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By Lindsey Hoover
Updated on Jul 8, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
Ohio does not have rent control legislation in place, meaning a landlord can legally raise the rent by how much they see fit. However, landlords should provide tenants with a customary 30-day notice between lease terms.
Across the nation, states are being hit hard with skyrocketing rent prices. And while most would expect rent increases in major cities like New York, Ohio’s very own Cincinnati had one of the nation’s highest year-to-year increases. Just how high? Renters saw an average 28.4% spike for their homes from 2021 to 2022.
If you’re looking to stay informed on state-specific rental laws, insurance super appJerry has you covered. Below we take you through the ins and outs of renting in the Buckeye State so that you’re prepared for any rent increase that comes your way.
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How much can a landlord raise rent in Ohio?
In Ohio, a landlord can raise your rent by however much they choose.
Like most other states, Ohio doesn’t have any rent regulation policies in place. This means a landlord has the legal right to raise your rent by however much they see fit. However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
If you're on a fixed-term lease (i.e., a yearly lease), a landlord must wait till the end of your lease to impose an increase. If they increase your rent mid-term, you can refuse to pay the increase, and you should look into hiring a lawyer.
Something to keep in mind: most landlords want to keep their property occupied by tenants. So, they're unlikely to drastically increase your rent for personal gains—based on where you live, a landlord will most likely match their asking price to the market's suggested price.
How much notice does a landlord need to give before they raise the rent?
Ohio law requires a landlord to give their month-to-month tenants a 30-day notice when planning to raise the rent.
However, Ohio law doesn't require landlords to give tenants on fixed-term leases any notice. So, if you find yourself at the end of your lease with a hefty rent hike, we suggest looking over your rental agreement. Some landlords will include specific information about the proper course of action when raising your rent (i.e., a notice period).
When is it illegal to raise rent in Ohio?
While landlords in Ohio can legally raise the rent by however much they want, there are cases when doing so is illegal—details below:
- Raising rent as a form of retaliation (i.e., a tenant filing a complaint against the landlord regarding the safety or health of the property)
- Raising rent as a form of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or religion
- Raising rent before the expiration of a fixed-term lease
Raising rent as a form of retaliation or discrimination is illegal—if you feel that this is why your rent increased, you can file a complaint with the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) or file a lawsuit in federal or state court.
How to respond to a rent increase
So your landlord hiked up your rent and you’re not sure what to do. Not to worry—there are several ways to respond to the increase and we cover them all below:
- If your rent increases before your fixed-term lease's expiration, you should hire a lawyer to figure out the right course of action.
- If your rent increases and you don't want to leave the property, you can try to negotiate a lower rate or pay the new rate.
How to save money to deal with a rent hike
As a renter, you could face water, smoke, fire damage, and more. While you won’t have to repair any building destruction, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars if your personal property is destroyed. That’s why it’s so important to buy a renters insurance policy.
Renters insurance often costs only a few dollars a month but could save you thousands when disaster strikes. The super app for insurance, Jerry, can help you find a policy that meets your needs, so you know you and your belongings are always protected.
“It was my first time buying insurance. I expected the worst, to be honest. And then I found Jerry. It’s an amazing app that’s super easy to use. It saved me so much time and energy.” —Simon M.
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Can my landlord raise my rent during the pandemic?
In Ohio, a landlord has the right to raise your rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re having trouble paying rent, or you’re behind on rent, we suggest contacting your local Community Action Agency—they can help provide rental assistance during these difficult times.