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(128th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 187)
To enact sections 5312.01 to 5312.15 of the Revised
Code to establish the Ohio Planned Community Law.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
SECTION 1. That sections 5312.01, 5312.02, 5312.03, 5312.04,
5312.05, 5312.06, 5312.07, 5312.08, 5312.09, 5312.10, 5312.11,
5312.12, 5312.13, 5312.14, and 5312.15 of the Revised Code be
enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 5312.01. As used in this chapter:
(A) "Assessment" means the liability for an expense that is
allocated to a lot in a planned community.
(B) "Bylaws" means an instrument filed with the declaration
that provides for the operation of the owners association.
"Bylaws" also is referred to as "regulations" pursuant to Chapter
1702. of the Revised Code.
(C) "Common element" means any property in a planned
community that the owners association holds in fee or has use of
pursuant to a lease or easement.
(D) "Common expense" means any expense or financial liability
of the owners association, including allocations the association
designates for reserves.
(E) "Declarant" means the owner of property who executes and
records a declaration that the property is a planned community.
(F) "Declarant control" means the period of time in which the
declarant controls the owners association by appointing or
electing the members of the association's board of directors.
(G) "Declaration" means an instrument a property owner
executes and records to declare that the property is a planned
community subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(H) "Dwelling unit" means a detached building or the portion
of a building that is designed and intended for use and occupancy
for residential purposes by a single household or family.
(I) "Limited common element" means a common element that a
declaration designates as reserved for use by a certain lot or
lots, to the exclusion of other lots.
(J) "Lot" means a parcel or tract of land that is formed when
a larger parcel of land is subdivided pursuant to Chapter 711. of
the Revised Code, has a separate parcel number assigned by the
county auditor, and is occupied or intended to be occupied by a
(K) "Owner" means a person who owns a lot in a planned
community. "Owner" does not include any person that has an
interest in a lot solely as security for an obligation.
(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.
A condominium property as defined in section 5311.01 of the
Revised Code is not a "planned community."
Sec. 5312.02. (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. The declaration and bylaws shall provide for
all of the following:
(1) The election of the board of directors of the owners
(2) The number of persons constituting the board;
(3) The terms of the directors, with not less than one-fifth
to expire annually;
(4) The powers and duties of the board;
(5) The method of removal of directors from office;
(6) Whether the services of a manager or managing agent may
(7) The method of amending the declaration and bylaws;
(8) The time and place for holding meetings and the manner of
and authority for calling, giving notice of, and conducting
(9) The common expenses for which assessments may be made and
the manner of collecting from the owners their respective shares
of the common expenses;
(10) Any other matters the original declarant or the owners
association deem necessary and appropriate.
(C) Nothing in this chapter invalidates any provision of a
document that governs a planned community if that provision was in
the document at the time the document was recorded and the
document was recorded prior to the original effective date of this
(D)(1) The board of directors of the owners association of
any planned community that is in existence on the original
effective date of this chapter shall file and record the bylaws of
that planned community that are in effect on that effective date
in the office of the recorder of the county or counties in which
the planned community is located within one hundred eighty days
after that effective date.
(2) The board of directors of the owners association of any
planned community that is in existence on the original effective
date of this chapter shall file and record the bylaws that are
adopted by the owners association on or after that effective date
in the office of the recorder of the county or counties in which
the planned community is located within ninety days after the date
of adoption of the bylaws.
(3) The board of directors of the owners association of any
planned community that adopts an amendment to the bylaws of that
planned community shall file and record the amendment in the
office of the recorder of the county or counties in which the
planned community is located within sixty days after the date of
adoption of the amendment.
(4) Nothing in division (D)(1) or (2) of this section shall
require the board of directors or owners association of any
planned community that is in existence on the original effective
date of this chapter to adopt bylaws of that planned community.
