Real Property (Chapter 13 of Guide to Michigan Statutes of Limitations)
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Chapter 13: Real Property
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CONTENTS
Covenants; Deeds and Mortgages
Discharge; Mortgage, Land Contract, or Tax Lien
Ejection or Detainer; General Period of Limitation
Environmental Regulation
Fiduciary’s Deed; Recovery or Possession; Claim of Title
Recovery or Possession of Land; General/Residual Statute of Limitations
Land Contract Mortgages; Actions to Enforce
Landlord/Tenant
Marketable Record Title; Claims Against
Mortgages
Partition; Revival of Claims
Redemption
State Lands
Subdivisions; Suit to Correct Plat
Tax Deeds; Recovery of Possession; Claim of Title Under Tax Deed
Wills; Recovery of Possession; Claim of Title Under Devise in Will

I.   Accrual

A. Computation of Time

§13.1   MCL 600.5841

If the claim first accrues to an ancestor, predecessor or grantor of the person who brings the action or makes the entry, or to any other person from or under whom the claim is made, the period of limitation must be computed from the time the claim first accrued to the ancestor, predecessor or grantor, or other person, except as otherwise provided by law.

B. Possession

§13.2   MCL 600.5829

The right to make entry on and the claim to recover land accrue as follows:

  1. Whenever a person is disseised of land, the right of entry and claim to recover accrue at the time of disseisin.
  2. When the claimant is an heir or devisee of one who died seised, the claim accrues at the time of death, unless there is another estate intervening after the death of the ancestor or devisor, in which case the claim accrues when the intermediate estate expires or would have expired by its own limitation.
  3. If there is an intermediate estate and in all other cases where a person claims by force of any remainder or reversion, the claim accrues when the intermediate or precedent estate would have expired by its own limitation, notwithstanding any forfeiture of the intermediate or precedent estate for which he or she might have been entered at an earlier time.

The provision regarding intermediate estates does not prevent any person from entering when entitled to do so by any forfeiture or breach of condition, but if the person claims under either of them the claim accrues when the forfeiture is incurred or the condition is broken.

In all cases not provided for, the claim accrues when the claimant or the person under whom he or she claims becomes entitled to possession of the premises under the title on which the entry or action is founded.

C. Subsequent Loss; Effect on Accrual

§13.3   MCL 600.5843

If a person who has the right to make an entry on land or a claim for the possession of land regains possession before the limitation period has run and then loses possession of the premises again, the subsequent loss is deemed to give rise to a new claim that has its own period of limitation.

II.   Adverse Possession

A. General Limitation Period

§13.4   MCL 600.5801(4)  15 YEARS

The 15-YEAR general limitation period for recovery or possession of real property applies to adverse possession actions. Gorte v Department of Transp, 202 Mich App 161, 168, 507 NW2d 797 (1993).

B. Interruption of Hostile Possession

§13.5   MCL 600.5868  1 YEAR

No person is deemed to have been in possession of any lands merely by reason of having made an entry thereon, unless the person continues in open and peaceable possession of the premises for at least 1 YEAR following the entry, or unless an action is commenced upon such entry and seisin, within 1 YEAR after the person is ousted or dispossessed.

C. Presumption as to Possession

§13.6   MCL 600.5867  20 YEARS

In every action seeking the recovery or possession of real property, the person establishing legal title to the premises is presumed to have been in possession of the premises within the time limited by law for bringing such action, unless it appears that the real estate has been possessed adversely to the legal title by the defendant or someone under whom he or she claims or that the grantee, or his or her assigns, in a contract of purchase have been in possession claiming title by virtue of the contract of purchase for a period of 20 YEARS after the last payment was due on the contract or after the last payment was made on the purchase contract.

III.   Condominium Project; Periods of Limitation

§13.7   MCL 559.276  3 YEARS / 2 YEARS / 2 YEARS

If the cause of action accrues on or before the transaction control date, a person shall not maintain any action against any developer, residential builder, licensed architect, contractor, sales agent, or manager of a condominium project arising out of the development or construction of the common elements, or the management, operation, or control of a condominium project, more than 3 YEARS from the transitional control date or 2 YEARS from the date the cause of action accrues, whichever occurs later. If the cause of action accrues after the transaction control date, a person shall not maintain such an action more than 2 YEARS from the date the cause of action accrues.

