THE LAW OFFICE of DOMINIC SILVESTRI, PLLC



FOUR THINGS EVERY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE MICHIGAN CONSTRUCTION LIEN ACT

FOUR THINGS EVERY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE MICHIGAN CONSTRUCTION LIEN ACT Construction contractors are often some of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever met. And this time of year is no different. Unfortunately, many contractors are so focused on cranking out the work (which is to be expected and not a bad thing), that they often don’t have time to devote to other parts of their business. One important yet overlooked, part is understanding the Michigan Construction Lien Act and how it can protect their hard work in the event of non-payment. To simplify, I’ve summarized 4 things that every construction contractor should know about the Michigan Construction Lien Act: Notice of Commencement The Notice of Commencement is something that should be requested the minute the contract is signed with the general contractor. This document is important for a number of reasons. But mainly because it identifies some major information about any construction project: specifically, it identifies the owner of the property, the general contractor and the legal description of the property. This information is crucial to making sure your rights are protected. For example, lets say you are the roofer who just found out your bid was accepted. You’ve been dealing with a general contractor, but do you know who the owner is? If not, the Notice of Commencement will give you that information. This is important because if you don’t get paid by the general contractor, and file a lien on the property, the owner may be able to defeat your lien if they had no clue who you were or what you provided. In order to file your lien if you don’t get paid, you’ll need the legal description of the property – again, this is provided in the Notice of Commencement. Ask for the Notice of Commencement at the same time you get the contract. Notice of Furnishing Like the Notice of Commencement, the Notice of Furnishing is a document the MCLA requires so that parties involved with a project, in this case the owners lenders and subcontractors, can protect themselves. Parties who supply labor or material and who do not have a DIRECT contract with the owner MUST provide a notice of furnishing to the owner or lessee and to the general contractor within 20 days after furnishing the first labor or material. See MCL 570.1109(1). Failure to provide this form does...
read more

WHAT THE SUPREME COURT’S RULING MEANS FOR SAME SEX COUPLES WHO WANT TO BUY A HOME

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry, across the country. “What does this mean for gay couples who want to buy a home?”...
read more

Are We Set To Repeat the Mistakes of Our Real Estate Past?

Interesting article on the current status of home sales: Homes are Selling Like It’s 2006, NAR says
read more

Top Issues Affecting Real Estate Professionals

Interesting article: Top Issues Affecting Real Estate Professionals
read more

HOW TO EVICT A TENANT IN MICHIGAN

                  How to Evict a Tenant in Michigan Evicting a tenant can be a daunting task. It is extremely important to prepare, send and file the proper documents. Otherwise a court will simply dismiss your case and make you start over.  In the meantime, you are not collecting any rent and cannot take possession of your own property. Here’s an overview that may help. Of course, this should not replace the sound advice of a Landlord-Tenant lawyer: 1. Review your lease agreement. Does it address your circumstances? Does it give you a right to terminate your tenant’s lease? What is your basis for termination? This is important as it dictates what forms you must use to provide your tenant notice of your intent to end the lease. 2. Send the proper Notice under Michigan law: If your tenant has not paid rent and is in default of the Lease for non-payment of rent, you must use the form: Demand for Possession/Non-Payment of Rent; this is sometimes called the “7-day Notice” If your tenant’s lease has expired and you do not wish to renew the lease, you must use the form: Notice to Quit; this is sometimes called the “30-day Notice” If your tenant is causing immediate damage and/or causing a health risk, you must use the form: Demand for Possession,  Damage/Health Hazard to Property If your Lease has expired and you do not wish to renew the tenancy, you must use the form: Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property If your tenant is engaging in Unlawful Drug Activity, use the form: Demand for Possession, Termination of Tenancy Due to Unlawful Drug Activity 3. File A Complaint with the District Court in which the Property is located The type of Complaint you file matters, depending on which Notice you sent your tenant; you can and should use these form Complaints. Be sure to attach a copy of your Lease and your Notice to the Complaint; 4.Get a Hearing Date Most courts in Michigan will give you a hearing date within 10 days. Be ready and have all your documentation at your immediate disposable for this hearing. 5. Serve the Tenant with a copy of the Complaint Some Courts require you use their Court Officers to serve the complaint. This is not a bad thing. However, if personal service is not...
read more

THIS IS NOT A TAX BILL: FIGHTING YOUR PROPERTY TAXES

It’s that time again. In most communities, the end of February and beginning of March means more than just spring is around the corner.  This is when most municipalities send out their new Property Tax Notices.  This is also your only opportunity to fight your property taxes, if they are over-valued.  Unfortunately, most cities or townships send their notices with big letters stating: THIS IS NOT A TAX BILL “Great” you think as you toss that letter in the garbage. However, this is exactly what your local tax assessor wants you to do. You might as well be tossing your cash into the garbage with it. Every February and March, as we start to get glimpses of a spring long overdue, many municipalities send out their notices regarding what your new property tax values will be for the coming year. Although these notices often use the word “VALUE” throughout, most people either think “great, my home value has increased” or simply ignore the information.  However, these Notices could potentially cost you thousands of dollars if ignored. What is the Notice of Assessment? The Notice of Assessment is a form that indicates changes in the value of property and how these changes will affect your property taxes. You will see 3 valuations: Taxable Value Assessed Value State Equalized Value (SEV)Taxable Value. Your taxable value will likely increase every year. By law your Taxable Value shall increase by the Inflationary Rate or 1.05, whichever is less.Assessed/State Equalized Value. For simplicity purposes, your Assessed Value and your SEV will be treated the same. This valuation is approximately ½ the “true cash value”. The true cash value means the usual selling price at the time of assessment that could be obtained at a private sale and not at auction sale. The numbers give you an idea of how much this property could sell for and how much of that value you will pay taxes on. These values are important as your Taxable Value cannot exceed the SEV. Ever. So if you read nothing else in this article read this: Dispute your Assessed/SEV values to get this amount below your taxable value. Again: Taxable Values cannot be greater than the SEV! How to Read Your Notice of Assessment: click here How to fight your Property Taxes? Remember, you must start at the Local Board of Review. Contact the phone number in the Notice of...
read more