A landlord-tenancy agreement can always be tricky, and running a rental property business in Ohio comes with many duties and responsibilities. Right from who to choose as your tenant to security deposits to abiding by the laws, there are many hurdles to cross, but if you follow the rules and regulations to the core, you’ll be doing yourself a favor and staying out of court.

Let’s take a look at the Top 10 legal responsibilities along with some rental tips that will be of use to you if you’re a landlord in Ohio.

1. Adherence to Anti-Discrimination:

It’s crucial to understand the fair housing laws before you choose to advertise your property to the market. Right from your medium of advertising your property to the type of questions you choose to put on the rental application, it needs to be vetted out because failure to know/understand the laws mentioned could result in lawsuits against you.

Even though you’re legally free to reject applicants based on negative references from a previous landlord, late rental payment, unethical credit history, you are, however, not allowed to discriminate against your prospective tenants based on sex, race, religion, physical/mental disability or history of it. These categories are protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. If you’re found guilty of any of the above discriminations, you could land up in trouble with the authorities.

2. Find yourself a rental insurance

Even though it’s not compulsory, it’s always advisable to buy rental insurance. A rental insurance policy keeps your items protected in the event of natural calamities, fire, smoke damage, theft, vandalism, and many other such examples. The easiest way to pick the right Ohio rental insurance is to get quotes from all the insurances company you know in Ohio and selects the one that suits your budget and needs correctly.

3. Security deposit

It is not mandatory as a landlord to collect a security deposit from your tenant. Still, it’s always advisable to do so in case if there’s any damage to the property. There’s no cap to the amount that can be collected, but usually, the amount doesn’t exceed one month’s worth of rent.

4. Meeting State Security Deposit and Return Rules;

Security deposits tend to be one of the most hotly debated topics between landlord and tenants usually. Usually, you must notify the tenancy about the return of the deposit (usually 30 days after the tenant has vacated). Also, using a checklist before and after a tenant moving in and moving out goes a long way in relieving you of headaches from this issue right from the start.

5. Making legally required discourses:

Under the laws in Ohio, a landlord has to compulsorily make a certain amount of discourses to the tenant, right from the start. Some of these discourses include name, owner, agent name, etc.

6. Respecting the privacy of the tenants:

The landlords at all times must maintain the privacy of the tenants. Usually, a 24-hour notice period is required from the landlord to be handed over to the tenant for some of the reasons, including repair and tear, showing to other customers. The notice period clause should be inserted right at the start in the lease agreement to avoid getting into hassles in the future.

7. Providing habitable housing

As a landlord, you’re legally required to provide habitable housing to your tenants or, in other words, keep rental premises liveable in Ohio. If certain repairs aren’t carried out earlier before handing over the property like a broken heater, malfunctioning air-conditioner, the tenant may exercise the right to withhold the rent.

8. Following State Rent Rules

The actual realization of the rent payment is usually the most common dispute between a landlord and a tenant. To avoid that, you, as a landlord, need to comply with the rules and procedures for setting up the rent payment protocol and for further disputes if you want to apply for an eviction notice.

9. Know your rules!

As a landlord, you may not be aware of some of the advantages you’re entitled to. If you’re not sure, check out the U.S Department of Housing and Development, which provides the legal information you’ll need to know about being a landlord.

10 Retaliation policy

It’s considered illegal in Ohio for a landlord to raise the rent or to reduce the services provided to a tenant drastically as an act of retaliation from the tenant. It’s better to establish a healthy paper trail of all the transactions from day 1 to avoid any such issues.

The above tips will help you as a landlord to abide by the law, perform your duties, and get some tips to discharge your responsibilities as a landlord in Ohio.



  1. S Department of Housing and Development: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp
  2. Usually, a 24-hour notice period: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5321
  3. Exceed one month’s worth of rent: https://www.avail.co/education/laws/ohio-landlord-tenant-law

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