(5) No board of directors of the owners association of a
planned community that is in existence on the original effective
date of this chapter shall pursue any civil action against any
person based upon any provision of the bylaws of that planned
community or upon any amendments to the bylaws until the bylaws or
amendments are filed and recorded under division (D)(1), (2), or
(3) of this section.
Sec. 5312.03. (A)(1) An owners association shall administer a
planned community, and a board of directors the owners elect from
among the owners and their spouses shall exercise all power and
authority of the owners association. If an owner is not an
individual, any principal, member of a limited liability company,
partner, director, officer, trustee, or employee of the owner may
be elected to the board.
(2) Unless otherwise provided, a board of directors may carry
out any action this chapter requires or allows an owners
association to take, subject to any vote required of the owners.
(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.
(C)(1) If provided in the declaration, a declarant may
control the owners association for the period of time the
declaration specifies. During the time of declarant control, the
declarant or the declarant's designee may appoint and remove the
members of the board. The period of declarant control shall
terminate not later than the time at which all of the lots have
been transferred to owners.
(2) Not later than the termination of any period of declarant
control, the owners shall elect a board of directors comprised of
the number of members the declaration or bylaws specify.
Sec. 5312.04. (A) A board of directors of an owners
association shall elect officers from the members of the board, to
include a president, secretary, treasurer, and other officers as
the board designates.
(B) A board may act in all instances on behalf of an
association unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the
declaration, or bylaws. The board may appoint persons to fill
vacancies in its membership for the unexpired portion of any term.
(C) Except during a period of declarant control, the board
shall call a meeting of the owners association at least once each
year. Special meetings may be called by the president, a majority
of the board, owners representing fifty per cent of the voting
power in the owners association, or any lower share of the voting
power as the declaration or bylaws specify.
(D) The board may hold a meeting by any method of
communication, including electronic or telephonic communication,
provided that each member of the board can hear or read in real
time and participate and respond to every other member of the
(E) In lieu of conducting a meeting, the board may take an
action with the unanimous written consent of the members of the
board. Any written consent shall be filed with the minutes of the
meetings of the board.
(F) No owner other than a director may attend or participate
in any discussion or deliberation of a meeting of the board of
directors unless the board expressly authorizes that owner to
attend or participate.
(G) The board of directors of an owners association shall
comply with all applicable state and federal laws concerning
prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of race, color,
religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age,
or ancestry, including, but not limited to, Chapter 4112. of the
Revised Code. No private right of action additional to those
conferred by the applicable state and federal anti-discrimination
laws is conferred on any aggrieved individual by the preceding
Sec. 5312.05. (A) Unless otherwise specified in the
declaration or bylaws, the owners may amend the declaration and
bylaws by the consent of seventy-five per cent of the owners,
either in writing or in a meeting called for that purpose. No
amendment to the declaration or bylaws is effective until filed in
the office of the county recorder.
(B) A vote to terminate the applicability of the declaration
and to dissolve the planned community requires the unanimous
consent of owners.
Sec. 5312.06. (A) Unless otherwise provided in the
declaration or bylaws, the owners association, through its board
of directors, shall do both of the following:
(1) Annually adopt and amend an estimated budget for revenues
and expenditures. Any budget shall include reserves in an amount
adequate to repair and replace major capital items in the normal
course of operations without the necessity of special assessments,
unless the owners, exercising not less than a majority of the
voting power of the owners association, waive the reserve
(2) Collect assessments for common expenses from owners in
accordance with section 5312.10 of the Revised Code.
(B) Commencing not later than the time of the first
conveyance of a lot to a person other than a declarant, the owners
association shall maintain all of the following to the extent
reasonably available and applicable:
(1) Property insurance on the common elements;
(2) Liability insurance pertaining to the common elements;
(3) Directors and officers liability insurance.
(C) The owners association shall keep all of the following:
(1) Correct and complete books and records of account that
specify the receipts and expenditures relating to the common
elements and other common receipts and expenses;
(2) Records showing the collection of the common expenses
from the owners;
(3) Minutes of the meetings of the association and the board
(4) Records of the names and addresses of the owners.
