Ohio Rental Lease Agreements

The Ohio Rental Lease Agreements are drafted by two parties—a landlord and a tenant—who upon signing enter into a legally-binding relationship regarding a residential rental property. The parties must subsequently understand the contract’s terms regarding matters such as:

  • Property Description;
  • Rent Amount ($);
  • Lease Term; and
  • Utility Responsibilities;

In order to save on legal expenses when drafting a rental agreement, landlords and tenants should take care to familiarize themselves with fundamental landlord-tenant state and federal laws.

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What is an Ohio Lease Agreement?

An Ohio Lease Agreement is a document that imposes certain legal conditions on both a landlord and tenant, as well as consequences if these provisions are compromised by either party. While not mandatory to use, landlords are recommended to ask tenants to complete a rental application if they are still in the process of screening potential tenants.

State Definition (§ 5321.01(D)) – “means any agreement or lease, written or oral, which establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of residential premises by one of the parties.”

Types of Agreements

College Roommate Agreement – Although there are no legally-binding clauses in this agreement, it is useful because it gives college roommates unified guidelines about how they should behave.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Commercial Lease Agreement – An agreement which provides scope for a landlord to rent their property to a business who will use it specifically for commercial purposes.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Lease to Own Agreement – This contract signifies an agreement that a landlord will give a tenant the opportunity to purchase the rental property.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Month-to-Month Lease – A lease that auto-renews after a month, except in cases where either party chooses to end the rental agreement.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Roommate Agreement – A contract that comprises of both legal obligations, such as the payment of rent, and non-legal obligations, such as guest policies.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Standard Residential Lease Agreement – A landlord or tenant seeking a typical rental contract that will be recognized in the state of Ohio should draft this agreement.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Sublease Agreement – An agreement that outlines conditions whereby a tenant leases their portion of a rental dwelling to another tenant. In most cases, subleases require prior consent from the landlord.

Download – Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf)


When is Rent Due?

Ohio state law does not specify when rent is due. As such, rent is due on the date stated in the written lease agreement. State law also does not provide for a grace period for tenants.

Landlord’s Access

Emergency (§ 5321.04(8)): A landlord does not need to give tenants prior notice to access the rental property when there is an emergency.

Non-Emergency (§ 5321.04): A landlord must provide the tenant with “reasonable notice” of their intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times. Reasonable notice is presumed in the law as twenty-four (24) hours, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Required Disclosures

  • Disclosure to the County Auditor (§ 5323.02): The landlord must file their name, address, and telephone number with the county auditor of the county in which the property is located the following information.
  • Lead Paint Disclosure: To comply with federal law, landlords must disclose to tenants when they know of any lead paint hazards in their rental properties built before 1978. Landlords of such properties must additionally provide tenants with an informational brochure on the topic.
  • Names and Addresses: The written rental agreement must include the names and addresses of the landlord as well as their agent, should they have one.

Security Deposit Laws

Maximum: There is no state statute regarding the maximum security deposit a landlord may demand from a tenant. Landlords should note that in accordance with § 5321.04, security deposits of more than fifty dollars ($50) or one month’s periodic rent, whichever is greater, must bear interest on the excess at the rate of five per cent (5%) per annum if the tenant remains in the rental dwelling for six (6) months or more. The interest must be computed and paid annually by the landlord to the tenant.

Returning to Tenant (§ 5321.16(B)): The landlord must return any security deposit received from the tenant within thirty (30) days after termination of the rental agreement and delivery of possession. Should the landlord suffer any damages at the hands of the tenant, they must itemize and identify the damages in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due.