“An Ohio Landlord Tenant Eviction Notice Guide” written by Mike Marko
If you’re an Ohio landlord, you should be aware of how to make and use a landlord tenant eviction notice. Ideally, you’ll never have to use it, but better to be prepared than not.
A landlord tenant eviction notice is basically a document notifying a tenant that he must move out of the premises he is renting or leasing. It may also be a call for a tenant to resolve a problem or face an eviction.
The landlord tenant eviction notice is required in a lot of situations. That’s because Ohio law states that you can’t evict a tenant sans warning or notice.
Failing to observe the law can lead to more problems than it’s worth. Besides, observing it in this matter can encourage your tenant to do the same by giving your notice the attention it deserves.
Today, we’ll talk about how to write and use a landlord tenant eviction notice. We’ll also discuss some of the common eviction notice types you may use as a landlord in Ohio.
Landlord Tenant Eviction Notice Basics
As noted earlier, the landlord tenant eviction notice tells tenants they need to move out. It may also tell tenants to fix a problem that may result in them being evicted if left unresolved.
Generally, a landlord tenant eviction notice will provide a deadline for the tenant to take the action being requested. The deadline varies based on the circumstances, so let’s take a specific example.
Let’s say that you’re a landlord ending a month-to-month tenancy. In most cases, you can do this in Ohio without providing cause for the decision to end it.
In our example, let’s say your cause is unspecified too… or not due to a tenant violation or issue, anyway.
That said, state law does require you to provide a landlord tenant eviction notice to the tenant in question at least 30 days in advance. That’s ahead of the date you wish the tenant to move out.
This tells you something — that a landlord tenant eviction notice isn’t actually an eviction action. Rather, it’s the warning given to a tenant that unless they take the action prescribed (like moving out), an eviction action shall follow.
An actual eviction action involves the landlord filing an eviction lawsuit in court. If he wins the suit, that’s followed by a suitable law enforcement officer enforcing the eviction.
Thus, a landlord tenant eviction notice is typically phrased as a warning to move out before a specific date. Keep that in mind if you ever have to write one, so you don’t end up thinking you can make tenants move out the instant they get the notice.
Now that we’ve clarified that about the landlord tenant eviction notice, let’s talk about the 2 main notice types you can hand out. Namely, these are the “unconditional quit” and “cure or quit” notices.
2 Main Types of Ohio Eviction Notices
Broadly speaking, most Ohio eviction notices fall into these 2 categories:
- Unconditional quit notice – Such notices only ask the tenant to move out of the premises by a specified date. They may provide a cause or not.
- Cure or quit notice – Such notices ask the tenant to “cure” or fix a problem or move out of the premises. For example, if a tenant has been operating a business on residential premises, the landlord may require him to stop doing that or else be asked to quit the place. These always provide a cause for the eviction request, obviously.
There are many subtypes of these notices, naturally. For example, unconditional quit notices may have explicit causes or not, or may be for month-to-month tenancies or fixed-term ones.
Generally speaking, though, the laws require a landlord tenant eviction notice to be given further in advance of the requested move-out date if a cause for eviction is not provided.
To be exact, most eviction notices without a cause have to be given at least 30 days ahead. We noted that in our earlier example for a landlord ending a month-to-month tenancy sans cause.
On the other hand, eviction notices with a cause are generally just required to provide 3-day grace periods before either curing a problem or vacating a property.
This assumes the cause is clearly justifiable, however — but we’ll talk more on that later. For now, we’ll move on to how to write a landlord tenant eviction notice.
The Format for an Eviction Notice
Given that there are different types of such notices and different circumstances for each landlord or tenant, we can’t get too specific. Instead, we’ll describe the general format for these notices.
Begin by dating the document. Make sure that the date you set down is the date you expect to complete the document and send it to the tenant.
Follow that by addressing the landlord tenant eviction notice to your tenant or tenants. State their full names at the very beginning of the document.
Compose a paragraph or two describing the action you wish the tenant to take:
- For unconditional quit notices, state that you are giving them X days (again, at least 30 if you have no cause and at least 3 if you have a justifiable cause like nonpayment of rent) to move out.
- For cure or quit notices, state that you are giving them 3 days to either fix the issue or move out. Be precise about how the issue must be “cured”, e.g. if the problem is rent nonpayment, specify the exact amount due along with late fees, if applicable.
Take note that you should state the address (and name, if applicable) of the property concerned in the above paragraph. You should also give the precise date when the grace period you’re granting to the tenant ends.
Finally, sign the document. Some people also choose to enter the date here instead of at the top of the landlord tenant eviction notice, and set down their addresses and contact details.
Why You Need a Tenant Eviction Notice
Sometimes, people ask why a landlord tenant eviction notice is needed in the first place. Besides the obvious answer that it’s required by law, it only makes sense to use such notices.
Regardless of how you may feel about your tenants, the fact remains that the property they are renting from you is currently their home. Losing one’s home can be an extremely distressing experience, which is what happens in an eviction.
Thus, the landlord tenant eviction notice helps to make it less negative an experience for tenants. Even if they have to move out, the notices at least warn them of it in advance.
That means they can prepare for the move by seeking other rental premises before the move-out date. Alternatively, it gives them time to resolve an issue they might not have realized to be sufficient cause for eviction.
A landlord tenant eviction notice may also serve as evidence in court on your behalf if a dispute arises over the end of a tenancy. Particularly in the case of notices for eviction with a cause, they can help prove that your reasons for evicting the tenant are justifiable.
You see, Ohio law states that a landlord can’t evict a tenant for reasons that may be deemed discriminatory or retaliatory. A notice providing a clear, reasonable cause for eviction (like illegal activities on the premises) can protect you from such allegations.
In any case, the landlord tenant eviction notice is simple enough to make and send, as shown above. Hence, there’s very little reason a landlord would want to risk legal action taken against him by skipping it.
Final Thoughts on the Landlord Tenant Eviction Notice
As you can see, the landlord tenant eviction notice can be a useful tool for a rental property owner.
The landlord tenant eviction notice is required by law to help tenants prepare to move out in advance, which makes eviction less jarring.
For the landlord, it helps you ensure that tenants follow rules or helps you end tenancies that are no longer sustainable for whatever reason.
Bear in mind that you need to observe the laws regarding eviction notices, however. In particular, you should make sure that your notice gives tenants ample time to prepare to move out or fix an “evictable” problem.
What amount of time is “ample” depends on the circumstances. Generally, however, you’re required to provide notice at least 30 days ahead for evictions without cause and at least 3 days ahead for ones with cause.
You can also follow the formula provided above when writing your landlord tenant eviction notice. Just observe the steps set down and you’ll have a proper and lawful notice in no time.
If you have any more questions about how to write a landlord tenant eviction notice in Ohio, just leave them below! You can also share tips about how you write your own landlord tenant eviction notice documents in the comments.
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