Ohio Tenant-Landlord Law


Fair Housing

The Fair Housing Act was created in order to ensure that everyone is treated equally during the housing process. It protects tenants from discrimination when searching for a rental property. At the federal level the Fair Housing Act protects the following classes:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

Learn about fair housing at the federal level here

Ohio protects the same categories as federal law, in addition to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of:

Security Deposits

  • In Ohio, like other states, security deposits are designed to prove a tenant’s financial stability and secure a payment for damaged property
  • There is no statute in Ohio regarding security deposit maximums.
  • If a security deposit is larger than $50, or one month’s rent, whichever is greater, it must be placed in an interest-bearing account. Any excess of the deposit will bear interest of 5% paid annually by the landlord to the tenant. (§§ 5321.16)
    • This account, however, does not have to separate from the Landlord’s other assets.
  • A landlord has 30 days from move-out to return the deposit (§§ 5321.16(B))
    • If the landlord chooses to withhold a certain percentage, he/she is required to provide a itemized list of damages and charges (§§ 5321.16(B)). If this is not completed, the tenant may sue to recover the money withheld in addition to damages equal to the amount withheld, and reasonable legal fees. (§§ 5321.16(C))

Rent and Late fees

  • In Ohio, there is no regulations pertaining to when the rent is due (at the beginning or end of the month), but tenants must comply with what is written in the rental agreement.
  • Landlords may accept rent in any payment they prefer.
  • There are no statutes regarding rent increase notice, grace periods, or late fees.
    A tenant is allowed to withhold rent if the landlord has failed to provide essential services (water, heat, etc.) after being notified of said damages. The tenant must then also inform the landlord of his/her failure to fulfill such obligations, and thus the landlord has continue to fail to repair the conditions in an appropriate amount of time, or within 30 days, whichever is sooner (§§ 5321.07, §§ 5321.08, §§ 5321.09 and §§ 5321.10)

Notices and Entry

  • If a rental agreement has a fixed end date, the landlord has no obligation to notify a tenant prior to terminating a lease.
    • If the rental agreement is a month-to-month lease, a landlord must notify a tenant 30 days prior to terminating a lease early. (§§ 5321.17(B))
    • If the rental agreement is a week-to-week lease, a landlord must notify a tenant 7 days prior to terminating a lease early. (§§ 5321.17(A))
  • Appropriate notice, preferably 24 hours, is required prior to entry for maintenance and repairs, as well as potential tenant showings. (§§ 5321.05(B))


  • A landlord is required to disclose any known presence of lead paint on the property. If there is a presence of lead paint in the unit or common area, the lease must include a federally-approved attachment on lead poisoning prevention.

Eviction Laws

  • When it is failure to pay rent, the tenant has 3 days to pay you otherwise the eviction notice can be filed with the courts.
  • When there is another lease violation (e.g. subletting), the tenant has 3 days to resolve the violation from the point that the eviction notice is served. Otherwise the eviction notice will be filed with the courts.

For more information on Ohio Landlord Tenant laws please visit their website here.

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions will continue to impact millions of rental properties across the country. For the most up to date information on this legislation, as well as to see if your city or county has additional directives in place, please contact your local representative.

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