Ins and Outs of Eviction During COVID-19

Reasons for Ohio Eviction

The Ohio eviction process allows landlords to legally evict a tenant for a number of reasons:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Expiration of the lease
  • Tenant’s failure to comply with health and safety codes
  • Violation of material terms of the lease
  • Commission of a drug offense
  • Denying the landlord access upon reasonable notice (at least 24-hours)

Depending on the reason for the eviction, the Ohio eviction notice may be 3-days or 30-days.

Ending month to month leases/rentals are much is a much simpler process. In most situations your landlord does not need to give you a reason (although acting on discriminatory or retaliatory motives is illegal). A landlord can simply give you a written notice to move, allowing you 30 days as required by Ohio law and specifying the date on which your tenancy will end.

A landlord may legally provide less notice, for example, if rent has not been paid, if the tenant has violated other terms of your rental agreement (for example, bringing in an unauthorized tenant), or if the tenant has violated basic responsibilities imposed by law (such as by dealing drugs on the rental property).

 

Can you file an eviction complaint during Covid-19?

Eviction cases can still be filed and move forward in Ohio.  However, many courts in northeast Ohio have temporarily stopped allowing evictions to be filed or cancelled scheduled eviction hearings.

Federal law has set limitations on evictions. Owners of these properties cannot file eviction until after July 25, 2020. After July 25, 2020, these owners must serve a tenant with a notice to vacate the property thirty (30) days before an eviction can be filed.  Then, the owner must still give the tenant a 3-day notice.

Governor Dwine made the recommendation that only evictions involving a physically abusive tenant or imminent danger to another person residing at the location should be scheduled for hearings during the pandemic. This is only a recommendation and it is left to the individual courts whether they are willing to set an eviction hearing during this time.

What properties are covered by the federal law delaying evictions?

Federal law prevents landlords at some properties from filing an eviction at this time.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) prevents a landlord from evicting a tenant from a property subsidized by the Federal government.  This includes all residents in the following properties:

  • public housing,
  • buildings receiving Section 8 rental assistance vouchers or subsidies,
  • buildings receiving USDA rental housing assistance,
  • buildings that receive Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
  • where the owner has a loan backed by the FHA, USDA, VA, or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.