The Ohio Rental Lease Agreements are a set of documents that allow a property owner to give temporary use of their property over to another party for residential or business purposes. Once signed by both parties the lease cannot be broken or altered until it has expired and been renegotiated, unless both parties agree to the change. Although a lease could cover property used for both business and residence, the various laws covering both are often extremely different and would require vastly different kinds of leases. If you wish to sell or lease property in Ohio, you will need a Real Estate Broker License.
Due to the differences in the types of properties, the variety of different purposes one could use the property for and the needs of the landlord, each lease is completely different. As such you will always want to read your lease carefully and be aware of any unique clauses or conditions. Breaking a lease can result in severe penalties, up to and including eviction.
Form Description Types
All laws are pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 5321.01 to 5321.19.
Ohio has no state laws limiting the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit, although some cities or counties impose a limit. If a tenant remains in a property more than six (6) months, the landlord must pay five (5) percent annual interest to the tenant. Once a tenant has vacated the property, the landlord is required to return the security deposit within thirty (30) days.
The amount of rent and when it is due are universally specified on the lease itself. If the rent is not on time and in full, the tenant may be charged a late fee. Ohio state law does not govern late fees, so the size of late fee and when it can be charged must be specified on the lease. However if a late fee policy is not specified on the lease, then no late fee may be imposed.
Rent can only be increased in a Month to Month Lease Agreement; In a One Year Lease, rent can only be altered when the lease is up and both parties have the option to renew. In a Month to Month Lease, the landlord is required to give the tenant thirty (30) days written notice before any rent increases take effect.
In Ohio, if repairs that the landlord is responsible for, such as furnace or water heater, have gone undone then the tenant may withhold rent or pay for the repair and take the cost out of the rent.
In a Month to Month Lease agreement, eviction can be served by giving the tenant thirty (30) days notice at the landlord’s discretion. In a One Year (or longer) Lease, eviction can only be achieved through a Court Order. Due to nonpayment of rent, or violation of the lease, the landlord can issue a three (3) day notice to the tenant, to vacate or face eviction. Note that the landlord is not required to accept rent during this period.
If the tenant does vacate during this time, then the landlord must file a complaint to begin a eviction suit. The landlord is not permitted to change the locks, deny the tenant entry to the property, turn off utilities or otherwise attempt to force the tenant to vacate until a the hearing has taken place.
In Ohio it is illegal to deny housing, evict a tenant, alter rent or otherwise discriminate against a tenant for the following reasons:
- ancestry, race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sex, family status, disability (physical or mental)
- military history (from March 24)
- note that sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered
Landlord Entering Property
A landlord is required to give at least 24 hours notice before entering the property, and must enter at a reasonable time for a reasonable reason, unless it is an emergency or it would impractical to give 24 hours notice.