Youngstown, OH asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio

Q: Does my HOA still exist? Our HOA never filed Notice of Existence with Ohio Secretary of State.

Our HOA filed the Initial Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State but, I recently found out the Articles were canceled in 2010 as a Notice of Continued Existence was never filed. From what I gather, this is required to be filed every 5 years. Since 2010, I have paid my HOA dues. I had questions and requested a meeting but was denied. The only document that I have is a Declaration of Restrictions that was filed with the local county recorder in 2003. I do not have any by-laws, code of regulation or any meeting minutes. The so-called board members have been the same people since I moved in. There is also a retention pond on our street that is on the property of one of the board members. They call this the "common area" but again it falls within his property line and he pays taxes on it. With it being called the "common area" part of our dues go to him maintaining his own property. I just want to know my rights and if this is really a legitimate HOA.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: The HOA still exists as an Ohio non-profit corporation unless it was cancelled by the Ohio Secretary of State. Failing to file the Notice of Continued Existence does not officially terminate it, and does not stop the obligation of homeowners to pay HOA assessments and dues. And even if cancelled, the HOA could still exist as an unincorporated association under the Declaration of Covenants and Restriction recorded in the county recorder's office, along with the Code of Regulations an By-Laws. Check the county recorder's office to obtain copies those documents. The HOA can still collect dues and maintain the community, including the maintenance of areas designated as "common areas" by the Declaration, even though the common areas might be located on a parcel of a homeowner. If you want to better understand the HOA operation, use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney who can review the Declaration and the HOA's current operations, and answer any questions. HOAs need home owners to volunteer to be elected to serve on its board of directors, so you might need to recruit some other owners who have an interest to serve on the board to update the operations of your HOA.

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