Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law

Ohio is in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. and has both thriving cities and bustling small-towns. Known for its universities, professional sports teams, and its history in the Rust Belt, Ohio is an industrial capital that is constantly growing.

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Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find Ohio voting information here.

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Ohio Renters' Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Return security deposit within 30 days
  • Tenant has 3 days to cure a violation of the lease
  • Give reasonable notice of 24 hours before entering rental

When it comes to Ohio rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security DepositsThere is no limit in place for what landlords may charge in Ohio for a security deposit. Landlords must return the security deposit within 30 days of a tenant moving out. If landlords do not return the deposit before this time, they must mail or personally give tenants a letter of explanation and a list of the deductions. 
  2. Rent RaisesIn Ohio, there are no restrictions on landlords increasing rent as long as they give ample notice. For month-to-month renters, the required notice is 60-days.
  3. Filing for Eviction If a tenant violates their lease, they have three days to amend their violation or move out before the landlord is legally able to file for eviction. 
  4. Notice for Entering – Landlords must give reasonable advance notice of 24 hours to enter the rental unit. Landlords may enter the unit without permission only in an emergency such as a fire.

Ohio Landlords' Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

  • Late fees for overdue rent are enforced if reasonable or stated in the lease
  • Tenants are expected to keep the property clean and in working order
  • Property is abandoned once a tenancy is terminated
  1. Abandoned Property Ohio has no laws regarding abandoned property. However, landlords should include a section in the lease that describes what will happen if a tenant leaves any items behind after they move out. Typically, a landlord will store the items for 30 days and send a written notice to the ex-tenant. 
  2. Overdue RentRent is due on the specified date in the lease or rental agreement. Landlords may charge a late fee of $20 or 20% of the late payment.
  3. Property MaintenanceTenants must keep the property clean and undamaged. They must also keep all appliances in good working condition as stated in the lease.
  4. Lead Warning – If your property was built before 1978, you must give your tenant a lead-paint warning and include a section in your rental agreement that provides a warning.

Application and Screening Fees

  • HUD (Federal) laws do not classify criminal backgrounds as a protected class, but making a decision to rent based off a criminal background alone could lead to a discrimination charge as it impacts certain protected groups of people disproportionately.
    • However, if the criminal background check revealed a crime for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, homicide and/or stalking, denying the application is allowed.
  • Landlords should have a consistent and equal policy or procedure in place to follow regarding criminal background checks so as not to discriminate against one class of people over another.
  • HUD states that a landlord cannot ask about arrest records, only convictions, as innocent people are commonly arrested though the situation may not have resulted in a conviction.
  • Some municipalities may have written their own laws expanding onto what you can and cannot ask regarding criminal backgrounds during the tenant screening process.

Criminal Background Check

The State of Ohio has no added laws or restrictions around the collection of criminal background checks. Adherence to general federal law is required. To avoid the perception of discrimination, make sure your screening criteria is stated and is consistent and equal for all groups of people.

Security Deposit 

If the security deposit exceeds $50 (or one month’s rent), Ohio landlords must provide interest to their tenants after six months.

Ohio Lease Agreement Sample

Build an Ohio lease agreement with all of the required disclosures in less than 15 minutes.

There are three sections to a residential lease agreement. The first section outlines the custom details of the contract, such as who’s involved and for what address. Here’s an example Ohio lease agreement listing details found in Section 1:

Ohio lease agreement

Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in Ohio:

how-long-does-a-landlord-have-to-fix-something-in-ohio

In Ohio, once notified by a tenant, a landlord has 30 days to make less crucial repairs – if landlords fail to do it within 30 days then tenants have the right to obtain a court order for repairs.

Landlords can only enter a property without permission in case of an emergency. Landlords must give reasonable notice, usually 24 hours, before entering the property. They also should only enter at reasonable times.

The eviction process in Ohio will vary case by case and depend on the county – visit here for eviction guidelines. In Ohio, after a three-day eviction notice, landlords can proceed with filing for an eviction.

Due Diligence and Landlord-Tenant Laws in Ohio

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TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources along with official state statutes in order to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are always in flux and landlords and tenants alike should be sure to do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in Ohio. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.

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