Ohio law obligates a landlord to make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to keep the unit in a fit and habitable condition. The law also requires that before a tenant may take action to deposit rent with the Clerk of Courts, terminate a written rental agreement and move-out, or file a motion to compel repairs with the court, the tenant must provide the landlord with a written notice of the necessary repairs. If the landlord does not make the repairs within a reasonable length of time NOT TO EXCEED THIRTY (30) DAYS, upon receiving the notice, then the tenant may choose their remedy.
When rent depositing, the tenant must pay the rent to the Clerk of Court on the date the rent is due. If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, take the rent to the Clerk on the business day preceding the due date. Tenants who are behind in their rental payments are not eligible to rent deposit.
Tenants may use the written notice process even when the need for the repair is due to tenant negligence or damage,
Regardless of the reason for the necessary repair, Ohio Law requires that the landlord make repairs. The landlord, however, has the right to charge the tenant for any damage for which the tenant is responsible. If the tenant disagrees that he/she should be responsible for the cost of repair, the landlord may sue the tenant for the amount due. (You can sue in Small Claims Court if the claim is less than $3,000) The landlord does not, however, have the option to evict a tenant for non-payment of a bill for damages.
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.