In Ohio, are landlords allowed to keep the security deposit if there was an early lease termination? If so, must any charges incurred by the resident be covered by that security deposit, or is that security deposit forfeit and must the resident pay those charges on top of the security deposit?
1 Answer from Attorneys
In Ohio, the security deposit is an amount of money given by the tenant to the landlord to secure the tenant's performance of the duties he has under the lease agreement. If the landlord has suffered damages (perhaps unpaid rent) because the tenant breached the lease and moved out early, then the landlord can keep the deposit as compensation for his damages.
But if the landlord found another tenant right away to rent for the same amount, then there would be no damages, and as such, the landlord would have to return the security deposit.