ACAR’s Government Affairs Department recently reached out local governments for operations updates that may impact the real estate transaction. Below are the responses we have received or researched based on feedback from members. This article will be updated periodically. It is meant to be a helpful resource only and should not be considered complete. Contact the city you are working in for the latest information that may impact the transaction, etc.
- Ohio Secretary of State – UPDATE 3/26/2020: The Ohio General Assembly has put in place a plan that will allow all Ohioans to continue voting by mail until April 28. Learn more here.
- Summit County – March 16, 2020 – Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen M. Scalise CPA, CFE has announced that beginning at 12 p.m. today, the Fiscal Office will temporarily suspend public access at their main branch at 175 S. Main St. in downtown Akron, and two satellite locations at 1030 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron and 1180 S. Main St., Suite 250, Akron. Fiscal Officer Scalise made this decision based on the recommendation and guidance of state and local authorities. The public may access Fiscal Office services by phone at 330-643-2632 or 330-643-2759, email at email@example.com , or online at https://FiscalOffice.summitoh.net. Please consider the following options… read more.
- Cleveland Housing Court – Cleveland Municipal Housing Court Releases Changes in Operational Procedures Following Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – learn more.
- South Euclid – 3/18/2020 Message from Sally Martin, Housing Director: As with many cities, we are taking precautions related to COVID-19 that are changing the way our Building and Housing Department operates. Currently our building and housing window is open at City Hall from 8-2pm M-F. Due to the changing nature of the crisis, we anticipate the possibility of closing the building to the public, but for now we have a window open for transactions. If we discontinue window hours, we will place a receptacle at the exterior of the building for the collection of application forms, plans, etc. Please let Realtors know that even with reduced hours, we are always available by email and will return phone calls promptly, usually within 24 hours. We can handle the majority of requests remotely. Even if our building is closed, we will have some office hours each week to handle items that cannot be handled remotely. We also use Citizen Serve which allows many functions to be completed online, including rental and vacant registration and contractor registration and permits. Check out the city's website for links to the portal. We have temporarily discontinued the interior inspection of occupied properties. We will still conduct vacant building inspections with a lock box permitting access. We will allow for interior permit inspections to be handled via video chat as now permitted by the Board of Building Standards. Please feel free to pass along my email and contact information to Realtors as well as that of Stephen Karr, our Housing Coordinator whose email is listed above. Stephen handles most of the day to day transactions that Realtors are concerned with. Contact Stephen. Contact Sally.
- Cleveland – Mayor Jackson’s office distributes regular updates regarding City operations. Read more here. Of note:
- Building & Housing Offers Limited Public Services – To obtain a permit, citizens can use the online portal at http://ca.permitcleveland.org, mail their permit application to: 601 Lakeside Ave. Rm 505, Cleveland Ohio 44114 or drop off at the front or rear entrance of City Hall. All permit applications can be downloaded online and printed for those who want to use mail or drop off options. We have stopped code enforcement inspections (unless an emergency) and interior residential inspections, unless it is an electrical reconnection inspection. Commercial inspections are being performed on an as need basis and our management team is making the decision for which inspections go forward. Demolitions and board ups are still continuing.
- Department of Public Utilities – As a reminder, the drinking water is safe. While business is operating as normal, the Public Utilities Building is closed to the public. Cleveland Water customers can make payments and manage their account at myclevelandwater.com, by calling (216) 664-3130. Questions can be submitted via the inquiry form at clevelandwater.com/ask-a-question. CPP customers can make payments and manage their account at cpp.org. Inquiries and questions can be submitted via cpp.org/Contact. Cleveland Water and CPP customers may also use the dropbox located at 1201 Lakeside. Please include name and account number along with payment. Multiple accounts must be on separate checks…
- Akron – Public access to city buildings has been suspended. The City has a page on its website with information regarding a variety of City functions. Learn more here.
