Landlord and Tenant Laws

You can find Ohio’s landlord and tenant laws in Chapter 5321 of the Ohio Revised Code. Here are some key facts:

Know what each person is…

A landlord owns, leases, or subleases a property through a rental agreement OR is someone who the owner, lessor, or sublessor puts in position to manage or receive rent from a tenant under a rental agreement.

A tenant signed a rental agreement to use and occupy a property.

What must landlords do?

  • Obey all health and safety laws and codes;
  • Make all repairs. Do what is reasonable to keep a property livable;
  • Keep common areas safe and sanitary;
  • Make sure that all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation equipment, air conditioning, appliances, and elevators work and are safe;
  • If the building has four or more units, provide and maintain trashcans or dumpsters, and arrange for garbage removal;
  • Except when controlled by the tenant, and supplied by a direct utility connection, provide running water, hot water, and heat;
  • Except in an emergency, give the tenant reasonable notice (24 hours) before entering the premises; and
  • Follow all laws and procedures before evicting a tenant.
  • Follow the specifics of the lease agreement.

Tenants must…

  • Keep the space that he or she occupies safe and as healthy as possible;
  • Dispose of all garbage and waste;
  • Use all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly;
  • Follow all applicable housing, health, and safety codes;
  • Not destroy, damage, or remove any fixture, appliance, or other part of the premises;
  • Respect the privacy and noise control needs of neighbors;
  • Follow all legal prohibitions related to controlled substances;
  • Not unreasonably stop the landlord from entering the premises.
  • Follow all laws and procedures before terminating a lease prematurely.
  • Follow the terms of the lease agreement.

What can lease agreements require?

Rental agreements may include any terms and conditions as long as those conditions are not prohibited by law.

What can a tenant do if a landlord fails to follow the lease or the law?

  • Provide written notice to the landlord detailing the conditions;
  • If the landlord receives the notice and fails to correct the violations (generally within 30 days), the tenant may take additional action. This includes putting rent payments in an escrow account with the municipal court, applying for a court order that requires the landlord to correct the conditions, or terminating the rental agreement. Contact for more information.

What can a landlord do if a tenant fails to follow the lease or the law?

  • Give the tenant written notice of the specific failure and a date that the rental agreement will terminate if the issue is not addressed. (The date must be at least 30 days after the tenant receives the notice).
  • If the tenant does not correct failure within the specified time period, the rental agreement will terminate as stated in the notice.
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