Ohio Tenant Rights Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

While Ohio renters may not have to worry about things like property taxes and large renovations, there's 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 laws that pertain to tenant rights in Ohio.

Tenant Rights in Ohio: 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. Generally, a landlord can withhold part or all of the security deposit for unpaid rent or utility, or for damages to the property due to the tenant's noncompliance with Section 5321.05 or the rental agreement.

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

Although reading the actual statute is important, it can also be beneficial to read an overview of the law without the legalese found in statutes. In the chart that follows, you'll find both an overview of the law as well as links to relevant statutes.

Statute(s)

Ohio Revised Code, Title LIII, Section 5321.01, et seq. (Landlords and Tenants)

Raises in Rent

Landlord may not raise rent during lease term unless lease agreement allows it; may raise rent upon lease renewal.

Landlord's Right to Enter Property

Landlord must give reasonable notice to enter - 24 hours is presumed reasonable - and can 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-upon services; or
  • Show unit to prospective buyers or tenants.
Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

Unless there's a rental agreement with a fixed end date, the landlord must give notice to terminate the tenancy:

  • Month-to-month: 30 days
  • Week-to-week: seven days
  • Eviction: three days (and court order is required)

Related Statute(s)

Ohio Revised Code:

Note: State laws 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

For more information and resources, please visit the links listed below.

Lean More About Tenant Rights in Ohio: Talk to a Local Attorney

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. Speak with a local landlord-tenant lawyer today to better understand your rights and responsibilities under Ohio tenant rights laws.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.