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Is your landlord refusing to make needed repairs?  You may put your rent in escrow with the court until repairs are made.

 

Tenants have many rights under the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law. As a tenant it pays to understand your rights and responsibilities.  The City of South Euclid requires landlords to register all rental properties annually and to have the rental unit inspected every three years inside and out.

Your landlord has an obligation to comply with all applicable building, housing, and health and safety codes; repair and keep the premises in fit and habitable condition; maintain safe and sanitary conditions; and provide running water, adequate amounts of hot water, and heat at all times.

When repairs are not made, the city can take your landlord or the property manager to court to force them to make repairs, but sometimes there are problems that arise between inspections that the city may not be aware of.  You can call the Housing Department to take a look at the problem and issue a citation, and the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law also gives you other rights.  One of those is placing your rent in escrow with the court until repairs are made. For more detailed information on the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, you may want to check out this helpful article.   If you require more information or to seek legal advice, contact The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland at 1-888-817-3777.

Putting your rent in escrow means that instead of paying your rent to the landlord, you can pay it to the South Euclid Municipal Court instead.  The court will hold the money until repairs are made. Once the unit is properly repaired, the funds will be released to the landlord.

It sounds simple enough, but there are steps that must be followed.

  • You must be current with your rent payments.
  • You must give your landlord notice in writing of your grievance 30 days before applying to place your rent in escrow. This is a detailed letter (view and download sample letter below) letting your landlord know about all of the repairs that need to be made.  Photos and other documentation (such as a city violation notice) are helpful to include. You will need to hand this letter to your landlord or send it via certified mail.  Keep a copy of this letter and the extra documentation as the court will need it. It is also helpful to provide a copy of your lease if you have one.
  • Obtain an “Application by Tenant to Deposit Rent from the South Euclid Municipal Court or download this link.
  • Once the court accepts your application, you will need to pay your rent to the South Euclid Municipal Court every month on time until the case is completed. The Court will provide you with a receipt.
  • When repairs are completed, your landlord can petition the court to obtain the rent monies being held less a 1% administrative fee retained by the court.


Sample Tenant Grievance Letter (pdf)
Notice to Landlord from Court (pdf)
Application for Release of Rental Escrow (pdf)

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