LLT Workshop

Rental Rights and Fair Housing
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Monday, February 4th

3 PM-5 PM

Carroll County District Library, 70 Second St NE, Carrollton, OH 44615

Topics to be covered

  • how do rental rights strengthen our community?

  • what are the rights and duties of landlords and tenants?

  • what are the protected classes under the fair housing acts?

  • what about reasonable accommodations and modifications for persons with disabilities?

  • what are the protections for households headed by women, or who have children under 18.

Thanks to the Carroll County Commissioners and to Victoria Peoples and Kate Offenberger and  for their support of COHHIO's work in Carroll County!

  Thanks to the nice people at the Carroll County Library for their cooperation and to Victoria Peoples and Kate Offenberger for sponsoring, publicizing, note taking and asking good questions!

What happened?
12 people (landlords, tenants, and community stakeholders) attended the session despite snow warnings!

Here's what they learned:
Pre and Post tests were very disappointing.  11 participants filled out pre and post tests.  5 showed no change in knowledge and 3 scored WORSE after the training than before.  It appeared that some answers reflected ideological beliefs both before and after the training.

Here's what they asked:
1.     If water/sewer in landlord’s name and is past due, does the landlord have the right to not pay?  Landlord has the obligation to pay.  Failure to pay could result in lien on the property.  If the rental agreement requires tenant to pay, but bill is in LL's name, LL may need to evict the tenant for non performance under the rental agreement and ask for a judgement for the unpaid water bill.  LL may not allow the water to be turned off in order to force the tenant from the unit (Ohio Revised Code 5321.13)

2.     This is not a question, but a scenario…..the gentleman talking about the police coming into his apartment and raiding it when it was the wrong apartment and landlord sued him and he had to pay $3,000 in repairs. You had suggested he should have got an attorney.  Right, if tenant did not cause the damage, tenant is not liable.  Landlord may have a right of action against the law enforcement agency-check with attorney.

3.     Is it true that a month to month can go up to 3 yrs?  There is no limit to the term of a month to month agreement in the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law.

4.     Is there such a thing as a carryover lease?  Leases will often have language that permits for an automatic renewal, but the precise language is important.  READ THE LEASE!

5.     What about reasonable wear and tear?  If landlord and tenant can't agree on what is "reasonable" then a judge will need to make a decision based on experience and common sense.

6.     “No cleaning” is to come from security deposit?  The answer here is like "reasonable wear and tear" in the earlier question.  If tenants made a reasonable effort to return the unit to its original condition, no deduction from SD.  If tenant left trash or junk that landlord had to remove, there could be a reasonable charge for that work.  However, a landlord should be cautious about making deductions for "general cleaning" because it sounds like "normal wear and tear."

7.     If a military family is reassigned, the lease can be terminated?  yes.  This is a provision of the service members civilian relief act (see bottom of this page).  In Ohio, it is a landlord duty to comply with the SCRA see:  ORC 5321.04 (a) (10).

8.     Rule for tenants over 55 years old. How can they do that and could he follow that same rule?  See Housing for Older Persons Act (Q&A attached below).

9.     Is it discrimination when the parent had to sign for the daughter that is a full-time 18 year old college student?  Children over 18 are not a protected class.  Only households with children UNDER 18.

11.  Can a landlord ask for a co-signer?  YES, as long as the requirement to have a co signer is not based on being a member of a protected class...or as long as the requirement does not have an adverse effect on a protected class.

12.  Can the ramp for disability individual be removed when they leave?  If the tenant paid for the ramp and it can be removed from the property without changing the structure of the property, tenant can take the ramp with him/her when moving.

13.  If someone has a child with disabilities and the mother wants the hooks higher and the landlord didn’t want them higher, should the landlord ask for a letter since she had already done it? If the disability is not obvious, landlord can ask for documentation of the disability.

Presented by the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio and the Carroll County Commissioners

Funding for this workshop is provided under a grant with the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Notes & Links

Spencer Wells,
Feb 21, 2013, 7:21 AM
Spencer Wells,
Feb 21, 2013, 7:23 AM