My tenant has not paid the rent. Do I have to file an eviction with the court to get them out?
Yes. In Ohio, a landlord of residential premises cannot physically remove the tenant from the premises, terminate utilities, or change the locks to encourage a tenant to move from the premises. This is called "self-help", and is illegal in Ohio. A landlord must file a complaint against the tenant, go to court, be granted a judgment, and follow the court-instituted eviction procedure to remove the tenant from the premises.
Is it true that the court does not do set-outs in the winter?
No. The court may limit the number of set-outs which may take place around the Christmas and New Year holidays because of staff limitations. The court, however, performs set-outs five days a week, all twelve months of the year.
I understand it may take 60 to 90 days to evict a tenant. Is that true?
For a simple non-payment case, a tenant may be evicted in less than five weeks. The landlord must serve the three-day notice, and then wait three business days. The landlord then files the complaint with the clerk of courts. The eviction hearing date may not be held any sooner than seven (7) days from the date the tenant is served. If the eviction is granted, the set-out may take place within fourteen (14) days from the date the writ of restitution of the premises is issued.
My tenant has not paid rent for eight months. Can I get an immediate set-out date?
No. Tenants who are evicted generally are given fourteen (14) days to move from the premises. Under limited circumstances, the court may shorten that time if, for instance, there has been significant police activity at the premises, evidence of drug activity, or evidence that the tenants pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of the landlord or other tenants.
Is the eviction procedure different for "Section 8" or subsidized tenants?
Yes. Tenants, who participate in federal subsidy programs, including the Section 8 programs, are afforded special protection under federal law. As a general rule, subsidized housing tenants are entitled to written notice of their opportunity to meet with the management. They also may be entitled to an opportunity to correct their conduct before the landlord may file an eviction action. The specific requirements vary with each of the subsidized or Section 8 programs. A landlord interested in evicting a Section 8 tenant should first know the type of Section 8 or subsidy involved. Second, the landlord should read carefully the signed lease and contract. Finally, because both federal and state laws apply to Section 8 evictions, the court recommends that Section 8 landlords obtain legal advice from an attorney before filing an eviction against a tenant in a federal subsidy program.
My landlord has refused to make repairs to my apartment. Can I withhold my rent?
No. In Ohio, a tenant whose landlord refuses or fails to make repairs cannot withhold their rent. However, the tenant may deliver to the landlord written notice of the defective conditions or repairs requested. Then, if the landlord does not make the repairs in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant may deposit the rent with the court. You should consult with an attorney to get more information about rent escrow.
Are move-outs delayed if tenants have children?
No. As a general rule, set-outs may be scheduled as early as seven (7) days from the date of the court hearing.