Real Estate Attorney Sharan Levine shares details about changes coming to Michigan’s Marketable Record Title Act on March 29

In an interview with FOX 17, Levine & Levine Attorneys at Law Partner and Real Estate Attorney Sharan Levine explained details regarding changes that are coming to the Michigan’s Marketable Record Title Act on March 29 that could impact property rights, especially if a deed contains restrictions on what can be done with the land.

What's changing?

Previously, restrictions placed on your property (like building size limits or what you can use the land for) were considered valid as long as they were mentioned in your deed. However, the new law states that if these restrictions haven't been clearly defined for over 40 years, they may no longer be enforceable.

“Originally, the statute was going to be in place a couple years ago. But with Covid and the request for amendments, it was extended to 2024,” Levine told FOX 17 in her interview. “People don’t need to be anxious about this, but it is a good thing to become aware of if they can go back and find their deed and see how they took title to their property or find their title insurance policy.”

What does this mean for you?

If you bought your property before 1984 (roughly 40 years ago) and your deed mentions restrictions with vague wording, you might lose the ability to enforce those restrictions on future owners. This could be an issue if you live in a community where maintaining property values and aesthetics is important.

“Things like building site requirements, certain setback lines, what you can use your property for and what you can’t use your property for,” said Levine. “They may no longer be applicable to that buyer, which means that those restrictive covenants are no longer necessarily applicable. If you live in a community, which the neighbors and HOA folks will all want to abide by those restrictive covenants, something needs to be done to preserve and protect them.”

What to do?

  • Review your deed: Look for any mention of restrictions or covenants. Vague wording like “all easements and restrictive covenants as may be recorded” doesn't cut it under the new law.
  • Consult a real estate attorney: If your deed is unclear, an attorney can help you file the necessary paperwork to preserve your property rights.
  • Take action now: To ensure your property retains the value and character you expect.

Watch the full interview, here.

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