Terminating a Lease/Rental Agreement
If a landlord does not want to renew a lease with a tenant, or does not wish to continue with the oral or written rental agreement, he must do one of the following:
- If there is a written lease that ends on a given day, nothing else is needed to end this lease.
- If there is an oral or written rental agreement, the landlord must notify (should be in writing) the tenant that the agreement is ending at least seven day notice if renting by the week or at least thirty day notice if renting by the month.
A landlord may evict a tenant if…
- The tenant is delinquent in rental payments
- The tenant causes severe damages
- Required repairs are so large that the tenant must move out
- The rental agreement has expired
A landlord or owner wishing to evict a tenant must notify the tenant to leave the premises three (3) or more days before beginning any court action.
A landlord or his agent must hand a written copy of the notice to the tenant in person, leave the notice at the tenant’s residence, or send the notice to him by certified mail (return receipt requested). The tenant must be advised that they may need legal assistance
Every notice given under this section by a landlord to recover residential premises shall contain the following language printed or written in a conspicuous manner:
“YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO LEAVE THE PREMISES. IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE, AN EVICTION ACTION MAY BE INITIATED AGAINST YOU. IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT REGARDING YOU LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS AS A TENANT, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU SEEK LEGAL ASSISTANCE.”
If the tenant does not vacate the premises then the landlord must file a complaint at Municipal Court. The tenant must receive a court summons at least five (5) days before the hearing. Both parties may need an attorney. When a court hearing is held the judge will decide the case.
Before the tenant moves, They must leave a forwarding address in writing with the landlord, or many legal remedies will not apply. At the end of the lease, the landlord must do one of the following within 30 days after the lease agreement ends and the tenant has turned over the apartment and the keys.
- Return the full security deposit.
- Return the balance of the security deposit with a list of all deductions; including any past due rent owed, list of damages that the tenant or their guest may have caused, etc. This list must be in writing and sent to the former tenant.
If the land lord fails to do either of the above, the tenant may receive (through court) double the amount wrongfully withheld (that amount the landlord should have returned, less and deduction), and reasonable attorney fees.
Interest on Deposit
If the landlord requires a security deposit in excess of one month’s rent and also in excess of $50.00, the land lord must pay 5% interest annually on the excess. A landlord does not have to pay interest on the security deposit if the tenant lives in the unit less than six months. (Sec. 5321.16, Ohio Revised Code)