In Ohio, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Ohio Rev. Stat. § 5321.04. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.
|Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Electrical/Plumbing, Sanitation Facilities
|Time Limit for Repairs
|5 Days or 30 Days
|Tenant Recourse Options
Applicable Dwelling Types in Ohio
The implied warranty of habitability in Ohio does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.
|Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
|If owned/operated by a college/university
|Mobile home parks
|Not specifically addressed
|Only if person in condo is renter, not owner
Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.
Landlord Responsibilities in Ohio
The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability. Not all of them are requirements in Ohio, as indicated below.
Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.
|Provide hot and cold running water.
|Provide working HVAC equipment.
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.
|Provide working smoke detectors
|Provide a mailbox.
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.
|Provide working kitchen appliances.
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.
|Provide a working washer/dryer.
The landlord must provide a dwelling unit that is up to code with all building, housing, safety and health codes. The dwelling unit must be kept in good condition and not materially affect the safety or health of the tenant.
Landlords are required to notify prospective tenants of the potential for lead-based paint in any rental units built prior to 1978.
This notice must be included in the rental agreement, and tenants should also receive the “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home,” booklet produced by the federal government.
Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in Ohio
If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Ohio, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.
Requesting Repairs in Ohio
Ohio renters have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. To exercise their right, the renter must notify the landlord of the issue in writing. The issue must then be fixed within a reasonable time (up to 30 days).
If the issue isn’t fixed within the legally required time, the renter can end the rental agreement, ask a court to order repairs or compensation, or withhold rent. The renter isn’t allowed to repair and deduct.
Note that this may not apply to student tenants, or in special cases where a small-scale landlord properly makes required written disclosures to the tenant. In such cases, the landlord’s only obligation is reasonable behavior, and the tenant’s only remedy is monetary damages. Check leases carefully.
Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Ohio
Ohio renters have the right to repairs for a variety of potential issues, including things that impact health and safety. To exercise their right, renters have to give the landlord written notice about the issue that needs fixing and wait TIME for the landlord to do repairs.
If the issue isn’t fixed by the landlord in a timely way, the renter could end the rental agreement or get a court order for repairs or compensation. However, the renter usually can’t repair and deduct, or withhold rent. Read More
Landlord Retaliation in Ohio
It’s illegal for Ohio landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions:
- Complaining to the government about code violations.
- Complaining to the landlord about the landlord’s legal obligations.
- Participating in a tenant organization.
Unlike most states, in Ohio, taking a protected action isn’t enough to prove retaliation. The tenant must provide reasonable evidence to show that the landlord’s motivation was retaliatory. However, again unlike most states, in Ohio the tenant can point to a collective pattern of behavior to prove retaliation.
The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.