Ohio Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 24, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

The Ohio residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding document used to formalize an agreement between a landlord and tenant to rent real property in exchange for a fee. The document allows negotiated terms to be made in regard to the monthly payment, security deposit, and other terms.

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Ohio Lease Agreement Disclosures

The following disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Ohio.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord’s Name/Address All Units
Lead Paint All Units Prior to 1978

There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts or legal liabilities in Ohio.

Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Ohio.

Landlords, owners or any individual authorized to manage the rental property must disclose their name and address so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. Generally, this information is provided in the rental agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Ohio to:

Download: Ohio Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Ohio law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

  • Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Ohio law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke to not interfere with other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious and negligent damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
  • Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. Ohio does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease. Returned check fees are limited to the greater of $30 or 10% of the face value of the bad check – whichever is greater.
  • Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
  • Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to the tenant’s negligence during the lease term.