CONSIDER THE CRAWFORD COUNTY LAND BANK AS A POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO YOUR BLIGHTED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY.

Tenant-Landlord Facts

 

Disclaimer: This page is created to inform and educate the public only. It is not and should not be considered legal opinions or advice. You are advised to seek professional counsel before taking any action based upon information found on this page.

Dear Citizens:
The Ohio Tenant-Landlord Bill, effective November 4, 1974, applies to most landlord-tenant relations and governs most rental agreements whether written or oral.
None of the rights, remedies or obligations which the tenant or the landlord may have under this law may be taken away by any written or oral agreement.
The Ohio Tenant-Landlord law does not apply to condominium, prisons, jails, workhouse, halfway houses, hospitals, resident homes, agricultural, labor camps, tourist homes, hotels, motels, some boarding schools, dormitories, orphanages, some farm residences and trailer courts. Ohio law does have a law which outlines responsibilities and rites of Trailer Park operators and tenants. (Chapter 3733, Ohio Revised Code)
This fact sheet is designed to help you better understand your responsibilities and rights under the law. We hope that your will read it carefully and use it as a guide for better Tenant-Landlord relations. None of the information constitutes legal advice. If you are in doubt regarding your legal rights, we recommend you seek legal assistance.

 

The landlord must:

  • Comply with the requirements of any building, housing, health, or safety codes which materially affect health and safety.
  • Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a safe and habitable condition.
  • Keep the common area of the premises (including walks, etc.) safe and sanitary.
  • Provide trash and waste receptacles, if there are four or more apartments in the building and arrange for their removal.
  • Supply running water, a reasonable amount of hot water, and reasonable heat at all times, except where there is a direct utility hook-up that the tenant controls.
  • Give the tenant reasonable notice of his intent to enter into a tenant’s apartment and enter only at reasonable times, except in case of an emergency.
  • Privide the tenant with the name and address of the owner and his agent, if any in writing, at the beginning of tenancy. If written lease, the owner’s name and address must be in the lease.
  • Keep all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances and elevators in good and safe working condition, when these things are supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
  • Not harass the tenant by unreasonable or repeated demands to enter the tenant’s apartment. If the landlord or his agent enters without the tenant’s permission or repeatedly demands entry, the tenant can recover actual damages resulting from the landlord’s entering.

The tenant must:

  • Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses safe and sanitary.
  • Dispose of trash and garbage in a clean, safe and sanitary manner.
  • Use and operate all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly.
  • Comply with the requirements imposed on tenants by the applicable housing, health, and safety codes.
  • Allow the landlord or his agent to enter his or her apartment for inspection to see what repairs are needed or to make repairs or improvements at reasonable times, if the landlord or his agent has given reasonable notice. ( At least 24 hours notice unless an emergency)
  • Not intentionally or negligently destroy, damage or remove any plumbing fixture or appliance from the premises, and forbid any of the tenant’s guests from doing the same.
  • Act in a manner that will not disturb his neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Maintain in good working order and condition any range, refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, or other appliances supplied by the landlord and required to be maintained by the tenant under the terms and conditions or a written rental agreement.
  • If the tenant violates any provision of the above responsibilities, the landlord may recover any actual damages which result from the violations together with reasonable attorney fees, termination of the rental agreement, or other necessary actions.

    Leases are important; without it tenancy can be terminated or rent increased by landlord after:

    • a seven day notice if renting by the week,
    • a thirty day notice if renting by the month.

    The notice must be received prior to the periodic rental date which is usually the day rent is due.
    Remember:

    • Read the lease
    • Know what it says
    • If in doubt, call an attorney

    Rights are protected even if there is no formal, written lease. The Ohio Revised Code is still in effect.

    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

    Eviction Process:
    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.
    Security Deposits
    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)

    Tenant Actions
    If the tenant reasonably believes that the landlord has failed to make repairs which are his responsibility, fails to keep the premises safe, or fails to meet the requirements of local or state health, safety and building codes, the tenant may take the following action:
    Notify the landlord about the conditions and request that they be corrected. The written notice/letter must be sent to the landlord or to the place where the tenant pays rent. The notice should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested. The tenant should keep a copy of this notice.
    The landlord must correct the condition within a reasonable time, depending upon how serious the problem is, in any event, the problem must be corrected within 30 days.  
    If the landlord fails to make the repairs, and the tenant is current in his/her rent payment, then the tenant has three options:

    • The tenant may deposit the monthly rent with the Clerk of the Municipal Court. Deposits must be made on or before the normal rent due date. There is no filing fee and an attorney is not required: you will need a copy of the notice that was sent to the landlord.
    • File a lawsuit requesting a rent reduction until the necessary repairs are made (and ask the Court’s permission to use the withheld rent to make the repairs).
    • Terminate the lease or rental agreement.

