Rights of a Tenant
A tenant is any person who occupies or possesses the residential property of another and pays for under a rental agreement. As long as you, the tenant, do what the rental agreement and/or the law requires you to do, you have the right of exclusive possession of the property until the lease expires.
-You have the right to complain to a government agency about your landlord’s violation of housing laws or regulations which affect health and safety.
-You have the right to complain to your landlord if he or she fails to perform any legal duties. If you complain and the landlord retaliates against you by increasing rent, decreasing services, or seeking to evict you for taking such action, the landlord has violated the law.
-You have the right to join with other tenants to bargain with your landlord about the terms of the rental agreement.
-You have the right to know the name and address of the owner of your residential premises and that of the owner’s agent if there is one. The information must appear either in your written leas or be given to you in writing at the beginning of your tenancy if the rental agreement is oral.
-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.
- If, after the landlord has received a written complaint from you about the premises and fails to make repairs within 30 days or less (depending on the severity of the housing conditions), you as a tenant may have the right to withhold your next monthly rental payment and deposit it with the Clerk of Municipal Court in the county where you reside, or you may terminate the lease and move out.
- The right to deposit rent money with the court cannot used against a landlord who owns fewer than four dwelling units if you receive written notice of this fact when you originally move into the premises. You may not use the remedies of termination or rent deposit if you are not current in your rental payments.
-Your furnishings or possessions may not be ceased by the landlord for the purpose of recovering rent payments.
Obligations as a Tenant
-Comply with the standards of all housing laws which materially affect health and safety. -Refrain from damaging the rental premises.
-Keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.
-Keep the premises safe and sanitary.
-Keep plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit as clean as their condition permit.
-Dispose of all garbage in a safe and sanitary manner.
-Operate all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly.
-Maintain in good order all appliances provided by the landlord when the rental contract calls for it.
-Cause no disturbance to your neighbors
-Allow your landlord reasonable access (upon 24 hour notice) to the premises to inspect, make repairs, deliver large parcels, or show the property to prospective buyers or renters.
-See that controlled substances are not illegally used on the property.
The tenant cannot alter any of the legal duties. However, the landlord may agree to assume responsibility for fulfilling any of these tenant duties.
What are my Rights as a Landlord?
If you own rental property and permit another to use, occupy, or possess your residential premises for a period in return for money or something of value, you are a landlord.
-You, as a landlord, can rent your property for any amount you desire as long as a rent increase is not a retaliatory act against a tenant.
-Subject to the provisions of Ohio Fair Housing Act, you may rent to anyone you wish and establish any conditions and terms in a rental contract which do not conflict with state law. You may, in fact, reffuse to rent to anyone, provided you do not conflict with state law. You may in fact, refuse to rent to anyone, provided you do not discriminate against a tenant because of the tenant’s race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, national original, handicap or family status.
-You may evict the tenant for nonpayment of rent, or for breaking any material conditions which you have agreed upon. Written notice of the intent to file an eviction must be given to the tenant (allowed to slip under the door) before you file such an action in court.
-You may notify the tenant in writing if you wish to secure the tenant’s compliance with obligations under the law.
- After reasonable notice, you have the right to enter the dwelling unit in order to inspect, repair, make improvements or supply services, or show new tenants the property.
- You have the right to have your property returned to you in as good as condition as it was when you took possession, except for ordinary wear and tear.
What are My Obligations as a Landlord?
The Landlord has certain obligations whether or not they are written into a rental agreement. You, as landlord, cannot change them or require the tenant to assume them, and the tenant cannot agree to do without the performance of these obligations under a circumstances.
As a Landlord, you must do the following:
-Comply with all the standards of housing and health codes which materially affect health and safety. -Make all repairs and keep the rental premises in a livable condition.
-Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition livable condition.
-Maintain in good working condition all electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning fixtures and appliances which you have supplied or are required to supply.
-Provide and maintain trash receptacles and all trash when you own four or more units in the same building.
-Supply reasonable amount of running water and reasonable heat at all times unless tenant assumes responsibility with the utility company.
- Not abuse your right to enter the property for legitimate reasons. If this right is abused the landlord has invaded the tenant‘s privacy.
-A landlord may be liable to a person sustaining injuries in an area over which the landlord retains control of or as a result of failure to maintain and repair basic items which are required by the law.
This information is general and should not be applied to specific legal problems without first consulting your attorney. Contact Cincinnati Bar Association (513) 381-8359