The Landlord-Tenant Law applies to all residential properties and not commercial leases in the state of Ohio. As such, none of the rights outlined in Ohio Revised Code 5321.04 Landlord Obligations and Ohio Revised Code 5321.05 Tenant Obligations may be taken away by any written or oral agreement. Further, the lease does not control, nor is the lease a defense to excuse the landlord or the tenant from his or her obligations as outlined in the Ohio Revised Code.

If your insured landlord’s tenant does not comply with the duties and responsibilities under the code, then the tenant can be held responsible for damages.

The Ohio Revised Code elaborates on tenant obligations and states that a tenant who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following:

  1. Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses safe and sanitary;
  2. Dispose of all rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner;
  3. Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by him as clean as their condition permits;
  4. Use and operate all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly;
  5. Comply with the requirements imposed on tenants by all applicable state and local housing, health, and safety codes;
  6. Personally refrain and forbid any other person who is on the premises with his permission from intentionally or negligently destroying, defacing, damaging, or removing any fixture, appliance, or other part of the premises;
  7. Maintain in good working order and condition any range, refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, or other appliances supplied by the landlord and required to be maintained by the tenant under the terms and conditions of a written rental agreement;
  8. Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises;
  9. Conduct himself, and require persons in his household and persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves, in connection with the premises so as not to violate the prohibitions contained in Chapters 2925. and 3719. of the Ohio Revised Code, or in municipal ordinances that are substantially similar to any section in either of those chapters, which relate to controlled substances.

Likewise, the Ohio Revised Code elaborates on landlord obligations and states that a landlord who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following:

  1. Comply with the requirements of all applicable building, housing, health, and safety codes that materially affect health and safety;
  2. Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
  3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition;
  4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances, and elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;
  5. When the landlord is a party to any rental agreements that cover four or more dwelling units in the same structure, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of a dwelling unit, and arrange for their removal;
  6. Supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water, and reasonable heat at all times, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection;
  7. Not abuse the right of access conferred by division (B) of section 5321.05 of the Revised Code;
  8. Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, give the tenant reasonable notice of the landlord’s intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times. Twenty-four hours is presumed to be a reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
  9. Promptly commence an action under Chapter 1923. of the Revised Code, after complying with division (C) of section 5321.17 of the Revised Code, to remove a tenant from particular residential premises, if the tenant fails to vacate the premises within three days after the giving of the notice required by that division and if the landlord has actual knowledge of or has reasonable cause to believe that the tenant, any person in the tenant’s household, or any person on the premises with the consent of the tenant previously has or presently is engaged in a violation as described in division (A)(6)(a)(i) of section 1923.02 of the Revised Code, whether or not the tenant or other person has been charged with, has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of, or has been determined to be a delinquent child for an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a violation as described in that division. Such actual knowledge or reasonable cause to believe shall be determined in accordance with that division.
  10. Comply with the rights of tenants under the Service members Civil Relief Act, 117 Stat. 2835, 50 U.S.C. App. 501.

If a landlord tries to eliminate his or her duties and pass them on to your insured-tenant, that part of the lease is not valid. Furthermore, if your insured landlord’s tenant does not comply with the duties and responsibilities under the code, then the tenant can be held responsible for damages. Regardless, at Keis George we would be happy to review your landlord-tenant claims and determine if there is any responsibility on the tenant or the landlord for the damages your company paid.