    NOTE: THE TENANT MUST BE CURRENT IN RENT PAYMENTS FOR THIS SECTION TO APPLY.
    The actions listed above cannot be taken against the landlord who rents to three or fewer apartments and has made written notice of this fact to the tenant at the time that the tenant entered into the lease/rental agreement.
    If the landlord has failed to disclose his/her name and address and the name and address of his/her agents, the owner fives up the right to a notice before a tenant takes legal action.

    Tenant Actions
    If the tenant reasonably believes that the landlord has failed to make repairs which are his responsibility, fails to keep the premises safe, or fails to meet the requirements of local or state health, safety and building codes, the tenant may take the following action:
    Notify the landlord about the conditions and request that they be corrected. The written notice/letter must be sent to the landlord or to the place where the tenant pays rent. The notice should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested. The tenant should keep a copy of this notice.
    The landlord must correct the condition within a reasonable time, depending upon how serious the problem is, in any event, the problem must be corrected within 30 days.  
    If the landlord fails to make the repairs, and the tenant is current in his/her rent payment, then the tenant has three options:

    • The tenant may deposit the monthly rent with the Clerk of the Municipal Court. Deposits must be made on or before the normal rent due date. There is no filing fee and an attorney is not required: you will need a copy of the notice that was sent to the landlord.
    • File a lawsuit requesting a rent reduction until the necessary repairs are made (and ask the Court’s permission to use the withheld rent to make the repairs).
    • Terminate the lease or rental agreement.

    NOTE: THE TENANT MUST BE CURRENT IN RENT PAYMENTS FOR THIS SECTION TO APPLY.
    The actions listed above cannot be taken against the landlord who rents to three or fewer apartments and has made written notice of this fact to the tenant at the time that the tenant entered into the lease/rental agreement.
    If the landlord has failed to disclose his/her name and address and the name and address of his/her agents, the owner fives up the right to a notice before a tenant takes legal action.

    If a tenant has deposited rent with the Clerk of the Municipal Court’s Office, the landlord may request release of the deposited rent upon showing that the request for repairs have been completed. Upon written notice from the tenant stating that the repairs have been made, the clerk’s office will release the deposited rent, less and court costs to the landlord.
    The landlord may apply to the court to obtain the release of the deposited rent, on the ghrounds that one of the following four things were present:

    • The tenant was not current in rent at the time the tenant deposited rent with the Clerk of Courts.
    • The landlord did not fail to perform any duty placed upon him by the lease or by any applicable law:
    • The tenant did not give written notice to the landlord correctly;
    • The landlord has made the necessary repairs and taken care of the problem.

    If the court finds the matters claimed by the landlord are true, the court will order the release of the deposited rent.
    A landlord can file a lawsuit against the tenant to recover damages, attorney fees, and court costs, if the notice provided by the tenant was to repair or remedy problems or damages caused by the actions or errors of the tenant, and /or that the tenant intentionally acted in bad faith in proceeding with the withholding action.

    The landlord may not move a tenant’s furniture from his apartment, lock him out, or threaten any unlawful act including utility shut-off to get him to mive. If this happens, the tenant may recover all his damages and reasonable attorney fees. The landlord can only evict and seixe tenant’s property after a court hearing and obtaining a lawful court order.

    If you cannot afford an attorney, but feel you need legal assistance, you can contact:
    Legal Aid Society of Cleveland 216-696-3042
    If you have questions about the information in this brochure or you need housing assistance, you are invited to call Jane Doe Fair Housing Coordinator of Bucyrus 419-562-6767
    FAIR HOUSING IS MORT THAN JUST A GOOD IDEA, IT’S THE LAW!
    It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status…

    • In the sale or rental of housing or residential lots
    • In advertising the sale or rental of housing
    • In the financing of housing
    • In the provision of real estate brokerage services

    If you feel that you have been discriminated against you may file a complaint with the following:
    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    1-800-669-9777 or 1800927-9275 to free TDD.
    Ohio Civil Rights Commission Toledo office 419-245-2900

