Landlord Station understands that only knowing the landlord side of the Ohio landlord tenant law can be tempting, since knowing your rights and responsibilities as a landlord are really the only required information. However, the same laws which protect you and ensure that you perform your duties also provide important information on Ohio tenant rights. Having a general understanding of these Ohio renters rights and responsibilities can help you become a better landlord since you will fully know when to exercise your rights due to tenant non-compliance, as well as when and how to protect yourself from a tenant who is exercising his or her rights.
What follows is a general overview of Ohio landlord tenant law as it pertains to Ohio tenant rights and responsibilities and should not be taken as specific legal advice. For legal advice regarding your situation as landlord in Ohio, you should contact an experienced attorney.
As you may know, Ohio landlord tenant law is covered under Chapter 5321 (ORC § 5321.01) of the Ohio Revised Code. Under ORC § 5321.01, a landlord is the owner, lessor, or sublessor, or such a person's agent, that is authorized to manage the rental premises or receive rent from a tenant under an Ohio rental agreement. A tenant is defined under this same section of code as "a person entitled under rental agreement to the use and occupancy of residential premises to the exclusion of others."
As landlord, you are required to fulfill certain responsibilities to your tenant under these landlord tenant laws. Ohio is pretty reasonable when it comes to these obligations. Generally, you are required to keep the rental unit and premises in reasonably clean, safe, and habitable condition. You are also required to give courtesy when exercising your right to entry. Failure to perform your responsibilities under law may cause your tenant to exercise his or her rights after providing written notification.
Tenant rights in the state of Ohio include:
• Right of tenant to deposit all rent currently due, and due in the future, with the municipal court clerk or county court clerk - depending on which has jurisdiction over the premises
• Right of the tenant to obtain court order directing you, the landlord, to fix an unfavorable condition
• Right of the tenant upon submission of court order to request a reduction in rent until the condition is fixed
• Right of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement
Understanding these rights is fundamental to protecting yourself as a landlord in a rental agreement. When you know what a tenant is allowed to do under the law to remedy an unsatisfactory situation, you can proactively prevent many conflicts by ensuring all of your legal obligations are fulfilled. Similarly, understanding your tenant's responsibilities under the law is a way to protect yourself and your property by knowing when it is appropriate to exercise your rights.
A tenant's obligations under Ohio law include the following:
• Keeping the rental premises safe and sanitary
• Disposal of all waste in a clean, safe, and sanitary way
• Maintaining cleanliness of plumbing fixtures in rental premises as their condition permits
• Using and operating all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly
• Compliance with all tenant-applicable state and local housing, health, and safety codes
• Refraining from the negligent and/or intentional damaging, destruction, or removal of any part of the rental premises
• Refraining from disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of the rental premises by the neighbors
• Performing any regular maintenance on and keeping in good working order any appliance the landlord has supplied and required the tenant to maintain under the rental agreement
• Maintaining personal responsibility for any damage to the premises and/or disruption of the neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises caused by guests of the tenant
• Allowing the landlord right to access of the rental unit under reasonable circumstances as defined by law
Knowing these responsibilities of your tenant under Ohio law means that you can work directly and personally with your tenant to get the issue resolved, or use your rights as landlord under the law to exercise legal remedies. Legal remedies may include recovering damages in civil court or even eviction. However you choose to approach your relationships with your tenants, whether it is on a personal level or through legal means, knowing and understanding both of your rights and responsibilities under Ohio law means you can safely and accurately troubleshoot any issues that arise.
Remember, what precedes this is a general overview of Ohio renters rights and responsibilities. Many of the rental laws in Ohio have specific clauses governing how remedies for each situation, whether landlord- or tenant-driven, should be handled. For specific legal advice regarding your situation under Ohio rental laws, contact an experienced lawyer.
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