Rentals in Toledo>Question Details

elijahjack, Renter in Ohio

can my landlords just walk ln my house if my lease is up?

Asked by elijahjack, Ohio Mon Nov 26, 2012

he came in my house an took the agreement that made for to sing he singed i twice off the wall an balled up in his hands an elbow my husband ln the face

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Jim spelled it all out for you pretty well. Thumbs up Jim!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
First, I would ignore all the "well meaning" out of state agents who don't have a clue as to how to operate in Ohio.

Second, I would suggest contacting an attorney. Legal Aid may be able to help if you can't afford a private attorney.

The only correct answer so far on this thread has been LMHA's.

Let me expand a bit on that answer:

I'm not a laywer, but have operated rental properties for nearly 30 years and I've always strived to follow the law.

Yes, a landlord can give reasonable notice to enter the property.

Now, "reasonable" is the key.....24 hours is typically assumed to be reasonable unless there are circumstances to the contrary.

Let me ask you to be the judge.....a neighbor calls the landlord and says, "nobody is home next door (in your unit) and I smell gas coming from there!".....would it be resonable for the landlord to come right over, enter the property and look for the cause of the gas smell?

I think he may be justified in that situation.

Now how about the landlord coming over at 10;00 am on 12/24 (Christmas eve) and saying he intends to "inspect the property" at 11:00 am on 12/25 (Christmas day).......for no particular reason other than he feels "he can" and his notice is actually 25 hours.......is that "reasonable"?

I would think a reasonable man would agree that is not reasonable.

The point being, what's reasonable depends on what's reasonable, the 24 hours is like a guideline (kinda/sorta).

But I suspect your situation goes deeper than the 24 hour notice to enter.

A landlord may not intimidate a renter into leaving the property simply because the lease is up.....even if the renter didn't pay the lease payment.

There are processes in place for those situations which the landlord must follow.

A landlord not following those processes could lead to discussions on "constructive eviction", "landlord intimidation" and other negative concepts that I'm willing to bet your landlord does NOT want to learn the definitions of!

Again, talk with an attorney, you may have recourse against some of these sorts of tactics!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
One would have to believe there is much more to this scenario than meets the eye.....to comment may be to err.....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Wow, really Jim?!

Per Jim: Scenario in the original question is: our lease is expired, can the landlord just walk in?

Per Jim: Let me ask you to be the judge.....a neighbor calls the landlord and says, "nobody is home next door (in your unit) and I smell gas coming from there!".....would it be resonable for the landlord to come right over, enter the property and look for the cause of the gas smell? I think he may be justified in that situation.

You answered your own question Jim.

And, if after entering the home he finds the tenants still living there and there is a confrontation, the tenants might be found liable for assault as well as any damages caused by the resulting fire because the landlord, per Jim, was justified to be in the home whereas the tenants were occupying the property after the lease expired.

Thank you Jim for all your insight.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I believe it was Mark Twain who said (paraphrase) "never argue with an idiot, because after a while, an observer won't be able to tell which one is the idiot"

on that, sir, I'll exit the discussion with this final comment: Florida real estate law does not apply in Ohio

enjoy your day
Flag Tue Nov 27, 2012
I'm still wondering why realtors from other states seem to feel that their state's laws apply in Ohio.

It doesn't matter if the renter is holding over beyond his lease term in Ohio.

It doesn't matter if the renter hasn't paid his rent.

It doesn't matter if the renter is distroying the property, having wild parties, creating a nusiance and all that.

Scenario in the original question is: our lease is expired, can the landlord just walk in?

answer: No.

Sorry, Phil.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Jim is right in what he just said plain and simple NO A LANDLORD CANNOT JUST WALK IN IF THERE IS NO EMERGENCY!!!! 24 HOUR NOTICE TO ENTER MUST BE GIVEN TO THE RENTER. IN THE CASE OF SOMEONE JUST MOVING IN WITHOUT LANDLORDS CONSENT THEN THEY ARE SUBJECT TO B & E LAWS IN OHIO. BUT IN THIS CASE FROM WHAT I SEE THEY HAD LANDLORD CONSENT SO THE 24 HOUR NOTICE IS ENFORCABLE.
Flag Mon Jan 21, 2013
After reasonable notice to the tenant (24 hours is considered reasonable), the landlord has the right to enter the premises to inspect, repair, make improvements, supply services, or show the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
At no time in ohio weather a lease s up or not may a landlord walk into a house or apt unanounced.
He/She must give you 24 hour notice and have a legal reason to be there and that is for maintence
reasons also. And for the elbow to your husband face that leads to an assault charge against him/her.
The only other way is if he has an court ordered eviction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
Andrew G, thank you, sir.

