Generally, a landlord can include any term they want in a lease with a tenant. There are a few restrictions on this freedom to contract with your tenant.

ORC 5321.06 states that a landlord and a tenant may include in a rental agreement any terms and conditions, including any term relating to rent, the duration of an agreement, and any other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties that are not inconsistent with or prohibited by Chapter 5321. While ORC 5321 has numerous provisions, the most important thing for Landlord’s to pay attention to is the landlord’s duties enumerated in ORC 5321.04.

The other limitation on Landlord’s ability to contract freely with tenants through a residential lease is a prohibition on unconscionable terms. Generally, unconscionable terms are those that are so one-sided that the court will not enforce them against the tenant. This is not an easy burden for the tenant to show. But it is possible.

A good residential lease is important if you are a landlord. If you are a landlord and need legal representation, call J. Thomas Hodges at 513-421-8454 to discuss your situation.