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Unfortunately, if they will not leave voluntarily, you do need to go through the legal process to avoid being accused of an illegal eviction
. Legally, they are considered your "at will” tenants and treated legally as month to month
tenants. As such, even without their illegal activities such as theft, you could terminate this tenancy by giving written notice of at least 30 days. But, since they are stealing from you, you need not give them this full 30 day notice. Rather, under Ohio law, you need to give a 3-Day Notice to Quit...meaning they must vacate the premises within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if they still have not left, you will have to file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is granted...you can have the sheriff evict. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to move their stuff out, change the locks, or take any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order. In the interim, since they pose a direct threat to your person or property, you can get a restraining order to get them out of the house immediately while the eviction process runs its course.
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could just force them out immediately without a restraining order, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!
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