Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Ohio

My landlord has been harassing my fiance and I over the last few months. It all started when her daughter broke into our apartment and stole our iPod. We did not call the police because my landlord said she would replace the iPod and move her daughter from the property (our residences are connected). Also I did not want to deal with a situation like that at the time, I was very upset. Her daughter has a past of criminal activity and has been in juvenile detention and rehab on several occasions. She falsely claimed the reason we did not call the police is because we had drug paraphernalia in our apartment. Ever since then our landlord has been harassing us and tells our downstairs neighbor almost everything. She had her boyfriend look in our windows (which my neighbor saw), runs the license plates of every visitor we have, she makes wild claims of both of us being unemployed, she has stood outside of our door in the early hours of the morning listening to us, and we have suspicions of her opening our mail. On top of that she has ceased trash pick up, she did not mow our yard for three months in the summer, and she did not clean our driveway this past winter which resulted in my car getting stuck in trees for three days. She has promised to fix our leaking sinks since I moved in about two years ago and also to install a stove in our apartment, both of which have never happened. I feel she has done wrong but a lot of these problems would be our word against hers (though my family and neighbors can testify about the trash, yard, and some other things). I just don't know if it would hold up in court. We are not on a lease. I do know for a fact that she does not pay rental taxes and that our and my neighbor's apartments are not up to code. I was just curious if anything she has done would have any bearing in court or if the lack of evidence would make everything inadmissible.

Asked on 9/23/13, 1:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Eric Willison Law Office of Eric E. Willison
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In Ohio, you might want to consider terminating the tenancy and moving to another place. To do that you will have to comply with Ohio Revised Code 5321.17 which states that you must give the landlord 30 days from the start of the next rental period notice of your intent to terminate. That means as long as you give her notice before the end of this month then you only have to pay rent for October and then you can leave at any point during the month of October.

Whenever you do leave the place you will want to clean it and fix any damages you may have caused, and then take pictures or a video of the place in its condition when you turn the keys back over to the landlord. Give the landlord written notice of your forwarding address before you leave and you will be in a good position to get your security deposit back.

It is possible under the law to force the landlord to make these repairs in to stop doing what she's doing. But the costs and attorneys fees that you will incur and the time it will take will not make it worth your while. Better just to move out and find a reasonable landlord.

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9/23/13, 5:07 pm

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