Governor DeWine signed House Bill 321 on June 14, 2022. The changes to the Statute goes into effect on or about September 15, 2022.
There are two changes of note. 1) Email of Default notices is now allowed. However, if you are going to send notices of Default by email, there are conditions. Specifically, you must obtain the Occupant’s consent to send Default notices by email in the Rental Agreement or a subsequent amendment to the Agreement, and you have to prove that the email was delivered in a manner consistent with the definition under the Statute. If you are not able to get that proof of delivery, then you are still required to send the Default notice by another method permitted under the Ohio Statute. You are encouraged to discuss this with your legal counsel, to determine whether or not email is a viable method for you to serve Default notices before jumping on the email wagon. 2)
Under the last statutory amendments, your only remedies to dispose of a vehicle became turning the vehicle over to a lienholder or towing. The updated change to this Statute appears to now allow for sales of vehicles again. This is not a change that is terribly exciting to me, because title work is difficult and your lien is still inferior to any preexisting lien on the vehicle prior to storage, meaning you still have to notify lienholders and those claiming interest in the vehicle, and give them the opportunity to claim the vehicle prior to towing or sale. I believe the ability to sell a vehicle changes your calculus in limited circumstances. Again, please consult with your attorney before making any changes to your policies, procedures and Rental Agreements.
Congratulations to the Ohio Self Storage Association and the National Self Storage Association for these significant and important changes.