law – The landlord-tenant relationship is highly regulated. Familiarize yourself with the laws of the state where your property is located.
Insurance – Options may include property insurance, personal liability insurance, and rent insurance. Make sure your policy meets your needs.
Lease Agreement – Being a landlord brings increased liability. Ensure you are using a written lease that properly protects your rights and interests.
Property Management – Consider whether you have the time, knowledge, and desire to manage the property on your own or if hiring an outside property management company is a better fit.
Tax Implications – Whether you are operating your rental property as an
investment or a business is just one of the many factors that will have tax consequences.

Understanding how these decisions will impact your tax liability may greatly affect
your bottom line. A qualified accountant can offer guidance on this and other tax-related concerns.

If you have questions or need assistance with your second home, contact the real estate team at Viviano Law.

Advising Municipalities on Medical Marijuana Issues

We have prepared a series of articles to help municipalities throughout Michigan make sure they are ready for the new Medical Marijuana laws.
Monday (August 21st) was be the second of three meetings of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing board.
By December, the State Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will promulgate rules for the new Medical Marijuana laws.

Viviano Law named to 2017 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers

Viviano Law has once again been named a Metro Detroit Tier One “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers for 2017. According to U.S. News Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms” rankings “are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys…and review of additional information provided by law firms.”

Center Line renames complex for late mayor Hanselman

On Saturday, June 4 the city of Center Line held a ceremony to honor late mayor David W. Hanselman with the renaming of the municipal offices at 10 Mile Road and Lawrence Avenue as the David W. Hanselman Municipal Complex.HANSELMAN-complex-main-800x600

Viviano Law, city attorneys for the city of Center Line, and members of the Viviano family, including Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano, Macomb Circuit Judge Kathryn Viviano and retired Circuit Judge Antonio Viviano, are proud to contribute to and be a part of the renaming of the building.

Read the full article from the Macomb Daily here:

Center Line to rename complex Saturday for late mayor Hanselman

 

Commercial Property Tax Appeal

It’s property tax season.  By now, all commercial property owners should have received their Notice of Assessment for their 2016 property taxes from the Michigan Department of Treasury.  If you’re considering a new tax appeal, here are a few basic tips:
  1. The deadline to appeal your property’s assessment is May 31, 2016.  MCL 205.735a(6).
  2. You can only appeal your 2016 assessment.  MCL 211.2(2) states, “[t]he taxable status of * * * real * * * property for a tax year shall be determined as of each December 31 of the immediately preceding year.”
  3. Generally, you’re required to pay the property taxes when they become due, but this requirement may be waived at tribunal’s discretion.  MCL 205.743(1) states “If the date set by law for the payment of taxes has passed, the tribunal shall not make a final decision on the entire proceeding until the taxes are paid. This requirement may be waived at the tribunal’s discretion.”
It’s important to note that if you miss the May 31, 2016 filing deadline, you will lose your right to appeal the assessment.

 

Congratulations Judge Viviano!

The Honorable Kathy A. Viviano, a founding partner of Viviano Law, has been selected as one of the top Circuit Court Judges in Macomb county as part of Dbusiness’ 2016 Top Lawyers Peer Review Survey.  Congratulations Judge Viviano!

Joe Viviano Named to DBusiness Magazine’s 2015 Top Lawyers List

Joseph E. Viviano has been name to DBusiness Magazine’s 2015 Top Lawyers List.  This year, DBusiness magazine partnered with Best Lawyers in America, the pre-eminent referral guide to the legal profession.  Each attorney surveyed was asked to nominate lawyers among more than 100 legal specialties.  Mr. Viviano was named to the list of Top Lawyers in the field of commercial litigation.

Michigan's Procrustean Deed Restriction Jurisprudence: It is Time to Correct Michigan's Accidental Deed Restriction Caselaw" title="Michigan’s Procrustean Deed Restriction Jurisprudence: It is Time to Correct Michigan’s Accidental Deed Restriction Caselaw">

Michigan's Procrustean Deed Restriction Jurisprudence: It is Time to Correct Michigan's Accidental Deed Restriction Caselaw

In 1934, the Michigan Supreme Court cautioned, “Building restriction cases are governed by particular facts, and it is neither possible nor desirable to establish a measuring stick and thereafter cut cases to fit, for that would be too Procrustean.”1 Procrustes is the figure in Greek mythology who chopped or stretched his victims to make them fit into an iron bed. Nearly 80 years after this warning, through a traceable mutation of the law, Michigan courts apply just such a Procrustean measuring stick in deed restriction cases—with the predicted arbitrary, unjust, and incorrect results.

Click here to read more.

Viviano Law Named to 2015 “Best Law Firms” List by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers

Viviano Law has been named a Metro Detroit Tier One law firm in the area of Commercial Litigation by U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers for 2015. According to the U.S. News website, the rankings “are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys…and review of additional information provided by law firms.”