Friday, May 27, 2011

New Legislation Bans Resale, Capital Recovery Fees for Residential, Commercial Real Estate in Michigan

Following the collapse of the real estate market a few years ago, a growing number of developers and home builders have been adding "resale fee" provisions to their sales agreements that allow the developer to collect 1 percent of the sales price from the seller every time the property changes hands — for the next 99 years. This practice was outlined by the New York Time in a September 10, 2010 article

Michigan recently enacted legislation that prohibits the imposition of such fees, also called capital recovery fees, on either residential or commercial real properties. PA 34 and PA 35 of 2011 were signed into law on May 24, 2011 by Governor Snyder. The new legislation takes effect immediately.

Under the new legislation, a transfer fee covenant that was executed on or after the bill's effective date, whether or not it was recorded, could not run with the title to the real property and would not be binding on or enforceable against any subsequent owner, purchaser, or mortgagee of any interest in the real property as an equitable servitude or otherwise. Any lien purporting to secure the payment of a transfer fee under a transfer fee covenant that was executed on or after the bill's effective date would be void. 

"Transfer fee" is defined in the legislation as a fee or charge payable upon the subsequent sale, gift, conveyance, assignment, inheritance, or other transfer of an ownership interest in real property located in Michigan, or payable for the right to make or accept a transfer, regardless of whether the fee or charge is a fixed amount or is determined as a percentage of the value of the property, the purchase price, or other consideration given for the transfer. The legislation includes a number if exclusions.

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