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Landlords should be careful what they text to renters

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Landlord Disputes |

Ohio law makes it illegal to evict or refuse to rent to a person because of race. An Ohio landlord is facing discrimination accusations due to text messages a tenant claims the landlord sent.

When evicting tenants, landlords must ensure that any communication they send to tenants, including text messages, does not violate the law.

Ohio anti-discrimination law

Landlords cannot discriminate against renters because of the following:

  • Disability
  • Color
  • National origin or ancestry
  • Familial status
  • Race
  • Sex

Landlords may also not discriminate based on religion or military status.

Discrimination allegations

Landlords must provide tenants with notice before evicting them. The tenant in this case alleges that she did not receive proper notice and that the text messages the landlord sent her indicated racial motivations for wanting her out of the property.

The landlord denies these allegations and claims that the messages are an act of an impersonator. Furthermore, the landlord asserts the eviction is due to the tenant damaging the rental property.

Tips for landlords

Evicting tenants can be a legally fraught process. Even when the eviction is legal, some tenants may allege violations to attempt to avoid eviction. This makes it important for landlords to ensure they know and comply with eviction laws, including providing proper notice and avoiding any discriminatory practices.

Before evicting a tenant, it is a good idea to review the eviction laws for your area to ensure your reason for evicting the tenant is legal and that you comply with all of the legal requirements. Document your actions to ensure you can defend yourself if a dispute arises.

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