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Articles & Resources

January - February (2017) Newsletter (Printable)

Full, printable version of our January-February 2017 Newsletter!

Our Clients Ask Us: Do owners have to continue to pay maintenance fees if their house is foreclosed upon after they walk away?

Question:  More often, owners in our Association are being told by financial planners or their attorneys to “walk away” from their properties because they owe more on the mortgage than the property is worth.  Does this mean that they have to continue to pay maintenance fees if their house is foreclosed upon after they walk away?

The Challenges of Association Accounting in Litigation

Because most association unit owners usually pay on time, generally, association accountings are not highly scrutinized on a day-to-day basis.  However, when disputes regarding payment arise with an owner, or an account becomes so far behind that litigation is necessary, it becomes increasingly important that unit owner ledgers are without flaws.

Attorneys for debtors are quick to point out any errors in accounting, as this will demonstrate how unreliable the accounting is in its totality.  Moreover, errors in accounting or misapplication of payments will often cause a magistrate or judge to become critical of record keeping and the trustworthiness of the Association and its representatives in general.

Reserve Funds and Reserve Studies for Homeowners Associations

The Planned Community Act (Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5312) governs homeowners association and requires reserve funds.  The Act specifically states:

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 requirement annually.

Our Clients Ask Us: Should We Open the Unit?

Question:  Our documents require the property manager to obtain a key to each unit.  A unit owner recently passed away, and a family member asked if we could let them into the unit to collect some belongings.  Should we open the unit for them with our key?

November - December Newsletter (Printable)

Full, printable version of our November-December Newsletter!

Case Update: A Girl and Her Goldendoodle Head to the U.S. Supreme Court

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments about a little girl and her goldendoodle service dog named Wonder.  The question was about the options open to 12-year-old Ehlena Fry and her parents when their Michigan school district denied their request to allow Wonder to go to class with Ehlena.

Changes to Ohio's Foreclosure Law

As some of you are aware, House Bill 390 became effective on September 28, 2016.  Many of the changes will be beneficial to community associations by providing potential expedited processes in several aspects of a foreclosure action.  

September - October Newsletter (Printable)

Full, printable version of our September-October Newsletter!

Our Clients Ask Us: Private Security at Meetings

Question:  We have had some fairly heated meetings because of a specific owner who is often confrontational and has tried to start fights.  Can we hire private security at our next annual meeting and charge the cost of the security back to the problem owner?

As your legal counsel, we become part of your team, providing the legal component to your business decisions.

Let us get started today.


Ott & Associates Co., LPA

1300 E 9th St, Suite 1520
Cleveland, OH 44114

Ph: 216-771-2600
Fx: 216-830-8939


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