Landlord-Tenant Law

Many people are landlords, however some do not follow Ohio law when acting as such. There are certain things that as a landlord you must know:

  • You cannot discriminate and/or not rent to persons because of the following:
    • Color
    • Disability
    • Familial status (married/having children or not)
    • National origin/ancestry
    • Military status
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Sex
  • You can charge whatever security deposit amount you want, however if it exceeds the amount of one month rent, you must pay interest on the same annually.
  • You must provide, prior to renting, a disclosure on lead paint and a federal pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards, which you can find online.
  • You must provide heat, water and hot water at all times.
  • You must make repairs when notified, and if you do not, the tenant may terminate the lease or pay rents into the court, then request that money to make the repairs on their own.
  • You must provide written notice of at least 24 hours if you want to enter the unit to make repairs or complete an inspection.
  • You should have a written lease, and if you have only an oral lease or a lease ended by its own time frame, then you have a month-to-month tenancy, which either party can terminate within 30 days' notice.
  • You must return security deposits in full or provide notice of how funds are being applied (unpaid rent or utilities/repairs/cleaning/etc.).
    • If you do not comply (or you wrongfully retain monies) you can be sued for double the security, plus attorney fees if the tenant provides you with a forwarding address.

As a tenant:

  • You should take a picture/video of every square inch of the apartment when you move in (every floor, every wall, every drawer, every ceiling). Inside and out as applicable.
  • You should take the same pictures prior to vacating the unit.
  • You should clean and repair the property as applicable.
  • You should try to do a walk through with the landlord and have them verify in writing that you will get all of your security deposit back.
  • You should immediately send the landlord a letter with your new address and tell them where they should send the security deposit back.
  • If they do not return the full security deposit or send a letter setting forth valid reasons as to why they kept the deposit, within 30 days, you should contact Kirner & Boldt Co., L.P.A. so that we can bring legal action against the landlord.
  • Valid retentions of security deposit are:
    • Unpaid rent/utilities
    • Damage (beyond normal wear and tear)
    • Cleaning
    • Removal of left-behind property/garbage

Kirner & Boldt Co., L.P.A., provides the following services:

For landlords:

  • Drafting of residential leases
  • Three-day notices
  • 30-day notices/termination of lease letters
  • Forcible entry and detainer lawsuits (evictions)
  • Security deposit letters
  • First and second causes of action
    • The first cause of action is to get the property back
    • The second cause of action is to attempt to collect damages for nonpayment of rent/utilities/damage/attorney fees — if intentional damage.

For Tenants:

  • Lawsuits for wrongful retention of security deposits.

For More Information About Landlord-Tenant Law

Call our North Royalton, Ohio, law firm at 440-884-4300 for a free initial consultation about landlord-tenant law. To contact us through email, please complete our brief form.