As a tenant in Ohio, you have many of the same rights as someone who owns their own home. The problem is, landlord-tenant law is a complicated tangle of legislation. Ohio law governs issues such as discrimination, right to notice before landlord entry, and security deposits; federal law tackles other matters. This makes it difficult to know if what your landlord says is really true. Here are three ways your landlord in Ohio has to protect you.
#1. Your Landlord Has to Install Smoke Detectors and Maintain Them Regularly
If your landlord tells you are responsible for the smoke detectors in your home, that’s a lie. In Ohio, like the rest of the United States, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to install and maintain smoke detectors.
If you don’t have any smoke detectors in your property, your landlord is probably breaking the law and you should seek legal help immediately. In fact, a landlord is not even allowed to rent out a unit until all smoke detectors meet health and safety codes. House fires kill around 3,000 Americans every year and injure 20,000 more, according to FEMA, so it’s essential you feel safe in your home.
Ohio isn’t one of the U.S. states that require landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors in properties (yet), but the state now requires more buildings with fuel-burning appliances to have CO detectors. Seek legal advice if you’re unsure.
#2. Your Landlord Must Provide You With a Safe Place to Live
It’s your Ohio landlord’s responsibility to provide you with someone safe to live. If your landlord knows of potential danger in your home — broken stair railings, for example — he or she could be held liable if you have an accident or injury.
When there’s a significant risk of serious injury, a court would likely require a landlord to fix the problem quickly, regardless of the cost. It’s the landlord’s job to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries.
It’s also your landlord’s responsibility to provide you with a habitable living environment. “Uninhabitable” living conditions — cockroaches, mold, no water supply, missing windows, broken locks, etc. — are not permitted under Ohio law.
If you slip or fall in your home or experience another type of injury, your landlord could be held responsible, depending on the circumstances. If you would like to seek compensation for an injury at home that wasn’t your fault, contact a legal professional in Ohio now.
#3. Your Landlord Must Give You Notice of Eviction
Many people in Ohio think that landlords can evict them immediately and leave them with nowhere to go. If your landlord tells you this, it just isn’t true. Only a judge in Ohio can evict you from your property, not your landlord. This process can take longer than you might think.
In Ohio, a landlord can give you a three-day notice to leave your property after failing to pay rent, for example. However, only a court order can see you physically removed from your property. If you don’t move out of your home after the three-day period, your landlord can file a complaint with the municipal court, and the court will assign a date for a hearing, which you can attend. This whole process can take weeks or even months.
Has your landlord been negligent? Have you suffered an injury at home? You could be eligible for compensation.