Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Ohio

I am being evicted for non payment of rent, which is fine. I do owe three months rent because I was off work for surgery and medical issues. I need to know how to go about counter sueing my landlord for the fact the we the furnace broke back in 2015, never been replaced. The living conditions have been aweful, we have hole in the ceilings that pour water. My daughter was walking through the kitchen and her leg actually went through the floor. So now theres a hole covered with a piece of wood. I could go on all day with a list of plenty more. The landlord is well aware of all these problems and just doesnt care, she will not fix a thing. She just assumes that we will fix it as we have done with so many other things. You are probably wondering why I have not moved, or put her money in escrow. Well see the thing is that my landlord happens to be my grandma. And I just never wanted to have her upset with me. So know here I am in this situation. Can I counter sue for unhabitable living, or depreciation of value? Help!!

Asked on 6/07/17, 11:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Sauter Cloppert, Latanick, Sauter & Washburn

Escrowing your rent would have been the proper procedure. When a landlord does not live up to their obligations that are contained in Ohio's Landlord Tenant Act, the proper procedure is to first put the landlord on notice of the defect(s) on the property by way of written notice. Then, after at least a 30 day period, if the landlord has still not fixed the defect(s), the tenant should pay rent into escrow at their local Municipal Court Clerk's Office.

For better or worse, you did not do this. You could speak with a local attorney about representing you in a counterclaim against your landlord. The attorney may come to the conclusion that you have missed your opportunity, or, the attorney may believe that a counterclaim would help you in a strategic manner by eliminating or reducing the landlord's claim for damages. Either way, consult with an attorney.

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Answered on 6/08/17, 7:16 am

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