According to Ohio Poverty Law Center, LLC, landlords in Ohio have several responsibilities to their tenants. Among those responsibilities are the duties to keep the electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems in good working order, to keep the hallways and stairways clean and safe and to supply hot water and heat. Landlords also have the responsibility to make all repairs necessary to ensure the continued habitability of a home or apartment unit. If your landlord violates this duty, there are a few steps you can take to encourage him or her to take action.
If your landlord asks you to make certain repairs on your own, know that you have the right to receive compensation for doing so. Compensation may come in the form of payment or reduced rent for the month. If you and your landlord agree to take money off the rent, make sure to get the agreement in writing.
If your landlord does not agree to pay you to make the repairs, and if he or she refuses to make the requested repairs, there are certain steps you can take to get your landlord to make the repairs without fear of retaliation. For one, give your landlord a verbal notice. If this fails to prompt action, send your landlord a dated letter specifying the problem and requesting for a fix. Give your landlord up to 30 days to make the repair. However, if the problem is urgent, such as lack of hot water, you can make the deadline much tighter.
If a written notice does not work, you can submit a complaint to your local housing inspector. If you do not have a local housing inspector, contact your local health department. Bear in mind that these agencies are only likely to step in if the problem poses a significant threat to your health or safety.
In addition to notifying a government body, you may wish to put your rent in escrow. What this means is that instead of paying your landlord, you will pay the courts. The courts will hold the rent until the landlord makes the fix. However, to utilize this option, you must be current on your rent payments.
Finally, if those steps do not work, contact an attorney. An attorney can represent you in court or, at the very least, offer you sound advice.
The content of this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice.