Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws Explained In Plain English

Landlord Protection Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws Explained In Plain English

Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws Explained In Plain English

Did you know that a is legally binding? Chapter 5321 of the Ohio legal statutes make provisions for landlord-tenant laws that cover all rights owed to tenants and landlord responsibilities.

Before moving to a new home/apartment, landlords require tenants to sign a lease with a set of rules that tenants agree to abide by by signing the agreement. While it's important to read through every legal document before signing, most tenants barely skim through their lease documents.

What's more, leases are often created in favor of the landlord and don't always state the rights of the tenant. In the event that an issue arises between you, (the tenant) and your landlord, you may not know how to address it. DoNotPay can help you settle any landlord-tenant disputes by advocating on your behalf.

To help keep you in the know regarding your tenant rights, we'll explore landlord responsibilities and tenant rights in the State of Ohio.

What Responsibilities Do Landlords Have Towards Tenants?

By virtue of being a property owner, landlords owe their tenants several responsibilities, some of which are never clearly stated in the lease agreement. Here are the landlord's duties and responsibilities:

  • Make necessary legal disclosures
  • Provide habitable housing
  • Comply with anti-discrimination laws
  • Comply with rent and security deposit rules
  • Respect tenants' privacy

For an in-depth understanding of landlord responsibilities, let's review each one.

What Legal Disclosures Should a Landlord Make Beforehand?The disclosure must also be included in the lease for easy reference and follow-up in the event of a breach.
Landlords Must Provide Habitable HousingImplied warranty of habitability is a legal doctrine that requires landlords to provide safe and habitable premises for tenants. This involves house maintenance such as repairs, pest fumigation, among others. Failure to comply may result in a tenant withholding rent and reporting to housing authorities until the premises are deemed habitable.
Anti-Discrimination Laws in OhioLandlords do, however, retain the right to reject an application based on bad references from previous landlords, bad credit history, and other bad risk factors.
Comply with Rent and Security Deposit Laws in OhioThe state of Ohio sets rules on security deposit limits and return policies. Tenants have the right to sue landlords for failure to comply with the set rules.
Respect Tenants' PrivacyWhile landlords in Ohio have the right to access the property for repairs, or inspection, their rights are limited and must not breach the tenants' privacy. Before gaining access to the property, landlords must issue at least a 24-hour notice to the tenant. 

State laws in Ohio mandate that landlords disclose the following information before a tenant signs a lease agreement:

  • Identity of the landlord and person authorized to act on their behalf
  • Rent payment amount and terms
  • Security deposit terms
  • Non-refundable fees
  • Tenancy rules i.e. smoking, pet policies, etc
  • Existing damage to the property
  • Potential hazards on the property i.e. recent flooding, mold, lead-based paint, etc

Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot discriminate against potential tenants based of the following factors:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Familial status

What Are Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities in Ohio?

If you live in or possess a property under a lease agreement, you're the property's tenant. Tenants have rights and rights and responsibilities to the property and the property owner.

1. What Rights Do Tenants Have?

Tenants in the state of Ohio have the right to:

2.  What Are the Tenant Responsibilities?

As an occupant of a property owned by a third party, every tenant must:

  • Comply with the lease agreement
  • Make rent payments as stated in the lease
  • Take care of the property and is liable for damages

Security Deposit Laws in Ohio

According to , a security deposit exceeding $50 or one month's rent is subject to interest accrual of at least 5% per annum if the tenant occupies the house for more than 6 months.

The security deposit is refundable upon the lease agreement's expiration and subject to deductions if there's an overdue rent payment and damages to the property. Any deductions made must be tabulated and communicated to the tenant in written form.

Failure to do so, the tenant can invoke the right to sue the landlord in claims court and will be awarded their security deposit plus damages and legal fees.

When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Ohio?

According to Ohio state laws, landlords may not evict any tenant except through the court system. If a landlord wishes to evict a tenant, they must file a report on the following legal grounds:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Breach of lease agreement
  • Illegal activities in the premises

If the landlord wins the case, then the court will issue an eviction notice to the tenant.

When Can a Tenant Withhold Rent in Ohio?

A tenant may withhold rent in Ohio if the landlord fails to carry out major repairs or if the house is deemed inhabitable. However, the withheld amount must be paid to the municipal court who will hold the money in escrow until the landlord fixes the problem. 

DoNotPay Can Help You Settle Landlord-Tenant Disputes

Landlord-tenant disputes are common, especially with matters involving security deposit and repairs. In some cases, landlords include liability waivers in the lease agreement, denying their responsibility for house maintenance.

Note that state laws trump lease agreements and are there to protect citizens' rights. As such, you may sue your landlord if they breach state housing laws, even if the lease states otherwise.

Settling landlord-tenant disputes is a frustrating process that involves multiple legal procedures. However, DoNotPay can help you navigate the legal system and advocate on your behalf to ensure justice is served. 

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.


  2. Select which issue applies to you.


  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.


  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.


DoNotPay is here to guide you through it and file your disputes on your behalf. Our Landlord Protection product can help you:

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