Ohio Eviction Laws

Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Ohio and understand their responsibilities.

Quick Facts for Ohio

  • Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent; violation of lease terms; remaining on rental property after lease ends; illegal behaviors
  • Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 3-Day Notice to Quit
  • Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Leave Premises for month-to-month renters; no notice required for fixed-term tenants, but landlord must wait for lease to end
  • Notice Required for Lease Violations: 3-Day Notice to Quit
  • Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 3 days, via Notice to Quit

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Ohio?

In the state of Ohio, the eviction process generally begins with the landlord informing his/her tenant of the intention to reclaim the rental property with a written 3-Day Notice to Leave the Premises. If the tenant continues to remain on the property after the three days indicated in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court.

When the tenant is renting without benefit of a written lease, otherwise known as an “at-will” tenant, the landlord may evict him/her without legal cause but must first provide the tenant with a written 30-Day Notice to Leave Premises before proceeding with the eviction process if the tenant is renting on a month-to-month basis.

NOTE

Once the eviction is filed, there are often differences in the timelines for the eviction process according to county legislation.

Regardless of where a property is located in the state of Ohio, the two most important factors in the length of time it will take to evict a tenant are going to be the type of tenant the landlord is seeking to evict and the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.

Reasons for Eviction in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, a landlord may legitimately seek to evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. These reasons include:

  • Failure to pay rent (O.R.C. 5321.03(1))
  • Violation of the terms of the lease
  • The use, selling, or production of illegal drugs on the rental property(O.R.C. 1923.02 (a)(i))
  • Remaining on the rental property after the end of the lease or rental agreement (O.R.C. 5321.03(4))
  • The tenant or a member of the tenant’s household is a state registered sex offender and the property is located within 1000 feet of a school (O.R.C. 5321.03(5))

When a landlord is seeking to evict a tenant for one of the above reasons, he/she must first provide the tenant with a written 3-Day Notice to Quit. A landlord must provide his/her tenant with this notice by having the notice personally delivered to the tenant, by certified mail, or by mail with a return receipt requested (O.R.C. 1923-04). If the tenant fails to leave the property within the three days provided, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court.

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

In the state of Ohio, a landlord is required to provide a tenant with a written 3-Day Notice to Quit before he/she may proceed with the eviction process. If the tenant fails to pay the rent by the date indicated in the lease, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant with the opportunity to pay the rent, but may present the tenant with a 3-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to vacate the property within the three days provided, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint  with the court.

Eviction if Rent has Been Paid

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant who is renting without the benefit of a written lease, otherwise known as an “at-will” tenant, without any cause. However, the landlord must first inform the tenant of his intention to reclaim the property if the tenant is renting on an ongoing basis. If the “at-will” tenant is renting on a month-to-month basis, the landlord must provide him/her with a 30-Day Notice to Leave Premises before proceeding with the eviction process.

If the landlord is seeking to reclaim the rental property from a tenant who is renting for a fixed-term, he/she must wait until the term of the agreement has ended. Once the term has ended, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court without having to present the tenant with any notice.

Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease

In the state of Ohio, a landlord is not required to offer a tenant the opportunity to correct violations to the terms of the lease or rental agreement. The landlord is however required to provide the tenant with a 3-Day Notice to Quit before he/she can proceed with the eviction process. If the tenant fails to vacate the rental property within the time allowed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court.

Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior

The landlord must follow the same procedure to evict a tenant for illegal behavior that he/she would for any other violation of the terms of the lease or rental agreement. The landlord must provide the tenant with a written 3-Day Notice to Quit before proceeding with the eviction process. In the state of Ohio, a landlord may seek to evict a tenant for using, making, or selling illegal drugs on the rental property. He/she may also seek to evict a tenant if he/she or a member of his/her household is convicted of a charge that requires him/her to register as a sex offender when the rental property is located within 1000 feet of a school.

How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Ohio When There is no Lease?

When a tenant is renting without benefit of a written lease, he/she may be referred to as an “at-will” tenant, and may be evicted from a rental property without cause. In order to evict such a tenant a landlord must first wait until the term of the rental arrangement has ended if the arrangement if for a fixed-term or must provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Leave The Premises if the tenant is renting on a month-to-month basis.  If the month-to-month “at-will” tenant remains on the property after the 30 days allowed in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court.

Read more about tenants at will here.

When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Ohio?

It is illegal in the state of Ohio for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant for complaining to the appropriate governing agency about violations to building, health, housing, or safety codes, or for complaining to the landlord him/herself (O.R.C. 5321.02). A landlord is also restricted from attempting to evict a tenant due to his/her race, religion, gender, nation of origin, familial status, or disability status.

Once a Notice has Expired

The landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the municipal or housing court in the county or town where the property is located. The landlord may schedule a hearing date when filing his/her complaint with the court. The court date will generally be scheduled for two to three weeks from the filing date. The tenant may request a continuance at the hearing date, and will generally receive a second hearing date one week from the initial hearing date.

Once Eviction Occurs

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, he/she may seek a Writ of Restitution. This writ will be posted at the rental property. Once the writ is posted, the tenant has five days to vacate the property. If the tenant continues to remain on the rental property after the five days allowed, the landlord may have the tenant physically removed from the property.

Make sure to read the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5321 §§ 03, 11, 15 & 17; 1923.02-1923.04 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.

Eviction Process in Other States

Other Resources for Ohio Landlords & Tenants