(D) An owners association, through its board of directors,
may do any of the following:
(1) Hire and fire managing agents, attorneys, accountants,
and other independent professionals and employees that the board
determines are necessary or desirable in the management of the
property and the association;
(2) Commence, defend, intervene in, settle, or compromise any
civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding that is in
the name of, or threatened against, the association, the board of
directors, or the property, or that involves two or more owners
and relates to matters affecting the property;
(3) Enter into contracts and incur liabilities relating to
the operation of the property;
(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;
(6) Acquire, encumber, and convey or otherwise transfer real
and personal property, subject to section 5312.10 of the Revised
(7) Hold in the name of the owners association the real
property and personal property;
(8) Grant easements, leases, licenses, and concessions
through or over the common elements;
(9) Levy and collect fees or other charges for the use,
rental, or operation of the common elements or for services
provided to owners;
(10) Pursuant to section 5312.11 of the Revised Code, levy
the following charges and assessments:
(a) Interest and charges for the late payment of assessments;
(b) Returned check charges;
(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
(11) Adopt and amend rules that regulate the collection of
delinquent assessments and the application of payments of
(12) Impose reasonable charges for preparing, recording, or
copying the declaration, bylaws, amendments to the declaration and
bylaws, resale certificates, or statements of unpaid assessments;
(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;
(14) Subject to division (A)(1) of section 5312.09 of the
Revised Code, borrow money and assign the right to common
assessments or other future income to a lender as security for a
loan to the owners association;
(15) Suspend the voting privileges and use of recreational
facilities of an owner who is delinquent in the payment of
assessments for more than thirty days;
(16) Purchase insurance and fidelity bonds the directors
consider appropriate and necessary;
(17) Invest excess funds in investments that meet standards
for fiduciary investments under the laws of this state;
(18) Exercise powers that are any of the following:
(a) Conferred by the declaration or bylaws;
(b) Necessary to incorporate the owners association as a
(c) Permitted to be exercised in this state by a nonprofit
(d) Necessary and proper for the government and operation of
the owners association.
Sec. 5312.07. (A) Unless otherwise prohibited by this
section, any owner may examine and copy the books, records, and
minutes of the owners association that division (C) of section
5312.06 of the Revised Code describes, pursuant to reasonable
standards set forth in the declaration, bylaws, or rules the board
promulgates. The standards may include, but are not limited to,
standards governing the type of documents that are subject to
examination and copying, the times and locations at which those
documents may be examined or copied, and the specification of a
reasonable fee for copying the documents.
(B) Unless approved by the board of directors, an owner may
not examine or copy any of the following from books, records, and
(1) Information that pertains to property-related personnel
(2) Communications with legal counsel or attorney work
product pertaining to potential, threatened or pending litigation,
or other property-related matters;
(3) Information that pertains to contracts or transactions
currently under negotiation, or information that is contained in a
contract or other agreement containing confidentiality
requirements and that is subject to those requirements;
(4) Information that relates to the enforcement of the
declaration, bylaws, or rules of the owners association against
(5) Information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by
state or federal law.
Sec. 5312.08. (A) Unless otherwise provided by the
declaration, the owners association is responsible for reasonable
maintenance, repair, and replacement of the common elements, and
each owner is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement
of the owner's lot and improvements to that lot, including the
dwelling unit and the utility lines serving that dwelling unit.
(B) An owner shall permit agents or employees of the owners
association and other owners access through the owner's lot and
dwelling unit for the purpose of fulfilling the association's
duties and obligations. Any damage to the common elements, lot, or
dwelling unit due to that access is the responsibility of the
owner that caused the damage or the owners association if it is
responsible for the damage. That owner, or the owners association,
is liable for the prompt repair of any damage and, if not
repairable, for the value of the damaged property or item as it
existed immediately prior to that damage.
