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Ohio Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

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Ohio Landlord-Tenant Laws: An Overview

  • Ohio landlord-tenant laws, also known as Ohio rental laws, are the set of rules that govern the relationship between landlords and tenants in the state. 
  • These laws cover a variety of topics, including rent payments, security deposits, lease agreements, and the eviction process
  • Understanding Ohio landlord-tenant laws is essential for both landlords and tenants to ensure a fair and lawful rental experience. 
  • Ohio eviction laws outline the legal procedures and requirements that must be followed by landlords when evicting a tenant.

Ohio Rental Laws: FAQs

How much can I charge for the rent?

Ohio landlord-tenant laws 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?

According to Ohio rental laws, 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 under Ohio landlord-tenant laws. 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?

According to Ohio landlord-tenant laws, 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?

Under Ohio rental laws, 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?

Under Ohio rental laws, 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 in Ohio, Ohio landlord-tenant laws require that 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?

Ohio landlord-tenant laws 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 in the Lease under Ohio rental laws.

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)

What a landlord cannot do in Ohio?

Ohio landlord-tenant laws set certain limits on what landlords can do in the course of managing their rental properties. Some things that a landlord cannot do in Ohio include:

  • Discrimination: Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on their race, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, or disability.
  • Retaliation: Landlords cannot take retaliatory action against tenants who have exercised their legal rights, such as filing a complaint about habitability issues.
  • Self-Help Eviction: Landlords cannot use “self-help” methods to evict tenants, such as changing the locks or removing the tenant’s belongings. They must go through the proper legal process for eviction.
  • Interference with Quiet Enjoyment: Landlords cannot interfere with a tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the rental property, such as by entering the property without notice or consent.
  • Failure to Make Repairs: Landlords are required to keep the rental property in a habitable condition, and they cannot ignore requests from tenants to make necessary repairs.
  • Security Deposits: Landlords cannot charge excessive security deposits or use the security deposit for any purpose other than unpaid rent or damages.
  • Utilities: Landlords cannot turn off essential utilities, such as heat or water, in an attempt to force the tenant to vacate the property.
In Ohio, how much advance notice must a landlord provide a renter before they vacate?

In Ohio, the notice a landlord must give to a tenant depends on the type of lease agreement.

For a month-to-month rental agreement, a landlord must give the tenant a written notice of termination at least 30 days prior to the end of the rental period.

For a week-to-week rental agreement, a landlord must give the tenant a written notice of termination at least 7 days prior to the end of the rental period.

It’s important to note that if a tenant violates a term of the lease agreement, such as not paying rent, the landlord may be able to give the tenant a shorter notice of termination. In such cases, the length of the notice can vary depending on the specific circumstances.

What is the fair housing law for tenants in Ohio?

Fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the purchase, leasing, or financing of housing as well as any other interference with a person’s right to a decent place to live on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, ancestry, disability, national origin, or status in the armed forces.

What is considered harassment by a landlord in Ohio?

According to Ohio landlord-tenant laws, a landlord engaging in certain behaviors towards a tenant could be considered harassment. Harassment is broadly defined as behavior that is intended to disturb, bother, or irritate another person. Some specific examples of landlord harassment in Ohio may include:

  • Entering the rental property without permission or notice
  • Threatening or using physical force against a tenant
  • Intimidating or retaliating against a tenant for complaining about the condition of the property or asserting their legal rights
  • Shutting off utilities, such as heat or electricity, in an attempt to force a tenant to vacate the property
  • Refusing to make necessary repairs or maintenance to the property
  • Discriminating against a tenant based on their race, gender, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics.
Can a tenant refuse entry to a landlord in Ohio?

In Ohio, a landlord has the right to enter a tenant’s rented property under certain circumstances. Generally, a landlord can enter a rental unit to make necessary repairs, perform routine maintenance, or show the property to prospective tenants, among other reasons.

However, a tenant also has certain rights and protections when it comes to landlord entry. In Ohio, a landlord must generally provide reasonable notice before entering a rental property, except in emergencies. What constitutes reasonable notice is not specified by Ohio landlord-tenant laws, but it is typically considered to be 24 hours’ notice.

If a landlord attempts to enter a rental property without proper notice or without a legitimate reason, a tenant may have the right to refuse entry. A tenant may also have the right to deny entry if the proposed entry time is not convenient for them, or if the landlord has a history of entering the property without proper notice or consent.

What is the landlord-tenant law in Ohio 2024?

In Ohio, the landlord-tenant law ensures that rental properties meet safety and health standards set by the state. Landlords must maintain the property accordingly. Tenants have the right to request repairs, which landlords must address promptly. It’s all about safe and fair living conditions for both parties.

Can a landlord enter your yard without permission?

In accordance with Ohio landlord-tenant laws, entering a tenant’s yard without permission is generally prohibited, unless there’s an emergency or it’s stipulated in the lease. Respecting tenant privacy fosters trust and compliance. Familiarize yourself with state regulations and uphold respectful communication with tenants to maintain a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

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.

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.

Ohio Eviction Laws

Ohio eviction laws refer to the regulations governing the process of evicting tenants from rental properties in the state of Ohio. These laws state the conditions under which a landlord can legally evict tenants and the proceedings that need to be followed in order to do so. Additionally, Ohio landlord-tenant laws lay out the rights and responsibilities of both parties throughout the rental process.

If a tenant fails to pay rent or violates the lease agreement, landlords in Ohio can initiate the eviction process. They must first provide the tenant with a written notice that outlines the reason for the eviction and the timeframe for vacating the property. If the tenant does not adhere, the landlord can proceed to file an eviction lawsuit in the relevant court.

However, Ohio eviction laws also provide some protections for tenants. Landlords cannot evict tenants as an act of retaliation for actions such as requesting repairs or joining a tenant organization. Additionally, landlords are required to provide tenants with a habitable living environment and cannot evict tenants for requesting necessary repairs.

It is important for both landlords and tenants to understand Ohio eviction laws and their respective rights and responsibilities in the rental process. Staying informed on these regulations can help avoid potential conflicts and ensure a smooth rental experience.

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
3 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 ?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x