    Occasionally we receive calls asking who is responsible for the extermination of pests in a rental unit. 
    The City of Bucyrus has adopted the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code that gives the following regulations:
    Infestations. All structures shall be kept free from insect and rodent infestation. All structures in which insects or rodents are found shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes that will not be injurious to human health. After pest elimination, proper precautions shall be taken to prevent reinfestation.
    Owners responsibility. The owner of any structure shall be responsible for pest elimination within the structure prior to renting or leasing the structure.
    Single occupant responsibility. The occupant of a one-family dwelling or of a single-tenant nonresidential structure shall be responsible for pest elimination on the premises.
    Apartment. The owner of a structure containing two or more dwelling units, a multiple occupancy, a rooming house or a nonresidential structure shall be responsible for pest elimination in the public or shared areas of the structure and exterior property. If infestation is caused by failure of an occupant to prevent such infestation in the area occupied, the occupant and owner shall be responsible for pest elimination.
    Occupant responsibility. The occupant of any structure shall be responsible for the continued rodent and pest-free condition of the structure.
    Exception: Where the infestations are caused by defects in the structure, the owner shall be responsible for pest elimination.
    (2012 IPMC Section 309)

    Community Housing Impact & Preservation (CHIP) Program

    Grant funding for the Community Housing Impact & Preservation (CHIP) Program is available in two-year cycles. The goal is to provide essential home improvements for low-to-moderate income households. Home owners can apply for rehab projects of up to $35,000, or repair projects of up to $8,000.

    Any household residing in a single family dwelling, whose total income of all wage earners (18 years and older) must be less than the

    income guidelines and they must reside in Crawford County.

    Program Income Guidelines

    Applicants whose total net assets equal an amount greater than $100,000 are not eligible.
    Household Members Income Guidelines
    1 person $31,050
    2 persons $35,450
    3 persons $39,900
    4 persons $44,300
    5 persons $47,850
    6 persons $51,400
    7 persons $54,950
    8 persons $58,500

    Owner Rehab

    The Purpose of this program is to rehabilitate a one-family housing unit, which are owned and occupied by low-to-moderate income

    households. Eligible items for this program include: Installation and/or repairs to foundations, roofs, gutters, electrical upgrades, plumbing,

    furnaces, hot water heaters, insulation, window, doors, siding, accessibility improvements, and lead-based paint abatement.
    Owner Repair
    The purpose of this program is to provide home repairs to one-family housing units, which are owned & occupied by low-to-moderate

    income households. Eligible items for this program include: emergency repairs, handicapped accessibility, tap-ins, well and septic repairs.

    How to Apply

    1. Complete an application form. The form is available by calling the CHIP Office at 419-562-6583.

    2. Gather all required documents:
    Evidence of all sources of income (for all household members 18 and older)
    All sources of assets (bank account statements, IRA accounts, etc.)
    Deed (must be applicant’s name)
    Insurance declaration
    Mortgage(s)
    Most recent property tax statement
    3. Schedule an appointment

    4. Obtain and submit any other documentation required, based upon guidance from the ORDC staff

    Click here for more information. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Malinda Freeman at the Crawford County CHIP Office at 419-562-6583.

    If you are thinking about placing a manufactured home on a vacant lot in Bucyrus, then be sure to read our Guidance For Placing Manufactured Homes Within The City Of Bucyrus

    Bucyrus City Housing Advisory Committee

    Duties:

    The Bucyrus City Housing Advisory Committee meets once a year in February regarding the CHIP Grant. They go over every detail of the grant and decide on five items from the list provided to invest the money where there is the greatest need; such as home repair, utilities, Habitat for Humanity, etc.

    Current Members include:

    • Garnet "Sis" Love, Council Representative
    • Major William augustine, Salvation Army
    • John S. Rostash, Community Development
    • Larry Williams, Weaver Arms Apartments
    • Brian Penrod, ADAMH Board
    • Connie Musselman, Crawford County Job & Family Services
    • Amy Roberts, Public Housing Authority
    • Kelli Tuttle, Fair Housing Representative
    • Cassie Herschler, Area Agency on Aging
    • Chuck Frobose, Crawford County MR/DD
    • Carol Lantz, Habitat for Humanity
    • Paula Roller, Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter
    • Kate Seifert, Crawford County Health District
    • Maria Stuckman, Bucyrus City Schools
    • Douglas E. Wilson, Craig A. Miley Realty
    • Steve Shields, People's Savings & Loan
    • Winnie Johnson, Bucyrus City Schools