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Proposed legislation dealing with condos is far from law

Scott Seitz2 • Mar 11, 2014 at 4:07 PM

State Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk) said House Bill 371, which involves condominium board members and owners, is nowhere close to becoming law.

Norwalk resident Jerry Fraley, via correspondence with the Reflector, stated several concerns with the bill.

"This bill is not just about condo board members, but will cause an increase in maintenance fees for every condo owner in the state of Ohio," Fraley said.

Fraley outlines, in his letter, goals of the proposed legislation. "Would create an appointed board paid by fees on the homeowners, starting at about $3 to $5 per unit and would probably increase in the future," he said.

"This board would have the power to override local boards' decisions," Fraley added.

Fraley said the board would have "the power to subpoena board members, levy fines and file criminal charges."

The legislation "would require a board manager to have a broker or Realtor's license."

The law would "require board members to register with the division of real estate listing all members' names, addresses and phone numbers."

"Most of the other things contained in this law are already law or contained in your condo declaration and by-laws," Fraley said.

"In my opinion, this misguided bill is an attempt to force condo associations to hire a management company or a manager, adding thousands of dollars a year to condo owners' maintenance fees," he added.

Boose tried to calm fears Thursday.

"I've heard from several constituents who are concerned about this bill," he said.

That prompted Boose to speak with the bill's sponsor, Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City).

"I plan on sitting down with her to find out where this bill is," Boose said. "Talking with constituents, they are concerned about losing control of the boards and also making it harder to find board members.

"She (Grossman) said that was never the intention of the bill," Boose said.

Boose said there's plenty of time to review the bill.

"This bill is not moving very fast through the House," Boose said.

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