Not all landlords are easy to work with. In fact, some act downright negligently to their tenants – especially when they disregard the tenants’ requests that repairs be made. Landlords have an obligation to keep their properties livable and safe. When landlords disregard this obligation, tenants like you have certain rights to protect your family.
In this post, we’ll discuss Ohio tenant rights to hold rent in escrow.
When Can Ohio Tenants Withhold Rent in Escrow?
A residential tenant has a right to withhold their rent in escrow in the local municipal court of the county where they live. This occurs when the tenant has had difficulty getting their landlord to complete repairs to their rental property.
If you have provided your landlord with written notice of the repairs (and a reasonable and appropriate time to complete those repairs), and your landlord has still not completed the repairs, you may lawfully withhold rent and deposit the rent with the municipal court. It’s important to note that this withholding process would occur in the county where their rental property is located.
Be Specific When Identifying Your Landlord’s Violations
Before withholding can occur, the tenant must send notice (in writing) to the landlord, specifying all of the landlord’s violations. He or she must then provide the landlord with a reasonable time to remedy the conditions. If the landlord fails to remedy the conditions within a reasonable time, a tenant can elect to deposit his/her rent with the Court. The following circumstances must be present:
1) The landlord fails to fulfill his legal obligations pursuant the lease;
2) The conditions of the premises are such that the tenant reasonably believes that the landlord has failed to fulfill his/her obligation to make all of the reasonable repairs; and
3) A government agency or department has determined that a tenant’s rental unit fails to comply with all applicable building, housing, health or safety codes that materially effects the health, safety and welfare of the tenant.
Need Help Dealing with a Landlord Situation?
If you are unsure how to proceed with an unreliable landlord, placing your rent into escrow may be a viable path forward. Of course, as with anything else involving the law, you’ll want to plan your moves carefully.
Our team at The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC is here to help you navigate this difficult situation. Give us a call today at 614.488.2270 or send us an email.