Topic: Landlord and Tenant Law
There are landlord duties and tenant duties that landlords and tenants need to follow. The law provides remedies for failure to follow such duties. There are duties under Ohio landlord-tenant laws and under the lease.
Rights And Obligations Are Created By The Lease
A lease creates rights and obligations for both landlord and tenant. A lease cannot create rights and obligations prohibited by Ohio law. For example, a landlord may not require a tenant to pay attorney fees unless specifically permitted under Ohio’s landlord-tenant laws. The side that prepares the lease will have any confusing provisions decided against that side; because the landlord usually prepares the lease, this usually means such confusing lease provisions will be decided against the landlord and for the tenant.
Ohio Tenants’ Rights
Tenants have a number of rights under Ohio’s landlord tenant laws. Tenants have the right to complain to the government about housing violations. Tenants have the right to complain to the landlord for failing to perform legal duties, and the landlord cannot retaliate by increasing rent, decreasing services, or seeking to evict the tenant. Tenants have the right to reasonable notice of the landlord’s entry, except in an emergency. Landlords cannot take the tenant’s furniture or possessions to recover rent payments (the situations on TV involve commercial rentals which permits a landlord to do so). Tenants have the right to repairs within thirty days after the landlord’s receipt of a written complaint from the tenant. A tenant can escrow rent with the local municipal or county court thirty full days after giving written notice of the tenant’s complaint to the landlord, as long as the tenant is current on rent and has not received notice that the landlord owns fewer than four dwelling units.
Ohio Tenants’ Obligations
Tenants also have obligations. Tenants must keep guests from damaging the premises, keep the premises clean, dispose of garbage, and properly use any appliances the landlord has provided. Tenants must also not disturb or allow guests to disturb the neighbors. Tenants must allow the landlord reasonable access to the property upon notice. Tenants must not allow controlled substances to be present on the property, nor can they allow sexual predators to reside in the unit if the unit is within 1000 feet of a school, preschool or child daycare center.
Ohio Landlords’ Rights
Landlords have rights under Ohio’s landlord tenant laws. Landlords can increase rents with adequate notice. Landlords can refuse to rent to anyone, as long as they do not discriminate against a tenant because of race, color, religion, sex, military status, disability or family status, ancestry or national origin. The landlord may evict the tenant for breaking the terms of the lease or nonpayment of rent by giving at least three business days notice. In other instances, a thirty day notice must be given, not a three day notice. The landlord has the right to reasonable access upon reasonable notice and to have the property returned in as good a condition as it was when the tenant took possession, except for ordinary wear and tear.
Ohio Security Deposits
A tenant can get their security deposit back by leaving the premises in good condition, returning the keys to the landlord, and giving the landlord a new or forwarding address within thirty days after leaving. If the tenant does so, the landlord must, within thirty days, return the security deposit remaining after applying it to any unpaid rent, utilities, late fees or damages caused by the tenant. If the landlord does not return the money on time, the tenant can file a claim with the court and request double damages and attorney fees.