Update on Ohio Legislative Law, Part 2
Last month we reported on pending legislative activities in the Ohio legislature which will effect condominium and homeowner association members. While the solar panel legislation is dead (HB 20), the month of May saw an uptick in activity in other areas. The Ohio Legislative Action Committee (LAC) of CAI is following these recent developments closely. Here is a brief summary of what has happened in the last month on the legislative front.
First, the issue of property manager licensing has resurfaced rather forcefully. The Ohio Property Management Taskforce of the Ohio Division of Real Estate has approved a set of recommendations for a bill which, if passed by the legislature, will require all property managers to be licensed as real estate agents and as property managers. All managers must be supervised by a real estate broker who also holds a property manager designation. Included in these recommendations is a requirement that all agents take a 13 hour course of continuing education with a curriculum designed around property management issues, and this is in addition to the requirement that all property managers be licensed as real estate agents.
No bill has been drafted as of this writing, but the LAC has taken the position that this method of manager licensing makes no sense and is overly burdensome on the property manager industry. Therefore the LAC will oppose the initial bill when it appears. However, it seems likely that some form of property manager licensing will become a reality in the near future, and the LAC is prepared, if necessary, to work with the bill sponsors to tailor the manager licensing legislation so that it makes sense to the property management industry.
Secondly, draft legislation is near completion which will make technical corrections to the condominium and HOA laws. Among these are the elimination of the artificial requirement for budgeting a minimum 10% of operating expenses yearly to capital reserves for condominiums. The draft bill will allow for electronic voting, and clarifies that the condominium lien is “continuing” like the HOA lien, making collection of arrears easier for the association. New provisions will be added to require certain documents to be provided to buyers prior to the closing of a sale of a condominium or lot in a subdivision, including a copy of the declaration, bylaws, rules of the association, and the current budget with a statement of the amount of monthly assessments. The proposed bill clarifies that both an owner and spouse of an owner may serve on the Board, but cannot control the Board. The bill would allow associations to spend money for the defense of zoning and land planning issues which effect the community property. In addition, Associations may amend their Declaration to allow budgeting and expenditures for social events. Senator Brenner most likely will be the sponsor of this bill once the draft is ready for introduction in the Ohio Senate. We will keep you posted as these issues move forward.
Please call Williams & Strohm if you have questions about pending legislative issues or any other questions regarding your condominium or HOA. 614-228-0207.
Charles T. Williams
Charles T. Williams is the founder and a principal in the firm. A native of Columbus, Ohio, and a veteran of the Vietnam war, Mr. Williams earned his law degree from Boston College Law School. He is widely recognized as one of Ohio’s foremost attorneys practicing homeowner association law and condominium law. Read Charles T. Williams's full bio.