Grab our free sample or generate an official Ohio lease agreement for residential use. Read further about required disclosures in Ohio, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Ohio landlord tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.
Lease Agreement Sample
Click here to view/download the direct PDF file.
Quick Facts for Ohio
N/A but years of 3 years or longer must be notarized
Max Security Deposit
$50 or one month’s rent (whichever is greater)
Who Needs to Sign
Landlord, all tenants, and all co-signers or guarantors
Mold Disclosure, Landlord and Agent Address, Move-In Checklist, Dangers of Radon Gas, & Lead-Based Paint
Legal Early Termination
Beyond written mutual consent, a tenant can break their lease without penalty in Ohio if they’re starting active military duty, the unit is considered uninhabitable, or the landlord violates their privacy rights. In these cases, the landlord must make reasonable effort to re-rent the unit. A landlord may break a lease in Ohio for a number of reasons, including not paying rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. Before breaking a lease, the landlord must first serve the tenant written notice.
Addendums to Consider
Pets, Utility Allocation, Mold, Criminal Activity, & Marijuana Use (marijuana is legal for medical use in Ohio)
What’s in an Ohio Residential Lease Agreement
To start, let’s make sure we’re on the same page:
A residential lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant for the use of property for a fixed period in exchange for regular payments. By contrast, a rental agreement has no fixed period, and as a result, is usually month-to-month (read more). Residential lease agreements are governed by Ohio landlord-tenant law.
Let’s now go through what you need to include in a residential lease agreement template in Ohio. This includes:
- Basic/universal elements – these are applicable to ALL states, not just Ohio.
- Ohio-specific required disclosures – there is 1, plus 1 conditional federal disclosure.
- Applicable law – the legal stuff beyond lease agreements.
Basic Elements of Residential Lease Agreements in Ohio
A lease introduction clearly states the full names of the tenant(s) and landlord(s), the date of the agreement and a detailed description of the rental property. It is critical to be as specific as possible when creating a lease introduction. The necessary components of a lease introduction are listed here:
- Names of the tenant and landlord: This is a small, yet crucial, piece of a residential lease agreement. The residential lease should include the full legal names of all adults living in the rental property. These names should be written or typed clearly. Shortened versions of names, abbreviations or nicknames should not be used. This ensures that involved parties are held accountable in the event of legal action.
- Date of the agreement: The date of the lease should be fully written, indicating the month, day and year. Dashes, slashes or abbreviations should be avoided to maintain clarity.
- Terms & Limits of Occupancy: This section defines the beginning and end date of the lease agreement, including provisions for any extensions. After any fixed periods, the contract can be week-to-week, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, or from year-to-year. The periods at which the rent is to be paid determine the tenancy.
- Address and description of the rental property: Here, the explicit address of the property should be stated. The landlord’s address should also be stated. This portion of the lease introduction makes it clear to both parties which features of the property are included in the lease. It should list all fixed and non-fixed features that are a part of the property. This may encompass:
- Interior boundaries
- Specific rooms
- Light fixtures
- Ceiling fans
- Air conditioning units
- Yard or other outdoor space
- Parking area
- Shed/additional storage
- Exterior fixtures
- Children’s play structure
- Furnishings, such as tables, chairs, beds, patio furniture or other items
- Rent, Utilities & Security Deposits: The amount of the first month’s rent, security deposit, and the total amount of funds required need to be clearly outlined on the lease agreement. The method by which the funds are to be paid should also be included.
This is a lease (the “Lease”) […] between (Name of owner of the property) (“Landlord”) and (Name of person(s) to whom the property is leased) (“Tenant”), made this day of (Date).
TERM. The lease will be for a term of (Number of months) beginning on (Start date) and ending on (End date).
PREMISES. The premises is a (Type of dwelling i.e. house, apartment, etc.) located at (Address of rental property). The following features are included on the property (List of amenities).
RENT & UTILITIES. Tenants will pay a monthly rent of (Rent amount) on the (Day) of each month. Tenants are responsible for utilities including (List of utilities).
Indicating these features in the lease introduction provides tenants with a list of items that they have access to throughout the duration of the lease and informs tenants which features are expected to remain on-premises after the lease term is complete. It also protects the landlord’s property upon the termination of the residential lease agreement
For landlords, this information should be used for verification purposes. Make sure to ask for current photo identification, such as a driver’s license, to verify each tenant’s identity. Once that’s verified, you’ll want to do background checks on all tenants 18 or older (see our guide here).
Required Disclosures in Ohio
Each state’s landlord-tenant laws have different requirements for what needs to be disclosed in a residential lease agreement. Ohio is no different. There ar 2 things you NEED to have included.
Dishonored Payment Fees
A dishonored payment fee, also known as a returned payment fee, is the charge that a tenant receives when they attempt to make a rental payment without having enough funds to cover the cost.
Lead-Based Paint Hazards
This isn’t Ohio-specific, but if the unit being rented out was built before 1978, the landlord is required to do the following 3 things:
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint (see latest pamphlet PDFs here).
- Disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint in the unit (i.e. its location, condition, etc.), and include any records or reports about the paint or its hazards. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
- Fill out and attach this disclosure form to the lease.
