A tenant has the duty to:
The tenant has the duty to keep the premises clean and free of refuse, and to avoid conditions that would make the dwelling susceptible to infestations of roaches or mice/rats for example. The tenant has the duty to avoid conditions that would create safety hazards, such as putting too many electrical cords into a socket that cannot support it.
The tenant is obligated by law to utilize garbage and/or recycling receptacles that are supplied by the landlord and to dispose of waste in the designated manner, whether it is at curbside disposal or in a dumpster.
All tenants should be knowledgeable of local ordinances that regulate occupancy and other areas of local law. For example, it is a health violation to occupy a dwelling with a roach infestation. The landlord is obligated to exterminate the infestation, but the tenant is obligated to ensure the conditions of the part of the premises that the tenant occupies are kept clean as to avoid further infestations.
Tenants should personally refrain and forbid any other person who is on the premises with their permission from intentionally or negligently destroying, defacing, damaging, or removing any fixture, appliance, or other part of the premises. Tenants are responsible for their guests and can be held liable by the landlord for damage, etc. caused by guests.
This includes any range, refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, or other appliances supplied by the landlord and required to be maintained by the tenant under the terms and conditions of a written rental agreement. If the tenant causes damage that is “above and beyond normal wear and tear,” the landlord is responsible to make the repair, but the landlord could also bestow the costs of the repair on to the tenant.
This is known as “quiet enjoyment.” This includes adhering to local noise ordinances that stipulate acceptable decibel levels for cars or outdoor music, work performed in residential areas, and curfew laws for minors under the age of 18. This can also include noises created indoors that disturb neighbors. Many municipalities have “nuisance” laws in place that would bestow tickets and/or fines on the landlord as result of noise violations by the tenant or other violations. Tenants should be aware that violations of nuisance laws can be cause for eviction.
For actual Ohio Revised Code, please see: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5321.05
Drug Activity in Rental Housing
In 1990, Ohio added provisions to the Landlord Tenant Law which require landlords to evict tenants when the landlord has information from a law enforcement officer, based on a legal search, that the tenant, the tenant's guest, or a member of the tenant's household is involved in drug activity in connection with the premises.
In some municipalities, landlords may be held liable for repeated drug violations in their properties.
For over forty years, the Cleveland Tenants Organization has pursued its mission to educate tenants and landlords, empower the community, and advocate for affordable, fair, and quality rental housing. Throughout our history we have made an incredible impact for tens of thousands of renters in Northeast Ohio, preventing homelessness, resolving disputes between tenants and landlords, advocating for the needs of low to moderate income tenants, informing citizens of their rights and responsibilities in rental housing, and empowering tenants individually and collectively to represent themselves and their interests.
While the need in our community is greater than ever, it is with deep sadness that the CTO board of directors voted to suspend CTO's operations. Over the past decade many of our board members have watched financial support for CTO slowly decline to the point where the organization became no longer sustainable, leaving us no choice but to lay off our remaining staff.
We are grateful that tenants in Northeast Ohio will continue to have access to a rental information hotline, as CTO's rental information line will be covered by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland effective February 5, 2018. Renters can call 216-861- 5955 during business hours if they need information about their rights and responsibilities. CTO's website will also be maintained as a resource by Legal Aid.
CTO's board remains committed to the organization's mission, and over the coming months will be exploring ways to maintain different pieces of CTO's core service provision by partnering with other agencies in our community.