HOUSE BILL NO. 4676

May 24, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Anthony, Brixie, Ellison, Garrett, Love, Kennedy, Manoogian, Tyrone Carter, Shannon, Cynthia Johnson, Sabo, Bolden, Wozniak, Hope, Hoadley, Cherry, Sowerby, Pohutsky, Wittenberg, Yancey, Stone and Jones and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

A bill to prohibit the recording of deeds or other instruments relating to real property that contain certain restrictive covenants or conditions; to make such restrictions unenforceable; and to provide remedies with respect to those instruments.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "prohibited restrictive covenants act".

Sec. 2. As used in this act:

(a) "Familial status" means that term as defined in section 103 of the Elliott-Larsen civil rights act, 1976 PA 453, MCL 37.2103.

(b) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity.

Sec. 3. (1) A person shall not record in the records of the register of deeds a deed or other instrument that contains a restriction, covenant, or condition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter, that directly or indirectly prohibits or limits the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability.

(2) A register of deeds shall not record a deed or other instrument described in subsection (1).

Sec. 4. (1) A restriction, covenant, or condition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter, that directly or indirectly prohibits or limits the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability, is void and has no legal effect.

(2) A court or other person shall not enforce a restriction, covenant, or condition described in subsection (1).

Sec. 5. (1) A homeowners' or property owners' association, acting through a simple majority vote of its board, may amend the association's governing documents for the purpose of removing any restriction, covenant, or condition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter, that directly or indirectly prohibits or limits the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability.

(2) If the board of a homeowners' or property owners' association receives a written request by a member of the association that the board exercise its amending authority under subsection (1), the board shall, within a reasonable time, amend the governing documents, as provided under this section.

(3) Board action under this section does not require the vote or approval of the property owners.

(4) An amendment under subsection (1) may be executed by any board officer.

(5) An amendment under subsection (1) must be recorded with the register of deeds for the county where the property is located and state the following:

"This amendment strikes from these restrictions, covenants, and conditions the provisions that are prohibited under the prohibited restrictive covenants act. Specifically, this amendment strikes the provisions that directly or indirectly prohibit or limit the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of the property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability."

Sec. 6. (1) A property owner may record in the records of the register of deeds for the county where the property is located an amended deed or other instrument to remove any restriction, covenant, or condition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter, that directly or indirectly prohibits or limits the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability.

(2) An amended deed or other instrument under this section may be executed solely by the property owner. The deed or instrument must be executed and acknowledged in the manner required by law.

(3) An amended deed or other instrument under this section must state the following:

"This amended instrument strikes from an original instrument restrictions, covenants, or conditions that are prohibited under the prohibited restrictive covenants act. Specifically, this amended instrument strikes the provisions that directly or indirectly prohibit or limit the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of the property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability."

Sec. 7. (1) If a deed or other instrument contains a provision that is prohibited under this act, the owner, occupant, or tenant of the property that is subject to the provision or any member of the board of a homeowners' or property owners' association that would have a right to enforce such a provision may bring an action in the circuit court in the county in which the property is located to have the provision stricken from the records of the register of deeds.

(2) An action under this section must be brought as an in rem, declaratory judgment action and the title of the action must be the description of the property. The owners, occupants, or tenants of the property or any part of the property are necessary parties to the action.

(3) In an action under this section, if the court finds that any provisions of the deed or instrument are prohibited under this act, it shall enter an order striking the provisions from the records of the register of deeds and eliminating the provisions from the deed or other instrument for the property described in the complaint.

Sec. 8. A person that refuses, before recording, to remove from a deed or other instrument a restriction, covenant, or condition, including a right of entry or possibility of reverter, that directly or indirectly prohibits or limits the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property on the basis of race, sex, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or on the basis of an individual having a sensory, mental, or physical disability or using a trained dog guide or service animal because the individual is blind or deaf or has a physical disability is liable for any damage sustained by another person because of the refusal.

Sec. 9. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 5(2), this act does not create a duty on the part of an owner, occupant, tenant, association, board, or member or officer of a board to amend a recorded deed or instrument or a governing document as provided in this act, or to bring an action as authorized under this act.

(2) An owner, occupant, tenant, association, board, or member or officer of a board is not liable for failing to amend a recorded deed or instrument or a governing document or to pursue an action in court as authorized under this act.

(3) This act does not limit any right or remedy under the Elliott-Larsen civil rights act, 1976 PA 453, MCL 37.2101 to 37.2804, or any other law of this state.