Breaking News: Real estate services can continue under Ohio's "Stay At Home" order
As many of you heard today, Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton issued an Executive Order requiring all Ohio residents to stay at home in an effort to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Order begins at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23 and is scheduled to last until April 7, 2020.
Ohio REALTORS worked directly with the Governor’s office to ensure that real estate-related activities are specifically allowed to continue while the Executive Order is in effect.
The Executive Order provides that among the essential businesses and operations permitted are professional services, which includes real estate services. Among those, the Executive Order also specifically includes appraisal and title services.
The Order also provides that critical trades are deemed essential, including: plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and government properties, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services.
The Executive Order also expressly permits the continued operation of government services and work by government employees that work for or to support businesses that can operate under the Executive Order. This authority is critical to the continued functioning of services provided by county recorders, clerks, and inspectors who often play a role in real estate transactions.
Please keep in mind that local officials may enact their own standards for continued operations, including restricting access or office hours. Finally, financial institutions, such as banks and consumer lenders, as well as title, insurance and underwriting companies are specifically allowed to continue operating under the Executive Order.
Be advised the Executive Order contains guidance requiring the continued observance of the previously ordered preventive measures such as social distancing, hand washing and disinfecting. Specifically, Section 15 of the Order states:
Required measures. Essential Business and Operations and businesses engaged in Minimum Basic Operations must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements, including where possible:
- Designate six-foot distances. Designating with signage, tape or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to ensure appropriate distance;
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers;
- Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers, and
- Online and remote access. Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.
Ohio REALTORS will continue to monitor the impact of the spread of COVID-19 on our state and the real estate industry. Visit www.ohiorealtors.org for the most up-to-date information, including our continuing efforts to work with state officials on government actions that may impact your business.
We know you have questions and we will attempt to address those in the days ahead.
Collectively we are stronger — working through these unique circumstances to support each other, our industry and our communities.
Ohio REALTORS is here as a resource to help you navigate the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19 and its impact on your business.
Scott Williams, Chief Executive Officer