In Ohio, many planned communities are managed by a homeowners association (HOA). The laws governing HOAs in Ohio are set forth by various local and state regulations, as well as by each individual HOA’s governing documents.
Who Regulates HOAs in Ohio?
HOAs in Ohio are regulated by theOhio Planned Community Lawfound in Title 53 Chapter 5312 of the Ohio Laws & Administrative Rules. This act applies to owners of lots that govern and maintain a planned community.
A planned community consists of owners becoming members of the association, handling membership fees, and uses of the common facilities for the benefit of the owner. These items and other provisions may also be managed by an HOA’s own governing documents.
Although every HOA is different, the governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and other rules and regulations.
HOAs in Ohio may be subject to applicable federal law such as:
HOA governing documents are public records in Ohio. To establish an HOA, these records must be filed with the office of the recorder of the county where the HOA property is located. To obtain these documents, visit the local office of the recorder.
HOAs are set up as nonprofit corporations. Any reports, certificates, or other documents for nonprofits required to be filed with the Ohio Secretary of State can be accessedonline. A Certificate of Good Standing can be purchased for a fee while all other documents are available for free.
HOA Powers in Ohio
In Ohio, an HOA has the power to:
Collect assessments for common expenses
Maintain common areas
Collect fees for the use of common areas
Levy reasonable fines
Foreclose on a house for unpaid fines
Additionally, HOA governing documents can grant further powers such as restrictions on membership, exterior paint colors, fencing, and parking requirements
Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in Ohio?
In Ohio, an HOAcanimpose fines on a homeowner for late payments, violation of rules, and damage to property. The processes for imposing fines, type, and amount are determined by the HOA’s governing documents.
An HOAcannotfine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit)anyof the following:
Displaying the American flag, the State of Ohio flag, or the POW/MIA flag as long as it is consistent with federal flag law
Installing a flagpole for the purpose of displaying the American flag, the State of Ohio flag, or the POW/MIA flag
Installing satellite dishes and antennas
An HOA’s governing documents may include reasonable rules and regulations regarding the placement, manner, and display of acceptable flags, flagpoles, and satellite dishes and antennas.
Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in Ohio?
An HOA in Ohiocanforeclose on a home within its community. HOAs have the power to place a lien on a property when the owner neglects to pay their dues. If a lien goes unresolved, the HOA can foreclose on the house.
An HOAcannotevict a homeowner. However, an HOA overseeing condoscanevict a tenant. All other types of HOAs provisions for evicting tenants should be referenced in the governing documents. In addition, the HOA may have other powers or restrictions regarding rental properties in its governing documents.
Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in Ohio?
In Ohio, HOAscanenter a homeowner’s property when conditions pose an immediate danger to occupants, common areas, or other individual units. Entry by HOAs may also be reasonably necessary to maintain units, common elements, or shared utilities.
Units are private spaces only intended for the property owner’s use but have certain spaces that require maintenance by the HOA, such as balconies. Common elements are the shared spaces around the units owned by the HOA, such as elevators. Shared utilities may include water or trash removal directly provided by the HOA.
Types of emergencies and notice to homeowners are determined by the HOA’s governing documents.
Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in Ohio?
The venue for filing a Complaint against an HOA in Ohio depends on the complaint.
Otherwise, a homeowner with any other complaints can bring a claim instatecourt in the appropriate county.
Joining and Leaving an HOA in STATE
In Ohio, if an individual buys a property governed by an HOA they are required to join and abide by the HOA rules. At closing, the homeowner’s realtor should present them with documents explaining the HOA and its rules.
If a person bought a house in a neighborhood with an HOA, they cannot opt-out of the HOA. To leave an HOA, the homeowner can sell their house or try to petition the HOA to have their home removed from the association.
However, there is no guaranteed right that the petition will be granted.
How to Dissolve an HOA in Ohio
The process for dissolution of an HOA in Ohio may be set forth in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, a majority vote by members is required to adopt a resolution of dissolution.
If a resolution of dissolution is adopted, a certificate needs to be filed with the Ohio Secretary of State. In addition to the certificate filing, receipts showing all employees and taxes have been paid or a signed affidavit with the effective date of dissolution.
Upon the filing of the certificate and supportive documents, the HOA will be considered dissolved.
(A) Any planned community in this state is subject to this chapter. No person shall establish a planned community unless that person files and records a declaration and bylaws for that planned community in the office of the recorder of the county or counties in which the planned community is located. (B) Any declaration for a planned community shall be accompanied by bylaws that provide for the operation of the planned community.
(B) A declarant shall establish an owners association not later than the date upon which the first lot in the planned community is conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value. The owners association shall be organized as a nonprofit corporation pursuant to Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code.
(A) When articles of incorporation and other certificates relating to the corporation are submitted to the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall, after finding that they comply with the provisions of this chapter, accept the articles and other certificates for filing and make a copy of the articles and other certificates by microfilm or by any authorized photostatic or digitized process. Evidence of the filing shall be returned to the person filing the articles or certificate. (B) All persons shall have the opportunity of acquiring knowledge of the contents of the articles and other certificates filed and recorded in the office of the secretary of state, but no person dealing with the corporation shall be charged with constructive notice of the contents of any such articles or certificates by reason of such filing or recording.