I'm guessing by your complete and eloquent discussion of the topic that you may have a law degree?

Being near the Michigan border, I once considered buying some property over the line. Al Gore had only recently given us the internet, so I made a trip to one of the public libraries in Michigan and spent an hour or so combing through the Michigan Compiled Law and while their landlord tenant law was not difficult to understand, and the municipalities I checked with were way more friendly than Toledo in helping landlords research public records (eviction dockets and such) to learn about a potential renter (maybe that's why those areas have better housing stock?) I made the decision to stick with only 1 state, 1 set of laws, and as it turned out from there, only 1 set of housing court rules to learn and to deal with. Hats off to those who have the fortitude to operate in multiple states.

The thing I found from that excercise is that, as you mention, yes the laws are different in different states!

I'm always amused when these so called real estate professionals from other states come on here and not only give incorrect and possibly harmful advise to the innocent public in an area the "professional" has abosolutely NO expertise, but then go so far as to argue that the ones with the correct advice ("contact a lawyer, here's the general rule") are incompetant.

You know, I would never ever be so presumptuous as to advise someone, say, in Florida how they should handle a situation with a hotel owner in a vacation town, nor would I try to argue with someone in "the land of fruits and nuts" about some gay rights issue of which I have no knowledge or inclination to understand the situation.

One of these guys even emailed me to tell me that since the tenant in this column was beyond the term of her lease, she was trespassing! Really? In Ohio? I think not.

If I may be so bold, I might suggest to these professionals that when one holds oneself up as an expert and gives advice to the unsuspecting public and that advice causes harm, one such professional could find himself being the one who needs to seek legal advise!

Andrew, if you are still reading and if you are not already involved, you might want to look up the Ohio Apartment Association, they are headquartered in Columbus, and work through the state house and other channels to help protect landlord rights.

Thanks again for your support.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2012
Listen to Jim and Debbie. Jim's advice is correct considering the state of Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law, which Debbie provided in full.

Having rented in multiple states, I can attest that right-to-entry notice is NOT similar between states, and in this particular case, there was no immediate/emergent maintenance issue that would have allowed your landlord to bypass the mandatory minimum 24-hour notice required by state law. Further, he entered the premises without meaningful cause (showings, maintenance, inspection) since he could have just as easily exchanged paperwork with you from the porch, without entering. I have seen landlords reprimanded by the judge in open court within Toledo Housing court for this very reason. If the issue is emergent, they still have to notify you that emergency maintenance must be completed on the property and a service technician must enter the premises. If something like a gas line was leaking, there would be record of the service call with Columbia Gas as, also according to Ohio Law, the landlord MUST report gas leaks to the gas company and; therefore, one of their reps would be entering, not the landlord. Either way, if he did not notify you via phone, voicemail or mail prior to keying in, it was unlawful entry. In this case, no judge would believe the landlord would call you and let you know they were coming into the premesis in 24 hours so you can sign paperwork. That is what mail, fax or simply standing on the porch is for.

Whether or not your lease is up, the landlord must give you notice if you are still occupying the unit. The unit does not automatically become occupied by the landlord at the end of the lease. He absolutely must abide by that rule until you turn the property back over to him or he successfully completes an eviction process. Notice I said "completes" the process, as in - he cannot serve you an eviction notice, and then enter without notice. He must wait until you turn keys in or otherwise provide notice of vacancy. You have 3 days to vacate upon eviction notice - if you are in dispute, are owed money or are unable to find living arrangement within that time, he is not allowed to take any additional action and must not contact you. He will file an "eviction action" with the court, and the judge will summon you for a hearing exactly seven days after the eviction action is filed, during which you will present your disputes directly to the judge for him/her to decide on. If you receive notice of eviction hearing from the court, but vacate within the seven days before your hearing, simply call the court and notify them you have turned the property back over. Bear in mind that since your contract was up, you will be considered a "month to month" lessee, in which your landlord must first give you a 30 days notice, then post a written "three day notice" after 27 days on your door. This is applicable when you do not break your lease agreement. If your lease agreement specifically stated you would turn the property back over on a certain date, and that date has passed, he can post the "three day notice" immediately as the law recognizes that you were made aware of your vacancy date and should have sought out new living arrangements in time. The law provides 30 days to those who pay month-to-month (many landlords allow tenants to do this after their initial lease is up, forgoing an additional agreement as long as the tenant notifies them 30 days in advance if they plan to move - likewise, the landlord should be well aware that he must provide the same amount of time or he should not be renting out houses.) If you were given a vacancy date and are still occupying the property past that date of agreement, it would be in your best interest to vacate as soon as possible. If it progresses to the hearing with the judge and these issues were due to your mistake, the judge will send a county sheriff to place a notice on the door of how many days you have (usually 5-10 days - judge's decision) to vacate before the sheriff can legally escort you off the property. At this point in time - (note, 3 days notice + 7 days (minimum) pre-hearing + 5 (or more, usually) = 15 days total after the written door eviction notice) is when the landlord gains access to the premises. Do not let him convince you otherwise. He has to provide notice (24+ hrs) until the judge sends a bailiff to remove you.

