FAQ for Landlords
Yes. Complaints filed by the City of Toledo for alleged violations of the City’s Health, Building, Fire or Zoning Codes are criminal, misdemeanor cases.
Yes. The maximum penalty for a fourth-degree misdemeanor in Toledo is a $250 fine and 30 days in jail, and a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail for a first-degree misdemeanor. The Court will also assess court costs for each case. Each day a property is found to be in non-compliance with the City code represents a separate offense for which the defendant may receive the maximum penalty. If a defendant pleads “no contest” or “guilty”, in court, the Judge may choose to place the defendant on monitored probation. During the monitored probation period, a Court appointed Housing Specialist is assigned to monitor the defendant’s progress towards compliance of the violation charges. If constant effort towards compliance is not shown, the probation may be revoked and the defendant may be sentenced to jail.
As a defendant in a criminal case, you have the right to be represented by an attorney, but you are not required to have one. Many defendants appear without an attorney, called appearing "pro se." You may wish to seek an attorney's advise before your hearing to decide whether you would like an attorney to appear with you in court. If you cannot afford an attorney but would like to have one represent you, let the Judge know at the beginning of your hearing. If the court determines that you cannot afford an attorney, the court will arrange to have one assigned to you at no cost.
Some of the factors the Judge may consider are: the nature of the violations and their severity; the length of time the violations have existed; the attempts made by the defendant to remedy the violations; the cost to repair the violations and the defendant's financial means; and whether the property is owner-occupied or an investor property.
Yes, the city may file criminal charges against one, some, or all of the owners of record of real property. However, if one spouse comes to court and pleads guilty or no contest, the City may dismiss the case against the other spouse.
No. By selling your property, you will not be released from these charges. If you choose to sell the subject property, make certain the purchaser has the financial ability to immediately correct all of the code violations. Work to correct these code violations must be completed within thirty (30) days of the real estate closing. If these conditions are met, your case may be closed with the Judge’s discretion. If the aforementioned conditions are not met, you may be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. Toledo Municipal Code 1726.00 (e) states, "Any person who transfers his or her property to another after the property has been declared a public nuisance without first abating the nuisance is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree and shall be liable for any and all costs incurred by the City in abating the nuisance." Charges against the new owner may also be filed for failing or neglecting to obey or abide with an order to abate a public nuisance.
YES. IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR IN COURT, A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST MAY BE ISSUED. The legal issue before the court is whether the alleged violations existed as of the date the property was cited by the City. While repairs made after the date of citation may not constitute a defense to the charge, the Judge may take them into consideration when imposing sentence. Also, keep in mind that while you may be aware that the repairs and/or clean-up of your property have been made, the information may not reach the City inspector, City prosecutor and the Judge, if you fail to appear in court. If you have complied with the requested repairs and/or clean-up of the property, bring photographs showing the work with you to court.
Landlords must purchase a Writ of Restitution from the Clerk of Court, Civil Division. The Clerk will process the writ and forward it to the Bailiff Department in two (2) to four (4) business days.
The Bailiff will notify the tenant that they have four (4) calendar days to vacate the premises from the date the writ is received in the Bailiff Department. The landlord may call the Bailiff Department to be advised of that date. When the four (4) day period expires, it is the landlord’s responsibility to call the Bailiff Department to schedule the eviction if the tenant has not moved. It is very important to call, because the writ expires after ten (10) calendar days from the day received if the landlord takes no action.
Without entering the property, the landlord must check to determine if the tenant has left. If the tenant has returned the keys or informed the landlord that they have moved, the landlord does not need a Bailiff to take possession of the property.
If the landlord wishes to proceed with the eviction, the landlord must call the Bailiff Department between 8:35 and 9:00 am to confirm the eviction. Failing to call may result in the cancellation of the eviction. The landlord must personally speak to a Bailiff. Do not leave a message.
The landlord must provide at least four (4) physically capable people to perform the work, heavy duty contractor trash bags, and boxes. If the weather is inclement, the landlord must be prepared to cover the tenant's belongings. The Bailiff Department strongly recommends that all people working the eviction be 18 years of age or older. The landlord cannot enter the property prior to Bailiff’s arrival.
Any abandoned vehicles must be towed and stored at the landlord’s expense.
For additional instructions on evictions click below.
The Bailiff manages and directs the eviction. The Bailiff identifies the belongings that need to be removed and instructs the moving crew where the belongings must be placed. The belongings must be located between the sidewalk and the curb, or at the nearest public access. The landlord is not in charge of the eviction process.
If the landlord believes the tenant could pose a threat or is mentally ill, share this information with the Bailiff when scheduling your eviction. The Bailiff will take appropriate safety measures, including possibly coordinating with the Toledo Police Department or the tenant’s caseworker for assistance.