…(2) Collect assessments for common expenses from owners… (4) Enforce all provisions of the declaration, bylaws, covenants, conditions, restrictions, and articles of incorporation governing the lots, common elements, and limited common elements; (5) Adopt and enforce rules that regulate the maintenance, repair, replacement, modification, and appearance of common elements, and any other rules as the declaration provides… (9) Levy and collect fees or other charges for the use, rental, or operation of the common elements or for services provided to owners… (a) Interest and charges for the late payment of assessments… (c) Enforcement assessments for violations of the declaration, the bylaws, and the rules of the owners association; (d) Charges for damage to the common elements or other property.… (d) Necessary and proper for the government and operation of the owners association.
(A) No covenant, condition, or restriction set forth in a deed, and no rule, regulation, bylaw, or other governing document or agreement of a homeowners, neighborhood, civic, or other association, shall prohibit or be construed to prohibit any of the following: (1) The placement on any property of a flagpole that is to be used for the purpose of displaying the flag of the United States, the flag of the state as defined in section 5.01 of the Revised Code, or the national league of families POW/MIA flag provided the flag and flag pole shall be of an appropriate size, consistent with the size and character of the buildings that are subject to the requirements or agreements of a homeowner, neighborhood, civic, or other association…
Enforceable placement preferences must be clearly articulated in writing and made available to all residents of the community in question. A requirement that an antenna be located where reception or transmission would be impossible or substantially degraded is prohibited by the rule… A valid enforceable placement preference should not contain prohibited provisions such as prior approval or require professional installation… when an antenna is professionally installed, the installer often determines the location of the antenna at the time of installation based upon the type of antenna installed and the ability of the antenna to receive an acceptable quality signal.
(A) The owners association has a lien upon the estate or interest in any lot for the payment of any assessment or charge levied in accordance with section 5312.11 of the Revised Code, as well as any related interest, administrative late fees… that are chargeable against the lot and that remain unpaid ten days after any portion has become due and payable… (C)(1) In any foreclosure action that the holder of a lien commences, the holder shall name the owners association as a defendant in the action. The owners association or the holder of the lien is entitled to the appointment of a receiver to collect rental payments due on the property. Any rental payment a receiver collects during the pendency of the foreclosure action shall be applied first to the payment of the portion of the common expenses chargeable to the lot during the foreclosure action.
(A) All unit owners, their tenants, all persons lawfully in possession and control of any part of a condominium property, and the unit owners association of a condominium property shall comply with all covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in a deed… Violations of those… shall be grounds for the unit owners association or any unit owner to commence a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, or both, and an award of court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees in both types of action. (B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in the declaration or the bylaws, a unit owners association may initiate eviction proceedings, pursuant to Chapters 5321. and 1923. of the Revised Code, to evict a tenant for a violation of division (A) of this section. The action shall be brought by the unit owners association, as the unit owner’s agent, in the name of the unit owner.
(13) Authorize entry to any portion of the planned community by designated individuals when conditions exist that involve an imminent risk of damage or harm to common elements, another dwelling unit, or to the health or safety of the occupants of that dwelling unit or another dwelling unit…
(L) “Owners association” means an organization that is comprised of owners of lots in a planned community and that is responsible for the administrative governance, maintenance, and upkeep of the planned community. (M) “Planned community” means a community comprised of individual lots for which a deed, common plan, or declaration requires any of the following: (1) That owners become members of an owners association that governs the community; (2) That owners or the owners association holds or leases property or facilities for the benefit of the owners; (3) That owners support by membership or fees, property or facilities for all owners to use.
(D)(1) The voting members at a meeting held for that purpose may adopt a resolution of dissolution by the affirmative vote of a majority of the voting members present in person or, if permitted, by mail, by proxy, or by the use of authorized communications equipment, if a quorum is present or, if the articles or the regulations provide or permit, by the affirmative vote of a greater or lesser proportion or number of the voting members, and by the affirmative vote of the voting members or the affirmative vote of the voting members of any particular class that is required by the articles or the regulations. Notice of the meeting of the members shall be sent to all the members who would be entitled to vote at the meeting by mail, overnight delivery service, or any authorized communications equipment.
(G) A certificate of dissolution, filed with the secretary of state, shall be accompanied by: (1) A receipt, certificate, or other evidence… showing that all contributions due from the corporation as an employer have been paid… (2) A receipt, certificate, or other evidence showing that the corporation has paid all taxes imposed under the laws of this state… (3) In lieu of the receipt, certificate, or other evidence… an affidavit of one or more of the persons executing the certificate of dissolution… containing a statement of the date upon which the particular department, agency, or authority was advised in writing of the scheduled effective date of the dissolution… (H) Upon the filing of a certificate of dissolution and those accompanying documents or on a later date specified in the certificate that is not more than ninety days after the filing, the corporation shall be dissolved.