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State Landlord Tenant Law

Ohio Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

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Ohio Landlord Tenant Law

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Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws: FAQs

Let’s understand Ohio landlord-tenant laws and regulations through the following –

How much can I charge for the rent?
Ohio does not restrict the amount of rent a landlord is permitted to charge. Therefore, a landlord may charge whatever he feels necessary. Additionally, the state of Ohio has not established rent control or stabilization.

May I charge an application fee, late rent charge, or a returned payment fee?
As per the Ohio landlord tenant law, reasonable costs should always be kept in mind when instituting any charges. There are no limits placed on the amount a landlord may charge for an application fee or a late payment. However, a landlord should not charge a fee so high that it calls into question the fairness of the fee if challenged in court. Assessed fees for a returned check may not exceed $30 or 10% of the face amount of the instrument, whichever is greater, plus the amount of any fees charged to the holder of the check by any financial institution as a result of the check not being honoured. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 1319.16

May I use a daily late charge?
Although this is not prohibited, it tends to be a rare practice and generally not encouraged.

What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
There is no limit to the maximum amount a landlord may collect for the security deposit. However, please note that the landlord must pay the tenant interest on any amount of the security deposit in excess of 1 month’s rent.

What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage as well as including repair receipts and pictures.

My tenant has moved out, what do I do with their security deposit?
A landlord who has received written notice of the tenant’s forwarding address must return the security deposit or an itemized list of proper deductions within 30 days of the termination of the lease, and the tenant’s return of possession to the landlord, or be liable for double damages and attorney’s fees. Please also be aware that the landlord must pay the tenant interest on any amount of the security deposit in excess of one month’s rent.

How can I end an Ohio lease agreement?
In regards to a fixed-term rental agreement, notice would apply to the terms specified within the lease. With regards to a periodic tenancy, however long the tenancy is, that is how much notice one party wishing to terminate the lease must give the other. For instance, a month-to-month lease requires 30 days’ notice of intent to terminate. The notice period does not begin until the start of the next rental period.

Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable or If the tenant is called to active military duty. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.

Can I require my tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?
Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance, and can make the failure to do so a breach of the lease agreement.

What are the landlord’s legal rights in the event of the death of a tenant?
The tenant’s estate steps into the shoes of the tenant and must pay the rent and fulfill the obligations of the lease agreement.

My tenant has not paid rent; how much notice do I have to give a tenant in order to evict them? If the landlord wishes to file an eviction, a 3-day notice to vacate must either be given to the tenant or posted on the door of the premises. The day of posting does not count, nor does any day in which the court is not open. Thus a notice posted on Friday will allow an eviction to be filed with the Court upon the following Thursday provided that neither Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday happen to be holidays upon which the court is not open.

How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.

Can I force my tenant to pay for attorney fees?
Landlord Tenant Law Ohio does not allow for the landlord to obtain attorneys fees pursuant to a lease agreement. However, if the tenant violates Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.05, then the law does provide for attorneys fees payable by the tenant to the landlord.

How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
Often times it’s best to look for the obvious, such as the removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one-week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It’s extremely important to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.

What can I do if my tenant files for bankruptcy?
The procedures a landlord should take will be determined by bankruptcy court laws. A Landlord usually will proceed with relief from the “stay” deeming the tenant responsible for rent incurred during the pendency of bankruptcy proceedings. This is a complicated procedure and warrants at least a consult with an attorney.

Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the Lease.

Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
The landlord must give the tenant reasonable notice (presumed to be 24 hours) of intent to enter for the purposes of inspection or repair. R.C. 5321.04(A)(8)

Landlord Rights in Ohio

  • You, as a landlord, have the right to remove the renter for failure to pay rent or for violating any important rule or clause in the agreement. Before bringing an eviction action in court, you must provide the renter formal notice of your intentions. You must give notice of nonpayment of rent at least three days in advance of launching an eviction action, or the court will dismiss your case. In other situations, you must give the renter 30 days to fix the issue before starting the eviction process. Wait until after the third day before filing the eviction case, and do not include the day you deliver the notice or weekends and holidays.
  • You are free to rent to anybody you like and include any clauses in a rental agreement that don’t go against federal or state law.
  • You have the right to access the property to inspect, make repairs, make renovations, provide services, or show the property after giving the tenant sensible notice (24 hours).
  • You have to give a renter written notice of any violations that have a material impact on health and safety, and you have to give them 30 days to make things right before you file for eviction.
  • Except for normal wear and tear, you have the right to have your property returned to you in the same state as when the tenant first moved in.

