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Ohio Legislature Passes Updates to Self-Storage Lien Law

The Ohio Legislature passed an appropriations measure, House Bill 110, on June 28 that also updates the state’s self-storage lien law. Changes include an amended definition of “self-storage owner” to expressly include the agent of the business owner or anyone authorized to manage the facility or receive rent from tenants. Other updates include the formal authorization of online lien sales as well as new options for delivery of lien notices and any excess proceeds from an auction. The new provisions will go into effect on Sept. 30.

With online lien sales now expressly permitted for self-storage unit auctions, the measure also clarifies that a lien sale is deemed “commercially reasonable” as long as at least three independent bidders register for, view or attend the sale. Previously, three bidders had to physically attend the auction. Default notices no longer need to specify the time and place of the lien sale; however, if an auction will be held online, the notice must include the web address.

In relation to sending lien notices, the measure amends “last known address” to include a tenant’s email address. Notices can now be delivered in person or via Certified Mail or email. It also allows for delivery by First-Class Mail or a private delivery service with a certificate of mailing. Notices sent by email must also be sent by Certified or First-Class Mail.

“The law appears to permit the owner to send the secondary notice by regular First-Class Mail (that is, without a certificate of mailing),” Self Storage Association (SSA) officials said in an online summary of the measure. “However, owners may want to send the secondary notice with a certificate of mailing to safeguard against any potential claims that may arise from a former tenant.”

For instances in which a lien sales results in more money collected than the debt owed, self-storage operators may send the excess proceeds by First-Class Mail with a certificate of mailing, rather than Certified Mail.

The SSA represents about 22,000 U.S. and international member-affiliated self-storage facilities, according to its website. It’s allied with several state and international self-storage associations and has about 6,000.

Sources:
Ohio Legislature, House Bill 110
SSA Magazine Weekly 7/12/21, Ohio Legislature Passes Bill That Amends Self Storage Lien Law

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