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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 29311
Experience:  Attorney
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I signed a 1 year lease I'm now at a year and 10 months I

Customer Question

I signed a 1 year lease I'm now at a year and 10 months I texted the owner to fix toilet cabinets that are falling apart chimney with animals in it gutters need attention flooded my basement 3 times etc no response back in May lock Brock to entry door no answer. I had texted conversation several times. But when I asked for these things to be addressed. No response. So I told him I was moving out August 1 at the end of the month and in light of him not responding to any of the issues he could keep my deposit as the last months rent and the garbage disposal broke. Which broke the camels back on n my eyes. I am upset. I just got back from a 11 day marriage honeymoon from St. John this weekend. And Monday came home to a piece of paper stuck to my door saying he wished me to leave by the 18 of this month for non payment of August or a eviction notice would be issued... Do I have any rights ? Please help. I'm not a bad person just feed up with this guy not fixing theses problems. My rent is 1100$ my deposit was a $1000. Should I pay him for this month. And if I do can he still issue the eviction I have good credit and I earn $80000.00 a year. Don't want problems but I feel that I'm being shafted and I'm sure he will find something to not give back my deposit. Please help sincerely Mike
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hi Mike,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation, but congratulations on getting married.

The laws for withholding rent vary by location. What state do you live in? Also, did you ever renew your one year lease or are you now month to month?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ohio never renewed lease. I'm month to month.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Can you call me.(###) ###-#### And thank you
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I'm unfortunately not able to call you. I'm happy to give you the information you're looking for through this site, but the best way to do that is to give you the links to codes. I can't do that on the phone.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok do I have any rights or should I just pay him and move on in your opinion my main concern is I don't want anything filed against me. ???
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Ohio law unfortunately doesn't allow a tenant to simply withhold rent due to issues with the property. You're allowed to deposit the rent with the court rather than paying, but only after delivering notices and waiting a reasonable time. What's reasonable depends on the problem, but the statute sets a cap of 30 days. (For things like a broken heater in winter, that would be much reduced.) Ohio Rev. Code, Section 5321.07. If you didn't deposit the rent with the court when you stopped paying, he unfortunately can evict you if you do not pay the amount owed.

You have the ability to sue for a refund of rents paid based on the condition of the premises.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok if I pay him today he cannot issue a eviction notice to me. Correct ?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

No, he can't. A tenant can avoid eviction by paying at any time before a hearing. He can issue a 30 day notice to vacate after you pay, but that's a general termination of a month to month NOT an eviction (meaning it doesn't go on your rental history or credit).

If he still won't fix things, you can issue another notice, cite the statute (or even include a copy/send him a link) and let him know you'll be either paying rent into the court or terminating the lease.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I just sent you a copy of the letter he sent me I paid him the late fee and this months rent and put it in his PO Box yesterday so I should be covered he cannot evict me correct
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

That's correct. He cannot evict you if you paid the past due rent.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK I will and did you see the copy that I pasted in the response box Of the letter he taped to my door ?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I'm afraid I don't see the letter, but you said that it's a pay or quit notice. Since you paid, he cannot evict you.

Again, he CAN serve you with a 30 day notice of termination, but that's not an eviction, it doesn't go on your credit or rental history, and if that happens, you could claim illegal retaliation under Ohio Rev. Code, Section 5321.02. That statute grants you actual damages plus your legal fees.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
At the top it says. Notice to leave the premises. Then it says. Grounds:nonpayment of rent. Your compliance with this notice on or before the 18 day of August will prevent any legal measure being taken by me to obtain possession. Then he signed it. And at the bottom in bold letters it says. You are being asked to leave the premises if you do not leave and eviction action may be initiated against you If you are in doubt regarding your legal rights and obligations as a tenant it is recommended that you seek legal assistance
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

That's a notice to pay or quit. Since you've paid, he cannot evict you.

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