The effect of Ohio's 'Stay at Home' Order on Local Boards
By Peg Ritenour, Ohio REALTORS Vice President of Legal Services
While most local Boards/Associations have closed their offices and are providing services remotely, we have a few that may still be open. Given Gov. Mike DeWine’s Stay at Home Order, these Boards have asked whether they must shut down.
Item #8: in the Governor’s Order specifically, provides as follows: “Businesses covered by this Order. For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, or non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function it performs, or its corporate or entity structure.”
Of course as you all know “real estate services” are considered an essential service and can stay open as long as the social distancing and other precautions are followed. The question then becomes whether a real estate professional association is a “real estate service.” I think it is reasonable to interpret this to include the operation of an MLS as a real estate service. Beyond that, other Association functions may be questionable. For this reason, local Boards/Associations without an MLS that have not closed their offices should contact their own counsel regarding whether they can remain open.
Legal articles provided in the Ohio REALTORS Buzz are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.