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Ohio Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Ohio, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by the Ohio landlord tenant laws found in the Ohio Revised Code. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of an Ohio lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Ohio lease template for download!
An Ohio lease agreement or Ohio rental agreement form is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Ohio’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow, thus fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Ohio residential lease agreement. Keep in mind that these components apply primarily to residential leases; an Ohio commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. There are no state-wide rent control laws in Ohio but remember that individual municipalities may have their own rent control laws. Be sure you know which laws apply in your region.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In Ohio, there are no statutory limits on late fee amounts, so Ohio landlords can technically set any late fee policy they want. However, keep in mind that if a tenant files a court case related to late fees, the court may not uphold unreasonable fees that do not represent the actual damages incurred by the landlord due to the late payment. Be sure to clearly establish your late fee amount and policy in this section of your Ohio rental agreement form.
Ohio also does not have a security deposit maximum, so landlords may charge whatever they deem appropriate depending on the size of the unit, number of pets or occupants, etc.
However, Ohio does have laws related to how landlords must store and return security deposits. All security deposits greater than $50 or one month’s rent (whichever is greater) which are kept for tenancies lasting at least six months must be kept in separate, interest-bearing bank accounts. Additionally, all security deposits should be returned within 30 days of the end of a tenancy, along with an itemized list of deductions and the interest that has accrued on the deposit. Interest must be paid at a rate of 5% interest per year (ORC § 5321.16A).
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. These required disclosures must be included in a lease agreement Ohio considers compliant, or else provided to the tenant in a separate written notice.
In Ohio, the required disclosures are as follows:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Landlord/agent identity – Ohio landlords must disclose the name and address of the owner and/or authorized agents in the written Ohio rental agreement form.
Landlord Right to Entry
Ohio requires landlords to give tenants “reasonable” notice before entering for non-emergency reasons. “Reasonable” notice is considered at least 24 hours’ ahead of time. Additionally, landlords can only enter at “reasonable times” (typically interpreted as daytime or business hours). The possible reasons for entry and the length of notice that will be provided to tenants should be specified in this section of your Ohio residential lease agreement.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Ohio residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice they need to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
An Ohio residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Ohio, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A three-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment issues, a 30-day notice to cure or quit for lease violations, and a three-day unconditional notice to quit for illegal drug activity. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include an Ohio sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the Ohio residential lease agreement either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Ohio Standard Lease Agreement PDF Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Ohio standard lease agreement PDF. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Ohio state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of an Ohio residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of an Ohio lease agreement. To get started on the right foot, download our free Ohio lease document and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.