Legal Descriptions – Plats

June 30, 2010

So what’s a plat?

The platting of property is the official process of subdividing a parcel or parcels of land into a number of smaller parcels which are called lots.  In Michigan, the plat process is contained in The Land Division Act ( MCL 560.101 et seq.) which can be found online here:

Once approved, the  plat is recorded with the County Register of Deeds.  After recordation, the legal description of the lots numbered in the plat are identified by that lot number.  For example, a plat of Sunnyside Acres Subdivision is recorded with the Wayne County Register of Deeds in Liber 12 of plats, page 6.  Once the plat is properly recorded, the legal description of Lot 1 becomes:

“Lot 1  Sunnyside Acres Subdivision, as disclosed in Liber 12 of Plats, page 6, Wayne County Records.” 

Plats usually also disclose roads, utility and drainage easements and public alleys among many other matters.  These can be important for you if you are looking to purchase and/or build on a vacant lot in a platted subdivision.

Can I check out a lot in a platted subdivision online?

Sure.  The State of Michigan has a great resource for reviewing plats which can be found online here:

If you know the number of your lot and the name of your subdivision, check it out! 

As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!

John Shepard - Vice President/General Counsel

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