Cleveland City Council recently enacted two ordinances that impact REO properties located in Cleveland, Ohio. These ordinances took effect November 16, 2011.
Ordinance 1519.11 amends existing sections 3103.09 (k) and 367.08 (b) of the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland.
Section 3103.09 deals with properties designated as a nuisance because they are either unsafe, pose a hazard to health and safety, and or are not properly boarded. This section allows the city to correct violations itself or demolish properties where an owner fails to take proper remedial action to abate a cited nuisance.
The city must give at least thirty (30) day prior notice before demolishing a building or structure designated a nuisance.
Amended sections 3103.09 (k) and 367.08 (b) now make all owners in the chain of title after service of a notice of condemnation jointly and severally responsible for the demolition costs of a condemned property. These sections previously only held the owner in title at the time of demolition accountable for these costs.
The costs that can be recovered by the city include but are not limited to attorneys’ fees, costs of inspection, property maintenance costs, court costs, title search fees, process server fees, skip tracing expenses and the like related to demolition of the property.
Ordinance 1520-11 amends sections 3109.03 and 367 by adding new sections 3103.092 and 367.131.
These new sections address the problem of domestic and foreign companies and business entities that own, sell and transfer REO properties in Cleveland not being registered with the Ohio Secretary of State and maintaining an active statutory agent.
Because many business entities are not properly registered, the city is often unable to contact a property owner regarding violations or a pending demolition.
Sections 3103.092 and 367.131 contain identical language.
IMPORTANT: Under these sections, domestic and foreign corporations and business entities owning, selling or transferring property in Cleveland are prohibited from doing so without being properly registered with the Ohio Secretary of State and maintaining an active statutory agent.
EXCEPTION: Sections 3103.092 and 367.131 would not apply if a business entity is otherwise exempt under federal law from qualifications to do business under Ohio Revised Code sections 1701, 1702, 1703, and 1705.
Violation of these sections is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a $1000 fine for each offense. Each property bought, owned, sold, or transferred by a corporation or business entity not properly registered with the Ohio Secretary of State constitutes a separate violation.