Bill to Improve Self-Storage Unit and Abandoned Vehicle Laws Passes Ohio House

COLUMBUS — The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 132, legislation sponsored by State Representatives Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and Don Jones (R-Freeport) that would revise Ohio’s laws regarding self-storage units and abandoned vehicles.

In regards to altering Ohio’s laws regarding self-storage, House Bill 132 would do the following:

  • Clarify the definition of “owner” to include “owner/agent” in order to permit local employees to take the actions required of the statute
  • Authorize the use of e-mail and private delivery services to the methods of delivering notices
  • Permit the sale of property to take place via an online auction and adds the requirement that no fewer than three bidders must register, view or attend a sale similar to in-person auctions in current law
  • Allow an owner/operator to halt an action to enforce a lien if payment is received from a person other than the occupant. Current law does not allow this discretion of the owner/operator
  • Add “trailer” to be treated the same as vehicles and watercraft and adds discretion on when an owner/operator must tow

“All interested parties recognize the problem that now-House Bill 132 addresses and support the solution,” said Hillyer. “Working together, our main objectives are to ensure the legislation does not infringe on the duties and responsibilities of Ohio law enforcement entities, abandoned vehicles can be disposed of properly and that the solution is agreeable to all interested parties. House Bill 132 accomplishes these goals.”

In regards to the revisions in Ohio’s laws regarding abandoned vehicles, House Bill 132 would deem vehicles abandoned sixty days after the vehicle owner and/or lienholder are notified by law enforcement. This time period provides law enforcement time to collect the title for disposal or any purpose they deem necessary. There is no intention to modify the current process law enforcement may utilize to acquire the vehicle’s title, and they may continue to do so as they deem necessary.

“Ohio’s towing and recovery companies are a vital part of public safety services and are routinely called by law enforcement to respond to accidents and emergencies to clear Ohio roads and highways,” said Jones. “House Bill 132 would create a streamlined process that enables towing and storage companies the ability to acquire the titles to these abandoned vehicles if the law enforcement entities decide not to process the vehicle.”

House Bill 132 passed by a vote of 71-23 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.