Sec. 5312.09. (A)(1) The owners association may not assign
the right to common assessments, or the future income from those
assessments, or convey any fee interest or any security interest
in any portion of the common elements unless the declaration
specifically provides for such a conveyance or seventy-five per
cent of the voting power of the owners association, or any larger
percentage the declaration specifies, approves the conveyance.
(2) The owners association may not convey any fee interest in
a limited common element or subject a limited common element to a
security interest without the approval of all of the owners of the
lots to which the limited common element is allocated. Any
proceeds of the conveyance of a limited common element are an
asset of the owners association.
(B) No contract to convey or subject a common element or a
limited common element to a security interest is enforceable
against the owners association unless it complies with division
(A) of this section. The board of directors, on behalf of the
owners association, has all powers necessary and appropriate to
effect a conveyance or encumbrance that division (A) of this
section permits, including the power to execute a deed or other
Sec. 5312.10. (A)(1) In accordance with its declaration, all
costs the owners association incurs in the administration,
governance, and maintenance of a planned community are common
expenses. Unless otherwise provided in the declaration, all costs
of the administration, operation, maintenance, repair, and
replacement of the common elements are common expenses.
(2) The common expense liability of each lot shall be
allocated in accordance with the allocation set forth in the
declaration. If the declaration does not establish any allocation,
the common expense liability shall be allocated equally among all
(3) The board of directors shall assess the common expense
liability for each lot at least annually, based on a budget the
board adopts at least annually.
(B) The board shall charge interest on any past due
assessment or installment at the rate the board establishes, not
to exceed any maximum rate permitted by law.
(C)(1) The board may not charge assessments for common
expenses unless the declaration provides for or contemplates the
charging of such assessments.
(2) The board may not increase any assessment for common
expenses when the declaration limits the amount of such
assessments unless the owners amend the declaration as provided in
division (A) of section 5312.05 of the Revised Code to allow the
Sec. 5312.11. (A) An owners association may assess an
individual lot for any of the following:
(1) Enforcement assessments and individual assessments for
utility service that are imposed or levied in accordance with the
declaration, as well as expenses the board incurs in collecting
(2) Costs of maintenance, repair, or replacement incurred due
to the willful or negligent act of an owner or occupant of a lot
or their family, tenants, guests, or invitees, including, but not
limited to, attorney's fees, court costs, and other expenses;
(3) Costs associated with the enforcement of the declaration
or the rules and regulations of the owners association, including,
but not limited to, attorney's fees, court costs, and other
(4) Costs or charges the declaration or bylaws permit.
(B) Unless otherwise provided by the declaration, bylaws, or
rules, the owners association shall credit any amount it receives
from a lot owner pursuant to this section in the following order:
(1) To interest owed to the owners association;
(2) To administrative late fees or enforcement assessments
owed to the owners association;
(3) To collection costs, attorney's fees, and paralegal fees
the owners association incurred in collecting the assessment;
(4) To the oldest principal amounts the owner owes to the
owners association for the common expenses chargeable against the
dwelling unit or lot.
(C) Prior to imposing a charge for damages or an enforcement
assessment pursuant to this section, the board of directors shall
give the owner a written notice that includes all of the
(1) A description of the property damage or violation;
(2) The amount of the proposed charge or assessment;
(3) A statement that the owner has a right to a hearing
before the board to contest the proposed charge or assessment;
(4) A statement setting forth the procedures to request a
(5) A reasonable date by which the owner must cure a
continuing violation to avoid the proposed charge or assessment,
if such an opportunity to cure is applicable.
(D)(1) To request a hearing, the owner shall deliver a
written notice to the board not later than the tenth day after
receiving the notice this division requires. If the owner fails to
make a timely request for a hearing, the right to that hearing is
waived, and the board immediately may impose a charge for damages
or an enforcement assessment pursuant to this section.
