You are here

Rights and Responsibilities




?Rent your property for any amount. Unless you have a written or oral lease that provides for a fixed rent for the lease term, you can increase rents in any amount if you give adequate notice (usually 30 days).

Meet the standards of all building, housing, health, and safety codes that significantly affect health and safety.

Make all repairs necessary to keep the rental premises in a livable condition.

You may rent to anyone you wish and establish any conditions and terms in a rental contract that do not conflict with federal or state law, including federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition. 

Maintain in good working condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, air conditioning systems, and fixtures and appliances that you have supplied.

You may evict the tenant for nonpayment of rent or for breaking any significant term of the lease. You must give the tenant written notice of your intent before filing an eviction action in court. For nonpayment of rent, you must give the notice at least three days before filing the eviction action or the court will dismiss the case.

In other cases, you must give the tenant 30 days to correct the violation before you can begin an eviction action. Do not count the day you give the notice or weekends and holidays, and wait until after the third day before filing the eviction complaint. 

Register with the auditor of the county in which the property is situated, providing your name, address, and telephone number. (If you do not reside in Ohio, or if you own the property in the name of an entity not registered with the Ohio Secretary of State, you must name an Ohio resident as agent for service of process.)

If a tenant violates the law in a way that materially affects health and safety, you must notify the tenant in writing and give the tenant 30 days to resolve the problem before you file an eviction.

Not abuse your right to enter the property for legitimate reasons. If this right is abused, you have invaded the tenant’s privacy.

After reasonable notice to the tenant (24 hours), you have the right to enter the premises to inspect, repair, and make improvements, supply services or show the property. 

Provide and maintain trash receptacles and provide for trash removal if you own four or more units in the same building. 

You have the right to have your property returned to you in as good a condition as it was when the tenant took possession, except for ordinary wear and tear.

Supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water and heat at all times. (You may require the tenant to pay any or all utility bills for his or her unit, whether it is an apartment or a house.) 


Commence eviction proceedings against a tenant who is illegally using or permitting the use of controlled substances in the premises.


Not attempt to evict a tenant without a court order by changing the locks, terminating utility service or removing the tenant’s belongings.


If your property was built before 1978, give your tenant a lead-based paint disclosure form and copy of the U.S. EPA's “statement about lead-based paint. Protect Your Family from Lead in the Home" pamphlet. Also, the lease must include a specific warning




?You have the right to complain to a governmental agency if your landlord violates housing laws or regulations affecting health and safety. 

Keep the premises safe and sanitary.

Dispose of all garbage in a safe and sanitary manner.

You have the right to complain to your landlord for failing to perform any legal duties. If you complain and the landlord retaliates by increasing rent, decreasing services or seeking to evict you for complaining, the landlord has violated the law. There are legal remedies to stop or punish retaliation, such as terminating your lease and recovering damages and attorneys’ fees.

Allow your landlord reasonable access (upon 24 hours’ notice) to the premises to inspect, make repairs or show the property to prospective buyers or renters. Twenty-four hours of notice is not required in emergencies, or for the landlord to deliver large parcels, or upon agreement with the landlord.

You have the right to join with other tenants to bargain with your landlord about lease terms. 

Keep plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit as clean as their condition permits. Operate all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly.

You have the right to know the name and address of the owner of your residential premises and the owner’s agent, if applicable. This information must appear in your written lease or be given to you in writing at the beginning of your tenancy if the lease is oral.

If your landlord fails to provide this information, you do not have to notify your landlord before you escrow your rent with the court. The county auditor also maintains records on the owners of residential properties.

Keep clean and use appropriately any appliances the landlord has provided and promptly tell your landlord if your appliances need repair.

Not intentionally or negligently destroy, deface, damage or remove any fixture, appliance or other part of the premises, or allow your guests to do so.

You have a right of privacy, which the landlord must respect. The landlord may enter your apartment after reasonable notice (at least 24 hours) for certain legitimate reasons and without notice in certain emergency situations.

Comply with the standards imposed by all state and local housing, health and safety codes.


If you breach your lease, the landlord may not seize your furnishings or possessions to recover rent payments. 

Not disturb, or allow your guests to disturb, your neighbors.

Within 30 days after receiving a written complaint from you about the premises, the landlord must make appropriate repairs. The landlord must remedy conditions that significantly affect health and safety in fewer than 30 days and must act immediately in the case of emergency.

Not allow controlled substances (such as drugs) to be present on the property.

If the landlord fails to make repairs within a reasonable amount of time (not more than 30 days), you may have the right to get a court order for repairs to be made, obtain a court-ordered reduction in rent or terminate the lease. You also may have the right to escrow your rent.

Not allow sexual predators to occupy the unit if the unit is located within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool or child daycare center.