I understand many, many landlords in Toledo run questionable operations (as does the court - so much they've provided tenant rights help (see Debbie's response) and will generally side with you as long as you paid your rent and did not damage the property.) But you need to know in the future that if your lease is up in 30 days and your landlord has not already had to sign a new lease - contact him/her yourself, express interest in renewing & sign ASAP or find a new rental before the current lease expires.

As for the assault, file a police report immediately.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 29, 2012
I seem to have struck a nerve with those real estate experts who seem to have license to operate in all 50 states!

Having said that, I think it was Mark Twain who said (paraphrase) "never argue with an idiot, after a while an observer won't be able to tell which one is the idiot!"

So I'll not argue with you out of state people any further! I don't want to be mistaken as the idiot!

Back to my original advise to elijahjack, contact a lawyer and whatever you do, don't take advise from people who aren't even in your own state!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Even with the enlightenment you've provided, Jim, it is clear that Ohio law provides an owner with access after reasonable notice (which is pretty much the same as the other 50 states, just stated a bit differently in each). Since Elijahjack did not provide us with any info on whether the owner gave reasonable notice, we have to assume s/he is going to claim that notice was given. Since there is no way to prove s/he did NOT give notice, there's no way for tenant to win a right to entry complaint. Still sounds like the landlord is a bit abrasive (if the facts, as presented are accurate), and I wouldn't want to live in his house and deal with him on a regular basis. Even from way out of state, down here in sunny Key West, I stand by my answer. The best answer here, though, goes to Bill Eckler...way too little info to make a solid answer...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I am going to expand on my earlier response since Jim Beatty feels he is the only person with the right answer.

And, Jim would be right if we were to assume that the landlord knew they were still living there. But, that was never stipulated in the question.

If the opposite were the case, and the landlord had tried contacting the tenants on several occasions up to two months prior to the expiration of the lease with no success and there were no signs of occupancy then the landlord has every right to think they vacated and enter the property. Upon entering, if the landlord encountered the occupants and a physical struggle took place it is probable in a court of law, and with proof that the landlord tried to contact the tenant on several occasions, that the landlord was justified for the entry and that the occupants were responsible for the altercation and be found guilty.

There is not a lot of detail given with the question. Without those details I was merely pointing out a scenario to and for the protection of the questionnaire since it was he/she that asked.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Two separate issues here: right to entry and assault. I'm no attorney, but it sounds like each side has a victory: him on the right to entry and you on the assault. Problem is, your's is harder to prove, his is easy, he has the contract to fall back on. Of course I don't have all the details, but based on your rendidtion of the facts, he doesn't sound like anyone you want as a landlord, I would find a new place to live...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
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, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, marital status or familial status. For discrimination complaints or more information, you may contact the Fair Housing Center at 419/243-6163 or visit their website at http://www.toledofhc.org.
6.Tenants in dwellings of a single rental unit must provide their own facilities or 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 http://www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm.
8.A landlord may not retaliate against a tenant by increasing the tenant’s rent, withholding services, cutting off utilities or threatening an FED (eviction) action, because: 1) the tenant has complained to an appropriate government agency of a building, housing, health or safety code; 2) the tenant has complained to the landlord of a code violation or 3) the tenant joined with other tenants to negotiate or deal collectively with the landlord on any terms or conditions of a rental agreement. ORC 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 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 and 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. ORC 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 their written lease agreement.

This list is provided as a general guide to tenants rights and responsibilities. This list is not all inclusive, nor should it be interpreted as legal advice. Seek the advice of an attorney in your area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Leases are typically renegotiated at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the lease. You did not mention any negotiations so I am going to assume there wasn't any. If the lease is expired, the lease is expired and you are no longer a resident of that house. The landlord is now the legal resident.

As far as any physical confrontation, it sounds like a he said/she said situation. The courts typically side with whoever the law dictates was the legal owner at the time of the grievance.

Please check with an attorney on the laws in your area as it might be that you were the one trespassing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
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