Applies only to condominium projects established on or after January 2, 2001. MCL 559.276(2).

IV.   Construction

A. Liens; Enforcement

§13.8   MCL 570.1117(1)  1 YEAR

Proceedings for the enforcement of a construction lien and the foreclosure of any interest subject to the construction lien can be brought no later than 1 YEAR after the date the claim of lien was recorded.

B. Notice of Furnishing

1. Construction Liens; Supplier or Subcontractor

§13.9   MCL 570.1109(1), (5), (6)  20 DAYS

Except as otherwise provided by law, a subcontractor or supplier who contracts to provide an improvement to real property must provide a notice of furnishing to the designee and the general contractor, if any, either personally or by certified mail, within 20 DAYS after furnishing the first labor or material. The failure of a lien claimant to provide a notice of furnishing within the time specified does not defeat the claimant’s right to a construction lien for work performed or materials furnished by the claimant after the service of the notice of furnishing.

The lien claimant’s failure to provide a notice of furnishing within the time specified also does not defeat the claimant’s right to a construction lien for work performed or materials furnished by the claimant before the service of the notice of furnishing except to the extent that payments were made by or on behalf of the owner or lessee to the contractor pursuant to either a contractor’s sworn statement or a waiver of lien in accordance with requirements for work performed or material delivered by the lien claimant.

2. Laborers

a. Fringe Benefits or Withholdings

§13.10   MCL 570.1109(3), (8), (9)  5TH DAY OF 2ND MONTH AFTER NONPAYMENT

Except as otherwise provided by law, a laborer who provides an improvement to real property must provide a notice of furnishing to the designee and the general contractor, if any, either personally or by certified mail, by the FIFTH DAY OF THE SECOND MONTH following the month in which fringe benefits or withholdings from wages were contractually due but were not paid.

The failure of a lien claimant to provide a notice of furnishing within the time specified does not defeat the lien claimant’s right to a construction lien for work performed or materials furnished by the lien claimant after the service of the notice of furnishing.

The failure of a laborer to provide a notice of furnishing defeats the laborer’s lien for those fringe benefits and withholdings for which the notice of furnishing is required.

The laborer’s failure to provide a notice of furnishing to the general contractor within the time specified does not defeat the laborer’s right to a construction lien, but the laborer is liable for any actual damages sustained by the general contractor as a result of the failure.

b. Unpaid Wages

§13.11   MCL 570.1109(2), (5), (7), (9)  30 DAYS

Except as otherwise provided by law, a laborer who contracts to provide an improvement to real property must provide a notice of furnishing to the designee and the general contractor, if any, either personally or by mail, within 30 DAYS after wages were contractually due but were not paid. A laborer’s failure to provide the notice of furnishing as required defeats the laborer’s lien for those wages for which the notice of furnishing is required.

The failure of a lien claimant to provide a notice of furnishing within the time specified does not defeat the claimant’s right to a construction lien for work performed or materials furnished by the claimant after the service of the notice of furnishing. The laborer’s failure to provide a notice of furnishing to the general contractor within the time specified does not defeat the laborer’s right to a construction lien, but the laborer is liable for any actual damages sustained by the general contractor as a result of the failure.

C. Residential Builders; Violations of Occupational Code

§13.12   MCL 339.2411(1)  18 MONTHS

A complaint filed under this section or for a violation of the Occupational Code by a residential builder must be made within 18 MONTHS after the latest of the following regarding a residential structure or a combination of residential and commercial structure: for a maintenance and alteration contract: completion, occupancy, or purchase; for a project requiring an occupancy permit: issuance of the certificate or temporary certificate of occupancy, or closing.

D. Surety Bonds Under the Construction Lien Act; Enforcement

§13.13   MCL 600.5807(8)  6 YEARS

One-year limitation period for filing an action to enforce a construction lien, MCL 570.1117(1), does not govern an action to enforce a surety bond pursuant to MCL 570.1116. SIX-YEAR period of limitation for contract actions applies to claim against surety. ER Zeiler Excavating, Inc v Valenti, Trobec & Chandler, Inc, 270 Mich App 639, 717 NW2d 370 (2006).

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