Ohio Eviction Rules and Timeline…

evictionIt is unfortunate when a landlord has to evict a tenant. In order to legally force a resident from a rented property, a landlord must follow the Ohio rules.

In Ohio, a landlord must have a court order in order to evict a tenant. It is illegal for a landlord to constructively evict a tenant by threats, removing the tenant’s belongings, shutting off utilities, changing locks or adding a padlock to the unit.  The tenant has a reasonable cause of action against the landlord for monetary damages if any of these occur.

An Ohio landlord is able to evict a tenant legally for a number of reasons:

  1. Lease Term Ending
  2. Non Payment of Rent
  3. Tenant’s noncompliance with health and safety codes
  4. Violation of material terms of the lease
  5. Illegal activity on the premises, i.e., (drugs, prostitution, dogfighting etc.)
  6. Denying landlord access after required 24 hour notice

An Ohio eviction requires that the landlord give the tenant notice of the eviction.  The eviction notice can be three or thirty days depending on the reason for the eviction.

When a tenant fails to pay rent, or there is suspected illegal activity the landlord should give a three (3) day notice.  For a notice to comply with Ohio law, the notice must advise the tenants they are being asked to leave or that an eviction action will follow.  Additionally they need to be advised of their right to retain legal counsel if they have any questions. The three (3) days for terminating the lease for failure to pay rent or illegal activity starts the day after the three day notice is served, and weekends don’t count.  For example, if the three day notice is served on a Friday, then the day the eviction process can start is the following Wednesday, unless there are legal holidays on the Monday or Tuesday prior.

When a breach or violation of a material provision of the written lease occurs, such as damaging the rental property, the landlord should give a thirty (30) day notice.  The thirty day requirement also applies to month to month tenancies where notice to the tenancy period is required. This means that a landlord can terminate a tenant’s lease solely with thirty days’ notice, as can the tenant. The thirty (30) days for terminating the lease without a breach or violation are counted from the start of the next rental period before the eviction process can start.

Ohio law requires that the three-day or thirty-day notices must be delivered to the tenant. This can be achieved by posting the notice on the door (most common), serving the tenant personally, giving the notice to an adult residing there, or leaving the notice in a conspicuous location.

If the tenant complies and pays rent during the three day period, or complies and cures the violated lease provision in the thirty days, then the landlord has to permit the tenant to stay.  If the tenant doesn’t pay or is unable to cure the provision, the next step is to hire an attorney and serve a Summons and Complaint, also known as an action in Forcible Entry and Detainer.

The documents are usually served by a bailiff from the court and state the court date.  As with any lawsuit, a tenant is able to hire their own attorney to Answer the Complaint and contest the eviction.

If you find yourself in the position of having to evict a tenant for any reason, Margaret E. Cooper LLC is an eviction expert and is able to competently represent you in any Ohio court.

About: Margaret E. Cooper | Attorney at Margaret E. Cooper LLC,

Margaret has a strong track record of success in handling evictions from single landlords to large real estate firms.  Margaret also successfully handles many related real estate issues. Margaret began her career as a consumer attorney in 2001, and now heads her own law firm, practicing real estate law for a variety of clients.

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