Tenants must live in habitable conditions. Landlords must ensure that the properties they rent out meet these conditions.
Ohio does not have mold laws that compel the landlord to clean their tenants’ homes. However, landlords have the implied responsibility to keep the home habitable. Mold remediation is part of that responsibility.
Tenants also must take care of their homes to prevent damage and conditions that would make them uninhabitable.
- When it comes to the causes of mold, landlords must fix leaking pipes to prevent the formation of mold.
- Collect rent.
- Comply with all housing and health codes in your area.
- Keep all common areas of your property clean and safe.
- Supply running water, hot water, and heat.
- Lawful evictions.
- Provide proper garbage disposal.
- Maintain tenant privacy and quiet enjoyment by offering notice before you are required to enter the unit.
- Do not change locks, remove windows or take tenants’ possessions to evict or if they are late on rent.
Tenant rights and responsibilities in Ohio
- Take care of the property.
- Pay the agreed rent at the agreed time.
- Repair any damage that you cause.
- Keeping the property secure and ensuring that you do not damage it.
- Receive your deposit back at the end of the tenancy unless the landlord has a valid reason to keep some of it.
- Not to be discriminated against.
- To challenge any fees you deem unfair and exorbitant.
- It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against their tenant for taking certain legal actions.
How long does a landlord have to repair mold in Ohio?
Landlords in Ohio have up to 30 days upon receiving notice of the presence of mold to have it repaired.
When it is an emergency, landlords have up to 48 hours to fix mold or any other damage in their homes.
If they fail to fix the problem, Ohio law allows tenants to withhold rent until the landlord fixes their problem.
Mold disclosure law in Ohio
Ohio does not have any laws that require landlords to disclose the presence of mold in their units to new tenants.
A federal law that requires them to disclose the presence of lead paint for homes built before 1978.
Can you break your rental lease in Ohio due to mold?
In Ohio, tenants are legally not allowed to break the rental lease if they are the cause of the mold.
When tenants notice problems that can cause mold, they should report them to the landlord immediately. Leaking pipes and taps, floods, spills, or spots of mold should be reported before they are big problems.
Document the problems in photos and inform your landlord in writing. Also, record all the discussions and promises that the landlord offers.
If the landlord does not fix the problems you report and mold gets too unmanageable levels, you can break your lease. It is known as constructive eviction.
If the landlord sues you for the rest of the rent, you must prove in court that the house was uninhabitable, the mold was not your fault, and that you had notified your landlord and they did not fix the house.
You can legally break your lease to start active military duty or if the landlord discriminates against you.
Can an Ohio tenant withhold rent
An Ohio tenant can withhold rent to compel the landlord to fix some damage in the unit.
However, you must pay your rent to the local municipal or county court to hold it in escrow. When the repairs are made, the court will transfer the rent to the landlord.
Before you withhold rent, you must inform your landlord of the problem. You must also have given a reasonable amount of time for it to get repaired.
Secondly, you must inform your landlord in writing of your intention to withhold rent.
Third, the unfixed problem that causes you to withhold the rent must cause the unit to be uninhabitable.
High levels of mold that are not your fault are a good reason to withhold your rent.
Can an Ohio tenant seek justice in court for mold?
In Ohio, a tenant can sue the landlord for mold when;
- The landlord refused to fix water leaks that were reported before the mold appeared.
- If you have spent money in a hospital or on medication due to mold exposure.
- Lost income due to a condition caused by mold exposure.
- If you have spent any money to remediate the mold.
- For mold-related damage to your property not covered by your renter’s insurance.
- For pain and suffering caused by the health effects of mold.