(2) If an owner requests a hearing, at least seven days prior
to the hearing the board shall provide the owner with a written
notice that includes the date, time, and location of the hearing.
(3) The board shall not levy a charge or assessment before
holding any hearing requested pursuant to this section.
(4) Within thirty days following a hearing at which the board
imposes a charge or assessment, the owners association shall
deliver a written notice of the charge or assessment to the owner.
(5) Any written notice that this section requires shall be
delivered to the owner or any occupant of the dwelling unit by
personal delivery, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or
by regular mail.
Sec. 5312.12. (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,
enforcement assessments, collection costs, attorney's fees, and
paralegal fees, that are chargeable against the lot and that
remain unpaid ten days after any portion has become due and
(B) All of the following apply to a lien charged against a
property pursuant to this section:
(1) The lien is effective on the date that a certificate of
lien is filed for record in the office of the recorder of the
county or counties in which the lot is situated, pursuant to
authorization by the board of directors of the owners association.
The certificate shall contain a description of the lot, the name
of the record owner of the lot, and the amount of the unpaid
assessment or charge. It shall be subscribed to by the president
of the board or other designated representative of the owners
(2) The lien is a continuing lien upon the lot against which
each assessment or charge is made, subject to automatic subsequent
adjustments reflecting any additional unpaid interest,
administrative late fees, enforcement assessments, collection
costs, attorney's fees, paralegal fees, and court costs.
(3) The lien is valid for a period of five years from the
date of filing, unless it is sooner released or satisfied in the
same manner provided by law for the release and satisfaction of
mortgages on real property or unless it is discharged by the final
judgment or order of a court in an action brought to discharge the
lien as provided in this section.
(4) The lien is prior to any lien or encumbrance subsequently
arising or created, except liens for real estate taxes and
assessments of political subdivisions and liens of first mortgages
that have been filed for record prior to the recording of the
lien, and may be foreclosed in the same manner as a mortgage on
real property in an action brought by the owners association.
(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.
(2) Unless prohibited by the declaration or the bylaws,
following any foreclosure action, the owners association or an
agent the board authorizes is entitled to become a purchaser at
the foreclosure sale.
(3) A mortgage on a lot may contain a provision that secures
the mortgagee's advances for the payment of the portion of the
common expenses chargeable against the lot upon which the
mortgagee holds the mortgage.
(D) An owner may commence an action for the discharge of the
lien in the court of common pleas of the county in which all or a
part of the property is situated if the owner believes that the
liability for the unpaid assessment or charge for which the owners
association filed a certificate of lien was improperly charged. In
the action, if it is finally determined that the unpaid amount of
the assessment or charge was improperly charged to the owner or
the lot, the court shall enter an order that it determines to be
just, which may provide for a discharge of record of all or a
portion of the lien and an award of attorney's fees to the owner.
Sec. 5312.13. The owners association and all owners,
residents, tenants, and other persons lawfully in possession and
control of any part of an ownership interest shall comply with any
covenant, condition, and restriction set forth in any recorded
document to which they are subject, and with the bylaws and the
rules of the owners association, as lawfully amended. Any
violation is grounds for the owners association or any 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.
Sec. 5312.14. In any action relating to the common elements
or to any right, duty, or obligation possessed or imposed upon the
owners association by statute or otherwise, the owners association
may sue or be sued as a separate legal entity. Service of summons
or other process may be made upon the owners association by
serving the process personally upon the president of the board of
directors or the person named as statutory agent of the
association if it is an incorporated entity. Any action brought by
or on behalf of the owners association shall be pursuant to
authority granted by the board of directors.
Sec. 5312.15. This chapter shall be construed to establish a
uniform framework for the operation and management of planned
communities in this state and to supplement any planned community
governing document that is in existence on the effective date of
this chapter. In the event of a specific conflict between this
chapter and express requirements or restrictions in such a
governing document, the governing document shall control. This
chapter shall control if any governing document is silent with
respect to any provision of this chapter.