In 2007, the Ohio legislature enacted Ohio Revised Code Section 5323 et seq. That statute requires that landlords with rental property located in an Ohio County with more than 200,000 residents must register their rental property with the County Auditor’s office of the county in which the rental property is located.
Ohio Revised Code Sectoni 5232.02 states as follows:
§ 5323.02. Information to be filed with county auditor; auditor to provide notice of requirements
(A) An owner of residential rental property shall file with the county auditor of the county in which the property is located the following information:
(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the owner;
(2) If the residential rental property is owned by a trust, business trust, estate, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association, corporation, or any other business entity, the name, address, and telephone number of the following:
(a) A trustee, in the case of a trust or business trust;
(b) The executor or administrator, in the case of an estate;
(c) A general partner, in the case of a partnership or a limited partnership;
(d) A member, manager, or officer, in the case of a limited liability company;
(e) An associate, in the case of an association;
(f) An officer, in the case of a corporation;
(g) A member, manager, or officer, in the case of any other business entity.
(3) The street address and permanent parcel number of the residential rental property.
(B) The information required under division (A) of this section shall be filed and maintained on the tax list or the real property record.
(C) An owner of residential rental property shall update the information required under division (A) of this section within sixty days after any change in the information occurs.
(D) The county auditor shall provide an owner of residential rental property located in a county that has a population of more than two hundred thousand according to the most recent decennial census with notice pursuant to division (B) of section 323.131 of the Revised Code of the requirement to file the information required under division (A) of this section and the requirement to update that information under division (C) of this section.
(E) The owner of residential real property shall comply with the requirements under divisions (A) and (C) of this section within sixty days after receiving the notice provided under division (D) of this section, division (D) of section 319.202, or division (B) of section 323.131 of the Revised Code.
If you are a landlord living out of state but owning rental property in Ohio, then there are some added steps you must take under Ohio Revised Code Section 5323.03. This statute requires that you appoint an agent living within the state of Ohio as your agent to accept service of process (meaning that this person will accept lawsuits filed against you and forward them on to you so you can get your lawyer involved). The only exception to this rule is if you have already appointed such a person through the Ohio Sectretary of State’s Office. There is no reason why you could not use an attorney to fulfill this role.
Here is the exact text of this statute:
§ 5323.03. Statutory agent for nonresident owner
An owner of residential rental property who resides outside the state shall designate, in a manner to be determined by the county auditor of the county in which the property is located, an individual who resides in the state to serve as the owner’s agent for the acceptance of service of process on behalf of the owner in any legal action or proceeding in the state, unless the owner previously designated and continues to maintain a statutory agent for the service of process with the secretary of state as a condition of being authorized to engage in business in this state pursuant to another section of the Revised Code.
An owner who designates an agent pursuant to this section shall file in writing with the relevant county auditor the name, address, and telephone number of the agent. An owner who previously designated and continues to maintain a statutory agent for the service of process with the secretary of state as a condition of being authorized to engage in business in this state pursuant to another section of the Revised Code shall file in writing with the county auditor of the county in which the residential rental property is located a certified copy of the document filed with the secretary of state containing that designation.
If you fail to comply with this statute, upon the discovery by the authorities of this failure, the Board of Revision can assess you in an amount between $50.00 and $150.00.
If you need assistance with compliance with this new rule, you can call attorney Eric E. Willison at 614.580.4316 or attorney Andy Ruzicho at 614.447.2365. Neither attorney charges for an initial consultation to see if we can be of service to you.