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My rental unit needs repairs – what do I do?

Landlords are required to make certain repairs to their rental units, when they are needed, including:

  • Repairs to keep the property in a livable condition;
  • Repairs to meet housing and building codes that affect health and safety; and
  • Repairs required by the terms of the lease.

In Ohio, if a landlord fails to make repairs, a rent deposit (or rent escrow) process allows a tenant to pay the rent to a court, instead of the landlord, to get the landlord to make these repairs.

Before a tenant may rent deposit, the tenant generally must:

  • Be current in rent;
  • Give the landlord written notice of the repairs needed, by sending the notice to the person or place where the rent is normally paid; and
  • Then give the landlord a reasonable time (usually 30 days) to make the repairs.

If the landlord does not make the repairs during this reasonable time, the tenant may rent deposit.   At the time the monthly rent is due, the tenant deposits the monthly rent with the Clerk of Court of the municipal court for the tenant’s community.   Each month, the tenant must continue to timely deposit the rent with the Clerk of Court.   The Clerk of Court may have rules for depositing the rent, which the tenant must follow.

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