FAQ for Tenants
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.
The Civil Bailiff Department mails tenants a four (4) day courtesy notice informing tenants the date by which tenants must vacate the residence. Tenants have until midnight of that day. The Bailiff and the landlord may be there as soon as the next morning to set the tenant’s personal belongings between the sidewalk and the curb. If for some reason the tenants do not receive a four (4) day notice, tenants should call the Bailiff Department to find out the date by which the tenants must move.
The Deputy Bailiff has authority over all people and property during the eviction. Any and all negotiations between landlord and tenant must be completed before the eviction.
The landlord or the property manager will call the Bailiff Department to set up an eviction time. This could be as soon as 9:00 am the day after the tenant’s 4 day notice to leave expires. The Bailiff will oversee the landlord or the landlord’s designees moving the tenant’s property out of the residence and setting the tenant’s belongings between the sidewalk and the curb. Can I stop the eviction?
The Bailiff will safeguard the tenant’s belongings during the eviction. At the conclusion of the eviction, it is the tenant’s responsibility to safeguard their belongings. Any belongings that remain at the curb after 24 hours are considered abandoned and will be disposed of.
Tenants may not remain in the residence during the eviction.
There is no guaranteed way to stop an eviction. Tenants may talk with their landlord. If the landlord chooses to proceed with the eviction, the eviction occurs based on a court order. Another court order is needed to stop the eviction. What happens if I can not move within the four (4) day notice?