There are several rules setting forth the rights and duties between a landlord and the tenants in Ohio when the tenants are using the premises as their home. This article will focus on the tenants’ right to a security deposit, as well as the landlord’s right to use the security deposit. In other words, we will look at the batter between the landlord and tenant for the security deposit. The landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit within thirty days of the day the tenant vacates the property as long as:
- The rent has been paid in full;
- The premises have no damage beyond normal wear and tear; and
- The tenant gave the landlord a mailing address where the security deposit could be sent.
Any security deposit withheld must be listed in a written itemization of damage or unpaid rent, which must be sent to the tenant along with the remainder of the security deposit. Damage does not include normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear includes routine property maintenance.
If the tenant does not pay for all damages and past-due rent as set forth in the written itemization, the landlord may sue the tenant. If the tenant provided an address and the landlord does not provide a written itemization and refund of the remaining security deposit, the tenant may sue the landlord for double damages, court costs and attorney fees.
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