Ohio Tenant Rights Laws

While Ohio renters may not have to worry about things like property taxes and large renovations, there is a wide array of unpleasant landlord-tenant issues that can come up during your tenancy. Thankfully, the state has a number of laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship in addition to federal and local laws. Read on to learn more about Ohio's tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights: Discrimination, Habitability, and More

Even before you sign a rental agreement, Ohio law protects you against discrimination based on race, religion, military status, and other protected traits. Housing discrimination can include refusing to rent to someone, misrepresenting the availability of a unit, or offering different terms based on a person's protected characteristic.

Once you become a tenant, your landlord has a responsibility to provide and maintain a habitable unit, which includes abiding by applicable housing and safety codes, and maintaining plumbing, heating, and air conditioning fixtures. At the end of your tenancy, you should receive your security deposit back within 30 days of moving out, with any deductions clearly itemized in writing by your landlord.

These and other laws are designed to protect you against unfair practices within the landlord-tenant relationship. Therefore, it's also important to note that your landlord may not retaliate against you by raising the rent or evicting you simply because you complained about certain living conditions or code violations.

Ohio Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • Limit: No statutory maximum
  • Must return all or part of the security deposit within 30 days (with interest in many cases)
  • If an itemized list is provided, part or all may be used for:
    • Unpaid rent or utility charges
    • Damages due to tenant's noncompliance with §5321.05 or the rental agreement

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. 1 year lease) unless lease allows; may raise rent upon lease renewal

Living Conditions

  • Landlord must give reasonable notice to enter; 24 hours is presumed reasonable
  • Landlord may only enter for certain reasons including:
    • Emergency
    • To make ordinary, necessary, or agreed-upon repairs
    • Deliver parcels too large for mail facilities
    • Supply necessary or agreed services
    • Show unit to prospective or actual buyers or tenants
  • Landlord must provide and maintain unit in fit, habitable condition (comply with building, housing, safety codes; make repairs; etc.)

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on disability, race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, ancestry, disability, or national origin

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give notice to terminate the tenancy:
    • Month-to-month: 30 days
    • Week-to-week: seven days
    • Eviction: three days
  • No notice required for rental agreement with fixed end date
  • Eviction: court order required

Retaliation

  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Ohio Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

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Even with these summaries and links, it can be difficult to know which laws apply to your situation and how to assert your rights. While some issues can be resolved amicably, others require more adamant persuasion. Receive a free case review today to better understand your rights and responsibilities under Ohio tenant rights laws.

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