In 2007, the Ohio legislature enacted Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) Section 5323. The 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. This is a one-time registration with the county and no fee is required. According to the Population Division of the U.S. Census Bureau 2010, Portage County does not yet meet this criterion. The Ohio counties that do are as follows: Butler, Lucas, Cuyahoga, Mahoning, Franklin, Montgomery, Hamilton, Lake, Summit, Lorain, and Trumbull. As the results of future decennial censuses are released, this list will be subject to change.

O.R.C. Section 5323.02 requires an owner to register with the auditor. If a property has multiple individual owners (John, Jane and Joe Doe), only one of them is required to file as the contact agent. Filing at the auditor’s office must be done within 60 days (including weekends and holidays) following the day a real property conveyance form for that property is filed with the county auditor. Failure to file this information in a timely manner may result in the assessment of a penalty of up to $150.00. against the property that is the subject of the violation.

O.R.C. §5323.01(E) defines residential rental property as real property on which is located one or more dwelling units leased or otherwise rented to tenants solely for residential purposes, or a mobile home park or other permanent or semi-permanent site at which lots are leased or otherwise rented to tenants for the parking of a manufactured home, mobile home or recreational vehicle that is used solely for residential purposes. The law does not apply to hotels or college dormitories.

Who must file?

Depending on the type of entity, the following must file a registration:

  • a trust – a trustee must file
  • an estate – the executor or administrator must file
  • partnership or a limited partnership – a general partner must file
  • a limited liability company – a member, manager, or officer of the company must file
  • an association – an associate must file
  • a corporation – an officer must file
  • any other business entity – a member, manager, or officer

In accordance with the Statute, all information is considered public record under §149.43 of the Code. An owner shall update the information within ten days after any change in information occurs. If you purchase additional residential rental property you must register it with the Auditor’s office.

The County Auditor should record the required information in a newly created section of the real property records for the property. The tax commissioner will not require the information to be published on the tax list.

What information must be included?

  1. The name, address and phone number of the owner.
  2. The street address and parcel number of the residential rental property.
  3. Any owner of residential rental property who resides outside of the state shall designate a person 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. Any owner who designates an agent shall file the name, address and telephone number of the agent.

Peter C. Kratcoski, Esq.
Gerald Salisbury, Researcher