Archive for July, 2019

Michigan Business Law Update on Bill that would allow LLCs to evict tenants without Attorneys. Despite Opposition, Bill Moves Forward.

Happy Friday!

It is summer – my favorite time of year. There really is no better place to be during summer than Michigan. I hope you are all enjoying it.

For those keeping track of House Bill 4509  proposed on April 25, 2019 that would allow some LLCs to evict tenants in limited circumstances without attorneys the Bill was dealt recent opposition from the State Bar of Michigan’s Real Property Section.

On May 15, 2019, The Real Property Section voted 16-0 (one abstaining) against the Bill.

The rationale given by the Section:

” HB4509 essentially creates a small claims type of case for landlord-tenant disputes by removing the requirement that LLCs be represented by attorneys in landlord-tenant proceedings for certain 1- or 2-member LLCs; the legislation is problematic for tenants and courts, as it would be difficult to ascertain whether an LLC meets the requirements set forth in the bill; and, further, the proposed legislation opens the door for unscrupulous landlords and property managers, who may have experience with court procedures but are not held to the same ethical rules as attorneys, to represent their LLCs and potentially take advantage of tenants, many of whom are not represented by counsel and are unfamiliar with court procedures

Despite this opposition, the Bill keeps moving forward.

On June 4, the Bill reported out of the Judiciary committee without an amendment. The Bill was passed by the House by a contested margin – 62-47. It is now sitting in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

It will be interesting to me if the comments of the section will prompt a proposed amendment from the Senate committee to attempt to address some of the valid concerns raised by the section.

I’ve been in enough courtrooms watching nonlawyers representing themselves on both sides – landlord and tenant – to know that the section’s concerns are valid. There is a reason lawyers need to be licensed in order to practice law.

As the saying goes – he who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client...

Questions? Comments?


Twitter: @JeshuaTLauka