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State Laws

Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws

January 17, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint 
Landlord/agent ID 
 
Rent and Fees 

Application Fee Limit: N/A  
Rent Control: N/A 
Late Fee Limit: N/A 
Grace Period Minimum: None 
 
Security Deposits 

Amount Limit: N/A 
Interest: Yes 
Return Within: 30 days 
 
Entry 

Notice: 24 hours 
Permitted Times of Entry: reasonable 
Fair Housing Protections
 
Race 
Color 
National origin 
Religion 
Sex 
Familial status 
Disability 
Ancestry 
Military status 
 
Evictions 

Rent Demand Notice: 3-day pay-or-quit notice 

Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law 

Understand the essential Ohio landlord tenant laws before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Ohio state law code.  

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. 

Landlord/Agent Identity 

(ORC § 5321.18A

Ohio landlords must include the name and address of the owner or owner’s agent in every written rental agreement.  

Rent and Fees 

  • Rent Due Date: There is no statute in Ohio specifying when rent should be due, but it is generally due on the first of the month. 
  • Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in Ohio.  
  • Rent Increases: There is no state-wide rent control in Ohio.  
  • Late Fees: There are no statutory limits on late rent fees in Ohio, but the courts may not uphold unreasonable fees that do not represent actual damages. 
  • Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in Ohio. 
  • NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee of either $30 or 10% of the check amount, whichever is greater (ORC § 1319.16). Withholding Rent: If an Ohio landlord fails to fulfill their obligations as defined by ORC § 5321.04 or if a government agency finds the property in noncompliance with housing, building, health, or safety codes, tenants may send the landlord a written notice specifying the noncompliance. If the landlord does not remedy the condition within 30 days (or a reasonable time considering the severity of the issue), the tenant may pay rent to the clerk of the municipal court instead of the landlord. The tenant may also apply for an order to reduce the rent rate until the landlord remedies the condition (ORC § 5321.07).  

Security Deposits 

  • Deposit Limit: There is no Ohio security deposit limit. 
  • Interest: Security deposits greater than $50 or one month’s rent, whichever is greater, must be kept in an interest-bearing account at a rate of 5% interest per year. This law applies to tenancies lasting six months or more (ORC § 5321.16A). 
  • Return Within: 30 days (ORC § 5321.16B). 
  • Deposit Location: Landlords whose security deposit amounts meet the above criteria should keep deposits in a separate, interest-bearing account (ORC § 5321.16). 
  • Withholding: Ohio landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit to cover unpaid rent and damages caused by the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement or the tenant obligations listed in ORC § 5321.05. Withheld funds must be identified, itemized, and reported to the tenant by written notice together with the remainder of the deposit (ORC § 5321.16B). 

Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections 

Protected Classes 

  • Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Ohio state law adds ancestry and military status (ORC § 4112.02H).  

Credit Reports 

  • Ohio landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial. Ohio landlords who do not follow these rules are subject to Fair Credit Reporting Act violations.  

Criminal Histories 

  • Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Ohio. 
  • Ohio landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property. 

Entry 

  • Advanced Notice: Ohio law requires landlords to give tenants “reasonable” notice before entry. “Reasonable” is interpreted as 24 hours in the absence of evidence otherwise (ORC § 5321.04(8)). 
  • Permitted Times: Ohio state law restricts landlord entry to “reasonable times” (ORC § 5321.04(8)). 
  • Emergency Entry: In case of emergency, entry is permitted without prior notice (ORC § 5321.04(8)).  

Evictions 

  • Rent Demand Notice: 3-day notice to pay or quit. According to eviction law in Ohio, landlords must send a written copy of the notice by certified mail (ORC § 1923.04). 

Other Laws and Facts About Ohio 

  • The average rent rate in Ohio is $988 per month. 
  • The median rent rate in Columbus is $1,559 per month. 
  • To legally evict a tenant in Columbus (Franklin County), a landlord must provide a “Notice to Leave the Premises,” after which the tenant must move out in three days (excluding weekends and holidays). If the tenant does not, an eviction action may commence (Franklin County Municipal Court). 

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