Ohio State Laws Prohibiting Landlord Retaliation

Learn what types of landlord retaliation are illegal in Ohio.

Ohio state law (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5321-02) prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants.

Tenant Rights Protected Against Landlord Retaliation in Ohio

It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant in Ohio who has exercised a legal right, including:

  • complaining to the landlord about unsafe or illegal living conditions
  • complaining to a government agency, such as a building or health inspector, about unsafe or illegal living conditions, or
  • assembling and presenting your views collectively—for example, by joining or organizing a tenant union.

Types of Retaliation That Are Against State Law

The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by Ohio law include terminating a tenancy or filing an eviction lawsuit; increasing the rent; or decreasing services, such as locking the laundry room.

For advice on how to respond to—and prove—retaliation, see the article Landlord Retaliation.

Ohio Guide to Tenant Rights

For an overview of tenant rights under Ohio landlord-tenant law, and resources for filing complaints, see https://www.ohiobar.org/forpublic/resources/lawfactspamphlets/pages/lawfactspamphlet-11.aspx.

Ohio State and Local Law on Landlord Retaliation

For state law on landlord retaliation, see Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5321-02.

See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.

Also, check your local housing ordinances, particularly if you are covered by rent control, for any city or county rules that protect tenants from landlord retaliation. To find yours, call your mayor or city manager’s office or check your city or county website.

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