Governing Document Amendments

We guarantee amendments will be tailored to your community’s unique needs and objectives, prioritizing readability and clarity.


Our Document Amendment
Proven Process

The following steps describe our process for how we restate community association governing documents – the Master Deed or Declaration, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. If you are pursuing a specific amendment to a governing document, that process will likely require fewer steps.


Current Document Review

We review your current documents and provide written recommendations. We may also have some initial questions for you to consider.

Board Review & Meeting

Using our letter as a guide, the Board meets with us to respond to our recommendations and questions. This also provides the opportunity to confirm how the drafts of the documents can be customized to your association.

First Draft of Documents

After meeting with the Board, we draft a new set of documents based on the Board’s direction.

Finalization and Voting

Once we arrive at a final draft with the Board, we prepare the voting package to be distributed to the owners. We include a letter summarizing the significant changes that the new documents represent.

Mortgagee Vote

The banks providing mortgages on the homes in the association are defined in recorded documents as “mortgagees”. Mortgagees in condominiums have the right to vote on many proposed restated governing documents. But we have yet to see an amendment fail for lack of mortgagee approval.

Recording with County

After all required approvals are obtained, we record the Amended and Restated Master Deed or Amended and Restated Declaration with the county register of deeds. We also file any approved amendment to the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Michigan.

Docs Need Updating? Let’s Take a Look.

We can assist with any specific amendment you may need. But if your documents are outdated due to changes in the law or your current operations, you would likely benefit from full amendment and restatement.


Update to Current Law & Remove Outdated Provisions

Many changes in the law have likely occurred since your association was developed. Updating your documents to conform with current statutes and case law will eliminate conflicts. We can also remove any provisions related to the developer.

for lease sign

Modern Best Practices

Your approach has probably evolved since your development was first built, and the governing documents should reflect your current practice. We can also suggest some changes that will help you address current issues of concern, like short-term renting.


Consolidate and Simplify

Associations may have multiple existing amendments or documents applicable to several specific phases of development. There may even be “Association Bylaws” in addition to “Condominium Bylaws”. Consolidating your documents will make it easy to find the right provision when a question arises.


Incidental Damage and Negligence

These two common provisions often lead to the association assuming an unreasonable amount of financial responsibility. Read attorney Stephen Guerra’s article about why they should be amended.

“Governing documents for Michigan community associations serve several functions. The foremost of these functions is to inform members and prospective members of the respective rights and obligations of membership in the association relative to the upkeep of the property and the operation of the community. Good documents serve these needs and enhance the marketability of the member’s property.”

John Finkelmann, MAGWV Partner

Document Amendment FAQs




“How long is this process?”

The total amount of time needed varies. This is mainly because different boards of directors need different amounts of time to review our drafts. However, we find that most associations are able to complete a full restatement process within six to twelve months.


“How can we support the vote?”

We recommend holding at least one informational meeting prior to the deadline for voting at which the new documents can be explained to the owners and questions can be answered. It is best to plan for an extended voting period and an aggressive campaign to get votes from all the owners.


“How Much Will it Cost?”

The governing document amendment process is a variable one. Not all documents are the same, and associations’ needs differ. Please request our written proposal for an estimate of fees and costs.

Articles on Governing Documents


Social Media Best Practices for Your Community

by | May 7, 2024 | Articles,Association Governance,Nuisance,Rules and Regulations | 0 Comments

The primary allure of social media in community associations lies in its ability to foster enhanced communication. Platforms like Nextdoor and Facebook groups offer a...


Untenable Tenants! How to Address Problem Renters in Your Condominium

by | May 3, 2024 | Articles,Bylaws,Nuisance,Restrictions and Enforcement,Rules and Regulations | 0 Comments

Tenants in condominium communities are often viewed as challenging, since they may not be familiar with condominium living. Because of this lack of experience, tenants...


Deadline Regarding the Marketable Record Title Act

by | Jan 16, 2024 | News,Restrictions and Enforcement | 0 Comments

​Updated as of March 28, 2024 The Michigan State legislature amended the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) in 2019. While many community association boards and...


Curbing Parking Issues in Common Interest Communities

by | Jan 11, 2024 | Articles,Common Elements,Restrictions and Enforcement,Rules and Regulations | 0 Comments

​Insufficient parking in shared interest communities often leads to the inability to meet the parking requirements of all residents. While the adequacy of parking...


HB 5028: Solar Energy Bill and Michigan’s Community Associations

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Common Elements,News,Restrictions and Enforcement,Rules and Regulations | 0 Comments

By Amy M. Smith, MAGWV Partner Updated November 16, 2023 The Homeowners' Energy Policy Act was recently introduced in the Michigan State Legislature as HB 5028. The...


Mastering Condo Maintenance: Why Legal Guidance is Key for Crafting a Responsibility Matrix

by | Aug 25, 2023 | Articles,Bylaws,Common Elements,News | 0 Comments

A responsibility matrix is a summary of association and co-owner responsibilities for maintenance, repair, and replacement of the condominium common elements and units....

For Rent Sign

Short-Term Lessors Lose Another Appeal

by | Apr 6, 2023 | Articles,Bylaws,News,Restrictions and Enforcement | 0 Comments

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Apache Hills Property Owners Association, Inc. v Sears Nichols Cottages, LLC (Docket No. 360554) which...

man hugging chickens

To Keep or Not to Keep: Navigating the Legal and Social Challenges of Backyard Chickens in Michigan Condominiums

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Articles,Bylaws,Fair Housing Issues,News,Nuisance,Pets,Restrictions and Enforcement,Rules and Regulations | 0 Comments

Keeping backyard chickens has become increasingly popular over the years as more and more people seek to live a sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. But is it...

Why Associations Must Be Aware of Changes to the Marketable Record Title Act

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Articles,News,Restrictions and Enforcement,Rules and Regulations | 0 Comments

Updated as of March 28, 2024 As discussed in more detail below, the State legislature amended the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) in 2019. While many community...