What You Need To Know About Eviction in Ohio

Renters from Cleveland to Cincinnati should know the laws governing eviction in Ohio.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Ohio
has eviction laws that govern a landlord’s behavior—specifically, that they must give at least three days of written notice to tenants before filing an eviction lawsuit. It’s illegal to evict a tenant without proper cause.
Did you know a single late rent payment is enough reason to trigger an eviction in Ohio? It’s hard enough to set aside money in this economy, but it’s even harder to resist eviction in some instances. That’s why it’s so important for tenants to understand the ins and outs of eviction laws in their state.
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Ohio eviction 101: the three ways you can be evicted

For every category of eviction in Ohio, landlords must provide notice three days prior via written announcement to the tenant prior to filing an eviction suit. This is the only way to legitimately evict a tenant in the state of Ohio. 
Ohio evictions can be put into three basic categories. Your landlord can threaten to evict you for: 
  • Failure to pay rent: If you do not pay your rent on time, your landlord is entitled to issue a three-day notice for eviction. Paying the due rent may help you avoid eviction even after a notice has been served.
  • Violation of lease: If you violate the terms of your lease—including illegal drug violations on the rented premises—your landlord may serve you a three-day notice for eviction.
  • Unconditional quit: In either of the cases above, Ohio landlords are entitled to serve you an eviction notice with no chance to fix the problem. 
We’ll reiterate that last point: Ohio landlords have no obligation to give you a chance to fix a mistake (although many may anyway). You can be legally evicted in Ohio if you pay your rent late or have a single lease violation.
It’s worth pointing out that a landlord cannot legally evict you without proper cause. However, they can simply choose not to renew your lease agreement at the end of the term. In this case, your landlord must give you notice according to the length of your current term:
  • If you’re on a month-to-month lease, your landlord must give you at least 30 days’ notice that your lease will not be renewed. 
  • If you’re on a week-to-week lease, your landlord is only obligated to give you at least seven days’ notice. 
  • If you’re on a fixed-date lease, your landlord has zero obligation to notify you that they will not renew your lease. You should be proactive about reaching out to your landlord if you’re concerned about a lease renewal. 
If your landlord is not open to negotiation—and they are under no
legal obligation
to do so—they can file an eviction lawsuit after three days. If they win their lawsuit, Ohio law requires that a sheriff or constable perform the actual eviction.
After this, you may need to look for second chance apartments. Apartments that accept evictions in
Columbus
, Ohio, can be hard to find, for instance. 
Key Takeaway In Ohio, landlords have no obligation to give tenants a chance to fix mistakes (like late rent payments).  

A timeline of eviction in Ohio

You are legally entitled to three days’ notice before your landlord files an eviction lawsuit. But how long do you have until you’re actually evicted? Here’s how long the whole process typically takes, from receiving an Ohio eviction notice form to the constable knocking on your door:
Step
How long it typically takes
What to expect
Written Notice to Leave from landlord
3-30 days
This can be delivered in person to someone at the residence or posted prominently at the residence in question.
Landlord files eviction complaint
3-7 days
After filing a lawsuit, you will receive an official summons and Notice to Leave.
Tenant response
5-15 days
You’ll have five business days to respond before the hearing, or 15 business days if you respond by mail.
Hearing
30 days after summons was served
The court will rule on the case based on the landlord’s information and your response.
Eviction
Within 24 hours after the hearing
In some counties, you forfeit the possessions inside the unit to the landlord. In other counties, your belongings will be removed by the sheriff.
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It can take between five to eight weeks to complete a legal eviction in Ohio. Of course, a motivated landlord could move more quickly (as little as several weeks). If you are served an eviction notice, it’s important to understand your rights. 

How to resist eviction in Ohio

In general, Ohio is a landlord-friendly state. But don’t forget that tenants have rights in every state! Here are some ways to fight back if you’ve been served an eviction notice: 
  • Address the cause of the eviction. While Ohio landlords have no legal obligation to allow you to fix a mistake, it’s worth making a case for yourself. If it’s your first time being late with rent, for instance, offer to pay ASAP. It might be more hassle for the landlord to try to find a new tenant than allow you to make it good. 
  • Point out a procedural mistake. You’ll be in a better position to catch a landlord’s mistake if you understand the eviction laws. A landlord is not allowed to threaten eviction by changing locks, turning off utilities, or retaliating if you report a health and safety issue. If that’s the case, you should report them to the court. 
  • Argue that the landlord failed to maintain the property. If a landlord is actually to blame for the problem—like water damage from a leaky pipe they refused to fix—submit your documentation to the court and hope the eviction suit gets dismissed.
  • Call out discrimination, if appropriate. It’s against the law nationally for landlords to evict someone on the basis of their race, gender, national origin, disability, and more. If you suspect the eviction notice is based on discrimination, you should report it.
Any of these tactics could help you retain your housing. You might even be awarded damages in the form of financial compensation. It’s worth reaching out to a housing legal expert or a local tenant rights group to help you with your case. 
Do everything in your power to resist eviction. With an eviction on your record, you may have to look high and low to find a landlord that accepts evictions in Columbus, Ohio, for instance.

How to save money on Ohio car and renters insurance

Money makes the world go ‘round, unfortunately. Late rent payments due to insufficient funds could be cause for eviction in Ohio. 
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