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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6392
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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We closed on a house that has two apartments upstairs and 2

Customer Question

We closed on a house that has two apartments upstairs and 2 garages underneath each apartment for storage last Friday. Our purpose in purchasing the property was to buy it to combine both apartment and make it one house for our family to live in. We went to see the house a few times before we closed one side had tenants and the other side had the another tenants belongings but clearly was abandon. Mice had taken over and the utilities were off. When we closed Friday we went to take possession of the property and we saw that the tenant that had bonded the property had moved most of her stuff from the apartment to the garage. Prior to closing we learned from the sellers agent the following in an email :
Subject: Re: Southern
Hi Nicole,
I asked the seller for detail regarding the tenants for this property. His response is below.
#16 Rent current only to August 31st.
Short version: Terminated lease late August 2016 by mutual agreement with Sherry and Brandie. Daughter paid $200 and I applied their deposits ($600) against the two month’s ( July and August ) overdue rents. Making them PIF thru August.
To date No rents collected for September. I do not expect any prior to closing. No lease, they are now month to month requiring 30 day notice to vacate.
#18 current thru August 31st
Amy did not pay rent for August and according to her has vacated the apartment. Relative, I wrote it off.
She wants to rent garage space for $200 a month. To date no rents collected for September.
She was also on month to month as there never was any lease, contract, or deposits. She has lived there 5 years.
We told our relator that we didn't want to rent the garage space to the tenant before closing. So we thought that we could take possession of the abandon apartment and garage. Then serve the other tenants a 30 day notice. We talked to person who abandon her apartment to get her belongs on Saturday and gave her until this Wednesday. She then called us and said that she is going to call the police and we need to get out of her apartment and we can't set her stuff out.
What can we do to take possession of the properties? Can we change locks? Can we put her stuff out? Can we actually live in the unit? Do we need to file an eviction and not access the unit until it is complete?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 10 months ago.

Welcome! My name is***** give me a few minutes to analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back.

Expert:  Maverick replied 10 months ago.

Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.15 prohibits self help evictions. A self help eviction is when the landlord locks the tenant out and/or disposes of the tenant’s property without going through the statutory eviction process listed in Ohio Revised Code Section 1923.04. Landlords who engage in self help evictions can be found liable for actual damages and attorneys fees.

Your safest course of action here is to provide notice as per 1923.04 and then move for eviction.

Here is a free eviction packet that you can use as a go-by for your county.

Here is a notice to leave the premises.

You may still be able to live in the other parts of the house where these tenants do not live or have their belongings stored.

Do we need to file an eviction and not access the unit until it is complete?

Yes, this is what you should do.

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