Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Ohio

We have lived in our apartment for the last 13 years. There has never been a lease. Our landlord has always worked with us as far as not paying on the first (we always have it paid by the end of the month). In those 13 years we've had to: buy a tractor to cut the grass with no deduction on the rent(and we're talking @ 4 acres), replaced the gutters with no reimbursement, have asked for a new kitchen floor because the last tenant left it peeling up and was denied, had to replace the kitchen faucet with no reimbursement, had to replace the copper that was stolen with pvc in order to have water with no reimbursement, have had to relight the pilot light light in the house upfront because no one else knows how to do it (boiler heat), have dealt with the coroner when the last tenant passed away, and have had to clean out the apartment next to us numerous times when other tenants have left. In the last 2 months we've had the police here for the new tenant for noise and assult charges. This tenant was just bound over to the grand jury for felony charges of narcotics (from the noise and assault charges). This tenant is friends with some unsavory characters...these people are friends with our landlord also...he told us "don't make me call my lawyer because you'll owe me more than what you already do."...the day of the court hearing we got a text from our landlord telling us to be out by the 1st of April...this was 7 days ago. On the 31st he texted us "hope your almost out". We are behind in rent but will be caught up by the 3rd.

My questions are: does his text to us 7 days ago count as notice to vacate? Also can we use intimidation as a defense because of the new neighbor and/or his refusal to pay for costs to make the apartment livable? If we pay up to date by the 3rd can he refuse the payment, or if he accepts, can we stay until the end of the month? That's all we really want is 30 days....

ast month

Asked on 3/31/15, 10:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jann Washington Jann C. Washington, Esq., LLC

The text is not valid notice under the law. If you are behind in rent, the landlord has the right to give you a 3 day notice to vacate, but it must be written and either posted to the door or handed to you and it MUST contain certain language. Then after that he has to file an eviction action against you in the court. Then at the first court hearing you would be given 7-10 days to vacate. (The first court hearing is typically held about 2 weeks after the case is filed). He can refuse your late payment at this point. Also, if you paid a security deposit, he is required to provide you the security deposit or a list of damages within 30 days of the date you vacate (or it will be determined at the 2nd cause hearing of the eviction case if he chooses to go that way).

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Answered on 4/01/15, 3:43 am

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