Landlords often have to deal with unwanted complaints from tenants. Often a landlord may conclude that it is easier to get rid of a tenant who complains than to deal with the complaints themselves. However, Ohio law protects certain tenants who make specific complaints to the Landlord or who takes certain actions. All Landlords should understand Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.02 when dealing with any Tenant complaint.

Ohio law prohibits a landlord from retaliating against a tenant when the tenant does three things. First, the landlord cannot retaliate if the tenant complains to an appropriate governmental entity about violations of building, housing, health, and safety codes relating to the leased premises. Second, you can’t retaliate if the tenant complains about the landlord’s failure to fulfill obligations under Ohio’s landlord/tenant act. And finally, a landlord cannot take action against a tenant who joins with other tenants to jointly negotiate the terms and conditions of a rental agreement.

The question becomes what constitutes retaliation, or what can’t a landlord do when a tenant makes a protected complaint or action. Ohio law is specific about the prohibitions against landlords. The landlord cannot retaliate against the tenant by increasing rent, decreasing services owed to the tenant, or threatening or actually evicting the complaining tenant.

If you are a landlord and find yourself with a complaining tenant, call 513-421-8454 to discuss your options.