Landlord Responsibilities in Ohio

As a landlord, you must

  • Do everything that is reasonably required to keep the rental property usable and tenantable, including all repairs.
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment in all of the building’s common areas.
  • Please respect others’ rights to enter the land for permitted purposes. You have violated the tenant’s privacy if you misuse this right.
  • Respect all building, housing, health, and safety regulations that have a substantial impact on health and safety.
  • Keep all of the fixtures, appliances, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and sanitary systems you provided in good operating order.
  • If you are the owner of four or more units in the same building, you must provide, maintain, and arrange for trash pickup.
  • Provide heat, hot water, and running water in a sufficient volume. (Whether it’s an apartment or a house, you can demand that the tenant pay some or all of the utility costs associated with the property.)
  • Start the eviction process against a tenant who is using or allowing the usage of illegal drugs on the property.
  • Register with the county auditor of the property’s location if it is in a county with a population above 200,000 people and include your name, address, and contact information. 
  • Give your tenant a lead-based paint disclosure form and a copy of the U.S. EPA’s “Protect Your Family from Lead in the Home” leaflet if your home was constructed prior to 1978. Additionally, a particular lead-based paint warning must be inserted in the lease.
  • Do not try to evict a renter by changing the locks, cutting off the utilities, or taking the tenant’s goods without a court order.

Tenant Rights in Ohio

You have the right to possess the property solely until the lease expires if you comply with the terms of the lease and/or the law.

  • The landlord cannot confiscate your possessions or furniture in order to collect unpaid rent if you break your lease.
  • If your landlord neglects to fulfill any legal obligations, you have the right to complain to them. If you make a complaint and the landlord responds by raising the rent, cutting back on services, or trying to evict you as retaliation, the landlord has broken the law. Retaliation can be stopped or punished legally with a variety of measures, including ending your lease and obtaining compensation for losses and legal costs.
  • You have a right to be aware of the name, address, and, if relevant, the agent of the person who owns your residential property. This information must be included in your written lease or, in the case of an oral lease, provided to you in writing when your tenancy starts. You are not required to inform your landlord if they don’t offer this information before escrowing your rent(Escrowing your rent is paying it to the municipal or county court clerk rather than your landlord, depending on where you live) with the court. The county auditor also keeps track of who owns residential property.
  • You have the right to collaborate or join with other tenants or renters to negotiate the conditions of your lease with your landlord.
  • The landlord is required to respect your right to privacy. If there is an emergency, the landlord may enter your unit without prior warning otherwise landlord need to provide a reasonable amount of time (at least 24 hours) of notice before entering your rental unit.
  • If you have given your landlord written notice of issues with your rental home or of a rodent or insect infestation, the landlord is required to address the issues within a “reasonable” period of time. For critical issues, the landlord should address them within less time duration. For instance, an acceptable amount of time might just be a few days for a damaged furnace in the middle of January. Less urgent repairs may take the landlord up to 30 days to complete. You may be entitled to get a court order for repairs to be done, a court-ordered decrease in rent, or the right to end the lease if the landlord does not make the necessary repairs within a reasonable period of time (not longer than 30 days). Additionally, you are permitted to escrow your rent.
  • If your landlord breaks any housing laws or rules that endanger your health and safety, you have the right to file a complaint with a governmental body.

Tenant Responsibilities in Ohio

As a tenant, you must

  • Any appliances provided by your landlord should be kept clean and used properly. You should also notify your landlord right once if any of your appliances require repair.
  • Keep the area clean and safe.
  • Do not bother your neighbors, or don’t let your visitors bother your neighbors.
  • Garbage should be disposed of in a clean and safe manner.
  • Maintain the unit’s plumbing fixtures as spotless as possible given their condition allows.
  • Be sure to correctly use all the plumbing and electrical equipment.
  • Abide by all municipal, state, and housing code requirements for health and safety.
  • Do not remove or intentionally damage any fixture, appliance, or other portion of the property, nor allow your visitors to do so.
  • If the apartment is located within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool, or childcare facility, sexual predators must not be permitted to inhabit the space.
  • The property must not have any controlled substances on it (for instance drugs).
  • Give your landlord reasonable access to the property (with 24 hours notice) for inspections, repairs, or showings to potential buyers or tenants. In cases of emergency, when the landlord is delivering significant packages, or when both parties have agreed, twenty-four hours notice is not necessary.

Security Deposits in Ohio

In Ohio, landlords are not legally required to collect a security deposit from their tenants, but it is a common practice. Security deposits are typically used to cover damages that go beyond normal wear and tear and can also be used to pay for reasonable attorney’s fees.

There is no maximum limit for the amount of a security deposit. However, it is common for landlords to require at least one month’s rent for the security deposit. 

The landlord is required to return the security deposit to the tenant within 30 days after the tenant vacates the property. If the landlord does not return the deposit within this timeframe, the tenant may seek legal assistance to recover the withheld amount.

In Ohio, landlords are permitted to retain security deposits if they provide an itemized list of damages to the rental unit that occurred during the tenant’s occupancy.

If the security deposit is more than $50 or one month’s rent (whichever is greater), the landlord must put the deposit in an interest-bearing account.

Read More –

Ohio Landlord Spanks Tenant Over Unpaid Rent

State Landlord Tenant Laws

Landlord And Property Management Articles

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord-tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.


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Mike Karp
Mike Karp
2 years ago

I have re- rented with a 12 month lease for 3 years, now I want to go month to month, I their a month to month lease? Or do I simply not provide a lease ?

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