What do I do if my landlord is not making repairs?
Pay your rent! Despite the fact that repairs have not been made, if a tenant does not pay rent, a landlord may serve the tenant with a three-day notice to vacate the premises and file for an eviction for non-payment of rent if the tenant does not vacate.
If a landlord refuses to make a repair, a tenant has several options.
1. Put your rent in escrow. Putting your rent in escrow means that you send your rent to your local clerk of courts until the repair(s) is made. To put rent in escrow due to repairs not being made, a tenant must first give their landlord written notice of the repair that needs made. 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.
See our escrow page for more information.
- Written notice to landlord requesting a repair: You may use our Correct Conditions Letter sample as a guide to create your own letter. Make a copy of your letter for your records and mail a copy to your landlord with a certificate of mail from the post office.
2. Request a health inspection. If failure to make a repair poses a health hazard to a tenant, a tenant may request an inspection from their local health department or government agency that provides this service.
If you have questions regarding repairs, escrow, or inspections, contact our tenant-landlord counselors at 330.376.6191.
Repairs: Landlord Obligations
The following is an excerpt from the Ohio Revised Code §5321.04.
(A) A landlord who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following:
(2) Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
Repairs: Failure of landlord to fulfill obligations – remedies of tenant.
The following is an excerpt from the Ohio Revised Code §5321.07.
(A) If a landlord fails to fulfill any obligation imposed upon him by section §5321.04 of the Revised Code, other than the obligation specified in division (A)(9) of that section, or any obligation imposed upon him by the rental agreement, if the conditions of the residential premises are such that the tenant reasonably believes that a landlord has failed to fulfill any such obligations, or if a governmental agency has found that the premises are not in compliance with building, housing, health, or safety codes that apply to any condition of the premises that could materially affect the health and safety of an occupant, the tenant may give notice in writing to the landlord, specifying the acts, omissions, or code violations that constitute noncompliance. The notice shall be sent to the person or place where rent is normally paid.
(B) If a landlord receives the notice described in division (A) of this section and after receipt of the notice fails to remedy the condition within a reasonable time considering the severity of the condition and the time necessary to remedy it, or within thirty days, whichever is sooner, and if the tenant is current in rent payments due under the rental agreement, the tenant may do one of the following:
(1) Deposit all rent that is due and thereafter becomes due the landlord with the clerk of the municipal or county court having jurisdiction in the territory in which the residential premises are located;
(2) Apply to the court for an order directing the landlord to remedy the condition. As part of the application, the tenant may deposit rent pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section, may apply for an order reducing the periodic rent due the landlord until the landlord remedies the condition, and may apply for an order to use the rent deposited to remedy the condition. In any order issued pursuant to this division, the court may require the tenant to deposit rent with the clerk of court as provided in division (B)(1) of this section.
(3) Terminate the rental agreement.
(C) This section does not apply to any landlord who is a party to rental agreements that cover three or fewer dwelling units and who provides notice of that fact in a written rental agreement or, in the case of an oral tenancy, delivers written notice of that fact to the tenant at the time of initial occupancy by the tenant.
(D) This section does not apply to a dwelling unit occupied by a student tenant.
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.