Rent escrow is a legal arrangement in which a clerk of courts temporarily holds a tenant’s rent until a particular condition has been met by a landlord, such as repairs to a rental unit.

Tenants and Escrow

A tenant must be current on their rent payments before they can put their rent into escrow.

A tenant must give their landlord written notice of the repair that needs made before putting their rent into escrow. If a landlord does not make the repair within 30 days after receiving this notice, a tenant may contact their local clerk of courts and apply to put their rent in escrow. NOTE: Some clerk of courts accept other forms of notifications other than written. Contact your local clerk of courts to find out what forms of notifications they accept.

You may use our Correct Conditions Letter sample as a guide to create your own letter.

See our Repairs page for more info regarding unmade repairs.

If a tenant wishes to terminate their lease while their rent is in escrow, they can contact the clerk of courts to schedule a hearing with a magistrate. This is typically done if the tenant is not confident that the landlord will make the repair, the repair is very serious in nature, or a tenant’s rent has been in escrow for a long period of time.

Check with your local clerk of courts for info regarding escrow requirements and procedures.

Landlords and Escrow

A landlord may file a “rent escrow complaint” and ask for the release of the rent if they have corrected the conditions requested by the tenant, if they were not given written notice, if the money is needed to pay the mortgage, utilities, or other essential bills, or if they wish to contest the tenant’s reason for putting the rent into escrow.

If you have questions about escrow, contact our tenant-landlord counselors (330.376.6191).

Fair Housing Contact Service is a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency that provides tenants and landlords with information and resources concerning their housing. The information provided on this page is intended to be used for general information regarding your rights as a tenant and the duties of a landlord under the Ohio Landlord Tenant Act. We are not attorneys. The information should not be taken as legal advice as we are not attorneys, but it may help you decide if and when you should pursue legal advice. Be sure to contact an attorney before taking any court action regarding a legal matter.