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This state doesn't have such a high population of renters in its area. However, it is known for great tenancy relationships between landlords and tenants, which is what matters. There are many factors that can affect the way in which a leasing term unfolds since each landlord can specify their own terms for a lease.

However, each state in the country has its own general guidelines to follow, and they are an excellent way for all the parties involved to keep track of every condition for leasing. Aside from providing a much better landlord-tenant relationship, it can help prevent legal disputes that may arise.

In this article, we're going to provide an overview of the Ohio landlord-tenant law to help all the parties involved in a lease to have a better understanding of how their lease agreement may be drafted.

What Does a Rental Agreement in Ohio Include?

Overall, a rental agreement must include information regarding the landlord and tenant rights and obligations throughout the tenancy term. These arrangements may be adjusted to fit the landlords' needs, but they usually follow general guidelines.

A landlord may draft an oral or a written lease if they wish. However, it's highly recommended that they always create a written lease since it can serve as proof of everything that both parties agreed upon.

A written lease agreement must include the name and address of the owner or the owner s agent. The general clauses included are the following:

  • Description of the unit.
  • Information of the parties involved in the lease.
  • Security deposit clauses.
  • Rent payments.
  • Miscellaneous terms.

All of the terms of the Ohio landlord-tenant law are specified in the Ohio Revised Code (Chapter 5321).

Is Ohio a Landlord-Friendly State?

Ohio is considered a landlord-friendly state since there are few to no regulations for rent control policies and mandatory disclosures. This means that a landlord may be more flexible while charging and increasing rent prices.

What Are Landlords' Rights and Duties?

Rights

According to Ohio landlord-tenant law, Ohio landlords have the legal right to collect payments when rent is due, use the security deposit to deduct repair costs of damages that exceed normal wear and tear, and maintain in good working order all the utilities.

Duties

Landlords must provide a rental property that complies with state and local building, housing, health, or safety code applicable to the rental. Alternatively, Ohio landlords must provide repairs in a reasonable amount of time if the tenant requests them.

As a way to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition, Ohio landlords must also keep in check all of the above:

  • Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water (This doesn't apply if heat or hot water can be supplied to the tenant directly).
  • Keep electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and other utilities in good condition.
  • Keep the unit in a safe and sanitary condition.

What Are Tenants' Rights and Duties?

Rights

Tenants have the right to live in a unit that complies with state and local housing conditions. If there are any damages that affect health and safety conditions for the tenant, they may send a notice for repair to the landlord.

According to Ohio law, a tenant may recover their security deposit within 30 days of leaving the rental property.

Duties

While this list may be adjusted to comply with the requirements of the landlord, here is an overview of the general duties that every tenant must comply with:

Keep all common areas in a safe and sanitary condition so that it complies with local housing, health, and safety codes.

  • Provide maintenance to electrical and plumbing fixtures properly.
  • Pay rent on time.
  • Not disturb other tenants or neighbors.

Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law - General Clauses

Rent Payments

There are no current rent control policies in Ohio law, meaning that a landlord can charge any amount of rent they consider fit for their needs. It's important to note that the state of Ohio may include some clauses regarding rent control in the future.

Additionally, the landlord is not required to provide a receipt for rental payments, but it's highly recommended to do it to keep a record of each transaction.

If the tenant decides to deposit rent with the clerk of a court of law, the clerk must send a written notice to the landlord. This deposit may be deposited in a separate rent escrow account.

Rent Increase

According to Ohio landlord-tenant law, a landlord doesn't have to provide any written notice to the tenant before raising the price of rent.

Late Fees

Ohio law doesn't state any clauses regarding fees. If the landlord decides to include them in the lease agreement, they may do it without any issues. However, Ohio landlord-tenant laws limit bounced check fees at 10% of the check's value.

Security Deposits in Ohio

While landlord-tenant laws in the state of Ohio don't require the landlord to collect a security deposit from their tenant, it's common for the landlord to request them. A security deposit is mainly used to cover damage that exceeds normal wear and tear, as well as reasonable attorney s fees.

There are no limits as to the amount of a security deposit. However, most landlords charge at least one month's worth of rent for the security deposit.

The landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days of the tenant leaving the premises. If the landlord fails to return the deposit in these 30 days, the tenant may seek legal help and recover the amount wrongfully withheld.

Landlords in Ohio are allowed to withhold the security deposits as long as they provide an itemized list of the damages that the apartment sustained while the tenant lived there.

Does the Landlord Have to Pay Interests?

A security deposit in excess of $50 or one month s rent (Whichever is greater), the landlord must place the deposit in an interest-bearing account.

Ohio Landlord-Tenant Clauses for Lease Termination

Tenants may terminate the rental agreement after its period ends. If they want to do this, they may send the following notice:

  • Weekly Leases - Seven days of notice.
  • Monthly Leases - 30 days of notice.

A tenant can also terminate the lease early for any of the following reasons:

  • Unacceptable living conditions.
  • Harassment or domestic violence.
  • Active military duty.
  • Early termination clauses.

Eviction Clauses

According to landlord-tenant laws, the landlord can evict their tenant for any of the following reasons:

  • The tenant doesn't pay rent: The landlord may send a three days' notice to pay or quit.
  • The lease terms are violated: The landlord can send a three days' notice to quit.
  • The tenant is seen engaging in criminal activity: The tenant can be evicted immediately.

The landlord has to send the tenant a notice demanding possession of the premises. If the tenant doesn't respond to this "Possession of the Premises" notice, the landlord can send the tenant a three-day notice to move out. According to landlord-tenant laws in Ohio, the landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant.

See our full guide on the eviction process and laws for Ohio.

eviction process and laws for Ohio

Housing Discrimination

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Fair Housing Act protect the tenant from any discrimination from their landlord. Landlords cannot discriminate against any tenant for their race, color, gender identity, nationality, religion, etc.

Conclusion

If landlords and tenants follow the required guidelines throughout the entire lease term, they're guaranteed to have a peaceful and healthy leasing relationship.

While the landlord can provide as many rules as they consider appropriate for their property (As long as they're compliant with state law), they must ensure that every party involved understands and agrees with them.

Remember that this is an overview of the Ohio landlord-tenant law. If you need any additional information regarding a particular tenancy case, make sure to seek legal help from an attorney or a real estate manager.

FAQs

Is the landlord obligated to inform the tenant about lead paint on the property?

If the property was built before 1978, the tenant must request the landlord information about any concentrations of lead paint inside the place, as well as a copy of EPA's pamphlet.

Can the locks be replaced on a property in Ohio?

The tenant can request the landlord to have the property's locks replaced if they become a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. However, there isn't any clause in Ohio law that prohibits the tenant from changing the locks whenever they want.

A landlord cannot change the locks unilaterally in retaliation.

What is the limit for a small claims court in Ohio?

These courts can hear rent cases valued at $3,000 or less. Keep in mind that there's an eight-year statute of limitations for cases regarding written leases.

Does the landlord have the right to enter the property in Ohio?

Landlords have to give the tenant at least 24 hours of notice before entering their property. However, a landlord can enter their property without advanced notice if it's a case of emergency.

Factors that threaten the tenant's safety or health are considered by law as a case of emergency.

Resources

  1. Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law - Ohio State Bar Association
  2. Ohio Revised Code
David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his two children, he's writing articles here!