Ohio Eviction Notices
Ohio eviction notices notify a tenant that their landlord will terminate their lease/rental agreement if they do not pay their rent or comply with the rules of their lease. Most eviction notices will give the tenant an opportunity to avoid eviction by paying past due rent or curing lease violations. If a landlord and a tenant have a month-to-month agreement, thirty (30) days’ notice must be given before the agreement is terminated and the tenant has to vacate the property. When serving an eviction notice, the landlord must do so in-person or by certified mail. Rules regarding eviction in Ohio can differ from one municipality to another. Therefore, the local procedure should be researched before a landlord serves an eviction notice on their tenant.
Required Notice Periods
- Non-Payment of Rent – 3 Days (§ 1923.02 and § 1923.04)
- Non-Compliance – 3 Days (§ 1923.02 and § 1923.04)
- Termination of Month-to-Month Tenancy – 30 Days (§ 5321.17)
- Health/Safety Hazard – 30 Days (§ 5321.11)
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
The only way for a landlord to evict a tenant in Ohio is by obtaining a court order. Before filing an eviction lawsuit in court, the landlord must give the tenant a written eviction notice. A tenant can be evicted due to nonpayment of rent, violation of the lease agreement, failure to move out after the rental term has ended, failure to remedy a lease violation within thirty (30) days, or for violation of Ohio’s drug laws on the rental property.
The standard amount of time that is required between serving the eviction notice and filing the eviction lawsuit is three (3) days. However, month-to-month tenants must receive 30 days notice, and a tenant who has committed a health/safety hazard/curable lease violation must also receive thirty (30) days notice.
Step 1 – Notice to Quit
The most common reason for an eviction is that the tenant hasn’t paid past due rent. If a tenant owes the landlord rent, the landlord must fill out the 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit. For most lease violations, the 30 Day Notice to Quit for Health/Safety Hazard should be used. In some cases, a 3 Day Notice to Comply or Quit may be required/authorized. To give thirty (30) days notice for the termination of a month-to-month or “at will” agreement, the landlord must fill out a Termination of Rental Agreement form.
Step 2 – Serve the Notice to Quit
The notice must be served personally or sent by certified mail. If the notice is sent by mail, a return receipt must be requested and kept as proof of service. Furthermore, an additional copy of the notice must be posted on the premises. Once the document has been served, the entire notice period must lapse with no action taken by the tenant before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. The notice period is counted in business days and does not include the date of service.
Step 3 – Evictions Summons and Complaint
In order to file an eviction action, officially called a “Forcible Entry and Detainer Action,” the landlord must fill out the appropriate eviction Summons (provide contact information only) and Complaint forms. The Complaint describes the reason for the lawsuit, and the Summons details the time and date of the hearing. The Complaints and Summons documents vary between counties and municipalities; they can be found on the Municipal or County Court website which corresponds to the location of the property (full list here).
Step 4 – File Forms With Clerk
The landlord must file the eviction lawsuit with the Clerk of the Municipal Court or County Court of Common Pleas where the rental property is located (online court directories can be found here and here). They will also need to bring a copy of the eviction notice(s) as well as their lease or rental agreement. The filing fee is typically anywhere from $120-140 and most courts will not accept personal checks. Additional fees may be required.
Step 5 – Serve Summons and Complaint
The court papers will be served on the tenant by certified mail, as well as posted on the premises of the rental unit. The tenant must receive these papers at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing.
Step 6 – Attend Hearing
Both parties must be present on the date of the hearing. If the tenant does not show up, a default judgment will most likely be issued against them. In the event that the landlord is absent, the judge will dismiss the lawsuit. The landlord will need to bring any relevant evidence and documentation (lease, payment history, proof of lease violations, etc.). Both the landlord and the tenant will have the opportunity to present their case. If the tenant is found guilty, they will be ordered to vacate the rental property within a certain period of time (the time to vacate varies across the State).
Step 7 – Remove Tenant
If the tenant does not move out in accordance with the court order, the landlord can file a request in court. The court will, in turn, have the Sherriff serve a Writ of Restitution on the tenant and evict them from the property. Any belongings that the tenant has left behind after vacating the premises can be removed by a bailiff or a law enforcement officer at the landlord’s request.