- Barberton – Mayor Judge declared a State of Emergency in the City. While city operations continue, facilities have been closed to the public. Utility & Building Department payments, permits, etc are being processed through the Finance Department drop off box/window. Learn more on the City’s website or Facebook page.
- Euclid – Euclid City Hall is closed to the public until 4/3/20. For updates on how to process your business with the City, including Income Tax, please refer to that department's page on this site.
- Cleveland Heights - REGARDING THE HOUSING AND BUILDING DEPARTMENTS: There will be no face-to-face City Hall transactions at this time due to the current health crisis. Therefore, in the interest of public health and safety the following protocols are now in place:
- Housing Department: Exterior inspections will continue but there will be no interior inspections of the properties, including Point of Sale. (It is possible that these interiors may be subject to inspection at a later date.) In the case of Point of Sale, interior requests from the homeowner or a real estate agent, the staff will make FaceTime or Skype available. Anyone requesting an inspection, including Point of Sale must download the forms from the City’s website and send the form either by using the City Hall drop box in the circular drive or by mail with the accompanying payment to City Hall and then an inspection will be scheduled. The link for Housing forms is https://www.clevelandheights.com/205/Point-of-Sale-Inspections. Call 216-291-5900 if you have specific questions.
- University Heights – The City has temporarily suspended the interior inspection component of the POS policy. City hall is closed to the public. Check the City’s website or Facebook page for updates.
- Shaker Heights - Effective Wednesday, March 18 until further notice, City Hall, Thornton Park and the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building will be closed to the public. City staff will be hard at work ensuring operations continue, but in order to protect the health of employees, there will be no walk-in visitors allowed. By all means, give us a call if you have an urgent matter and we will work with you to find a solution. Find a directory of departments and staff at shakeronline.com/directory.aspx. Our main number is 216-491-1400. Read more.
- UPDATE 3/25/2020: Please note the following changes in the Building and Housing Department:
- For the safety of residents and employees, we have suspended conducting new interior Point of Sale (POS) inspections of occupied structures and will temporarily waive this requirement for transfers occurring during the crisis. The inspection of occupied structures will be limited to exterior areas.
- We have quickly devised and tested an option for Remote Video Inspections for most interior POS re-inspections and permit inspections of occupied structures.
- We continue to issue building permits and conduct permit inspections.
- The City is suspending and delaying our exterior systematic inspections in the Moreland and Boulevard neighborhoods until next year.
- Please refer to the details about this on the City’s coronavirus webpage and on the Building and Housing Department webpage for more information. And call the Building and Housing Department at 216-491-1460, if you have additional questions.
- UPDATE 3/31/2020: From Kyle Krewson, Building & Housing Dept. Director: "In an effort to enact social distancing measures to protect employees and the community during the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Shaker Heights has temporarily suspended conducting new Point of Sale (POS) inspections. During this time, any applicant who applies for a new POS and has no outstanding violations, will be automatically issued an Emergency and Limited Certificate of Compliance that will remain valid while the City is not performing new inspections. For properties with outstanding violations or for properties that have an active Point of Sale report, the City is able to conduct reinspection by video conference. Remote Video Inspections (RVI) are conducted by a free smartphone app that takes just minutes to setup and does not require a login. In the last week, we have performed several dozen inspections using this technology without issue. For RVI instructions, or for a list of FAQ’s about changes to POS during this crisis, please refer to the Building and Housing Department’s website at: https://www.shakeronline.com/162."
- Orange - As of March 19, 2020, Orange Village Administration, Service, and Building Departments are open for operation. The playground is currently closed. Read more.
- North Royalton - All City Buildings will be closed to the public, effective at 4 p.m. March 20. The Building Department will remain open but with limited access. This is just one part of our continuing efforts to protect the health of our residents and our employees. Everyone who must do so is encouraged to call or email for services and questions. All department emails and phone numbers are available on the city’s website at www.northroyalton.org.
- Maple Heights - The City is working to update the POS policy and forms. Stay tuned for more information.
Have an update to share? Email JMcMillen@AkronClevelandRealtors.com