Rights & Responsibilities

Rights & Responsibilities

A tenant has certain rights and responsibilities. Tenants are bound by lease agreements and laws, which govern rental of residential property.

The following is a general list of rights for tenants:

  1. Tenant has a right to be provided with a dwelling unit in good repair that meets all applicable housing codes.
  2. The landlord is required to make all repairs in a timely manner. A reasonable time for repairs to be completed is considered thirty (30) days after notification, unless the problem is of an immediate nature.
  3. If a tenant believes the landlord is not fulfilling the landlord’s duties and obligations by providing a dwelling that meets all applicable housing codes, the tenant has the right to ask the court’s assistance. (See Rent Escrow Process section for more information)
  4. Dwelling must be provided with a heating system capable of maintaining a minimum of 68 degrees in each habitable room.
  5. A tenant’s application for rental of a residential unit may not be refused because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, disability, military status, ancestry, sexual orientation and gender identity. (Age is a protected class in Ohio for lending only.) For discrimination complaints or more information, you may contact the Fair Housing Center at (419) 243-6163 or visit their website at Toledo Fair Housing Center.
  6. Tenants in dwellings of a single rental unit must provide their own containers for the sanitary and safe storage and disposal of trash. Landlords must provide trash receptacles for tenants in dwellings of two or more units.
  7. Tenants who lease dwellings built before 1978 are to receive a federally-approved lead hazard information pamphlet from their landlord BEFORE THE LEASE TAKES EFFECT, as well as disclosure of any known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint materials. For more information, contact the EPA National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD, or visit their website at Environmental Protection Agency.
  8. A landlord may not retaliate against a tenant by increasing the tenant’s rent, withholding services, cutting off utilities or threatening a FED (eviction) action, because the tenant has complained to an appropriate government agency of a building, housing, health or safety code; the tenant has complained to the landlord of a code violation; the tenant joined with other tenants to negotiate or deal collectively with the landlord on any terms or conditions of a rental agreement. R.C. §5321.02 (A)(1)(2)(3).
  9. The tenant has a right to the return of that portion of the security deposit that the landlord has not applied to the payment of past due rent and/or to any damage the landlord incurs because the tenant did not comply with tenant obligations. If the landlord does not send an itemized statement of deductions to the tenant’s forwarding address within thirty (30) days of the end of occupancy and delivery of possession, the tenant may be entitled to recover double the amount the landlord wrongfully withheld plus attorney fees.

The following is a general list of responsibilities for tenants:

  1. Must keep the premises and appliances clean and in a safe and sanitary condition.
  2. Must keep the premises free of trash and garbage.
  3. Must use and operate electrical and plumbing fixtures properly.
  4. Must allow the landlord or agent entrance to the dwelling/unit in order to inspect the premises, make ordinary, necessary, or agreed upon repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective purchasers. Reasonable notice to enter the premises is generally 24 hours.
  5. Must not intentionally or negligently destroy, damage, deface property or remove any plumbing fixtures or appliances from the premises.
  6. Must conduct self and require others on the premises to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment.
  7. Must pay rent when due. The lease or rental agreement may provide a grace period.
  8. Must not make alterations or additions to the dwelling unit except with the landlord’s consent.
  9. Must promptly notify the landlord of known needed repairs to the dwelling.
  10. Must comply with applicable housing, health and safety codes (R.C. §5321.05 (A)(5)).
  11. Must dispose of garbage and maintain the premises so as not to attract insects, rodents or other pests.
  12. Must maintain all utilities required by their lease agreement and not cause disruption of service.
  13. Must not allow more persons to occupy a rental unit than is permitted by housing code or written lease agreement.

This list is provided as a general guide to tenant’s rights and responsibilities. This list is not all inclusive, nor should it be interpreted as legal advice.