Pet Addendums in Ohio
The landlord must give written permission for a tenant to keep pets on the property. Pets are defined as dogs, cats, birds, fish, or other domestic animals of any kind.
The lease agreement shall specify how many animals the tenant can have and the type of animal.
Tenants are required to pay a pet deposit fee of an amount outlined in the lease, which is non-refundable. If provisions for maintaining a pet is not included in the lease, it shall be added as an addendum to the lease agreement.
The signed pet agreement applies only to the pet specified in the signed contract. The pet addendum may not be substituted or transferred to any other pet. The landlord reserves the right to terminate the pet agreement if the tenant violates the terms of their contract.
Tenants are responsible for keeping their pets under control and not leaving them unattended for an unreasonable amount of time.
Tenants are responsible for their pets and any property damage caused by the pets.
It shall be the tenant’s responsibility to control any flea infestation because of their pets and to pay for the extermination of any and all affected areas.
The landlord is not liable for any injury that occurs from an attack or interaction with an animal, whether it occurs on or off the property. If an attack from an animal occurs and there is no fencing around the property, the landlord is not held liable because of the absence of a fence.
Although they are not required, the tenant is encouraged to obtain pet liability insurance if it is offered as a rider to their renter’s insurance policy.
After the lease has ended, the pet deposit will be used for cleaning the carpets or other areas damaged as a result of having pets on the premises.
Read our guide on pet policies and our blog post about service animal documentation for more information.
Check out our sample of a pet addendum below.
This Addendum is made on [ DATE ] between [ LANDLORD’S NAME ] (Landlord) and [ TENANT’S NAME ] (Tenant), and is understood to modify the Residential Lease for [ PROPERTY ADDRESS ] originally dated [ DATE ].
The landlord grants permission to the tenant to keep the domesticated pet(s) on the premises during the term of the lease agreement (INCLUDE LEASE START AND END DATE). The landlord may revoke permission at any time if the tenant fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions in the lease or following addendums.
2. SERVICE ANIMALS
Service, Guide, Signal, or Support animals are not “Pets” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as long as the animal is being used by the tenant to support a disability or handicap, or if the tenant is training the animal(s).
If the tenant’s pet actually a Certified Service Animal or in training to be a Certified Service Animal? : _______ Yes _______ No
3. ANIMAL PROFILE
Type of Animal(s): Dog, Cat, Bird, Rabbit, Pig, Reptile, Fish (circle all that apply)
Name of Animal(s): ________________________
Weight of Animal(s): ______________________ (lbs.)
Breed of Animals(s): ______________________
Age of Animal(s): ________________________
Spayed or Neutered?: __________ Yes _______ No
Current on Vaccinations?: _______ Yes _______ No
Valid Animal Licenses?: _________ Yes _______ No
Beyond what’s stated in a residential lease agreement, there are numerous laws that govern a rental arrangement. We’ll go through the most important ones below.
Security Deposits in Ohio
A security deposit is a deposit that is given by the tenant along with the first months’ rent. It is used to cover the cost of past-due rent when the tenant vacates or pay for damages that were done to the rental unit before the tenant moved out. In the state of Ohio, there is not a statute for the maximum amount of security deposit that the landlord can charge. However, if the tenancy of the resident is longer than six months, five percent interest per year on the deposit must be given to the tenant. Once they vacate the property, the landlord will have 30 days in which they will be required to return the deposit or send the tenant an itemized list of the charges. If the landlord fails to send the itemized list and keeps the deposit, the tenant can sue the landlord to recover the money that was wrongfully withheld.
Breaking a Lease in Ohio
When a tenant has unexpected circumstances, they may have to break the terms of the lease that they agreed upon, especially if it is a long-term lease that will hinder their plans. With that being said, breaking any residential lease typically comes with consequences for the tenant. Some of the penalties that a tenant can face include:
- They may have to cover the rent for the remainer of the term of the lease.
- They may have additional fees to pay for breaking the lease.
- They may have trouble renting another property.
- They will get a negative mark on their credit history.
In the state of Ohio, there are some reasons that a tenant can break a lease without facing a penalty, but in most cases. However, moving to be closer to a job or moving to a nicer neighborhood are not acceptable reasons to break a lease. Some of the legal reasons to break a contract include starting active military duty, being harassed by the landlord, or having a safety violation in the unit.
Eviction Process in Ohio
In the state of Ohio, the landlord will need to provide notice to the tenant when they violate the terms of the lease. There are four different eviction notices that can be sent; these are for the non-payment of rent, non-compliance, a health or safety violation, and to end a month-to-month agreement. If the tenant does not cure the problem, the landlord can take the case to court to file a complaint. In this state, the forms vary from court to court, so make sure to use the county court where the rental is located. Once the complaint is filed, a summons will be issued and served to the tenant. The tenant will have seven days to answer the complaint, and they will be told to show up in court to get a judgment for the case.
Other Ohio Templates and Forms
- Rental Application
- Month-to-Month Residential Lease Agreement
- Sublease Agreement
- Room Rental Agreement
- Lease Termination Notice
- Eviction Notice
- Commercial Lease Agreement
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