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Sample Letters to Landlords Rent Obligation from Tenant

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      THE OHIO STATE BAR ASSOCIATION'S
        ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMITTEE
                        PRESENTS:




 RENT ESCROW IN WASHINGTON COUNTY




  A PROGRAM TO PROMOTE AND FACILITATE THE USE OF OHIO'S
                 RENT ESCROW PROVISION



                         Prepared by

                         Jones Day




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                                                 TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                                Page


INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................... 1
THE RENT ESCROW PROCESS ................................................................................................ 3
THREE PREREQUISITES BEFORE YOUR CLIENT MAY DEPOSIT RENT ........................ 5
                     1.        CONDITIONS OF THE RENTAL UNIT ................................................. 6
                     2.        NOTICE AND WAITING A REASONABLE TIME TO
                               REMEDY THE CONDITION ................................................................... 9
                     3.        STAY CURRENT ON RENT ................................................................. 11
HOW TO DEPOSIT YOUR CLIENT'S RENT INTO ESCROW .............................................. 12
THE LANDLORD'S POTENTIAL RESPONSES...................................................................... 15
YOUR CLIENT'S POSSIBLE COUNTERCLAIMS.................................................................. 17
PREPARING FOR A COURT HEARING ................................................................................. 18
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ON OHIO'S RENT ESCROW STATUTE ................... 19
                     1.        EXCEPTIONS ......................................................................................... 19
                     2.        DO NOT THREATEN TO DEPOSIT YOUR CLIENT'S RENT
                               WITHOUT A LEGITIMATE GRIEVANCE .......................................... 19
                     3.        MANUFACTURED OR MOBILE HOMES. ......................................... 20
                     4.        PRACTICAL ADVICE ........................................................................... 20
PLACES TO CALL FOR HELP AND INFORMATION .......................................................... 22
FORM A: NOTICE TO THE LANDLORD .............................................................................. 23
FORM B: NOTICE TO THE LANDLORD ............................................................................... 25
FORM C: APPLICATION TO DEPOSIT RENT AND STATEMENT IN SUPPORT ............ 26
OHIO REV. CODE § 5321.07 et seq. ................................................................................... Tab A




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                                        INTRODUCTION

         As lawyers, we have an obligation to provide the pro bono representation that is

necessary to make the law and our system of justice available to all. Personal involvement in the

problems of the disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a

lawyer, and every lawyer should find time to participate in serving the disadvantaged.

         One way to serve is to help enforce Ohio's rent escrow statute, R.C. § 5321.07 et seq.,

which is a section in Ohio's Landlord-Tenant Act of 1974. The Landlord-Tenant Act imposes a

number of obligations on residential landlords and provides tenant remedies to enforce those

obligations. One of those remedies is rent escrow. As explained more fully in this booklet,

Ohio's rent escrow statute protects the landlord's interest in receiving his or her rent and the

tenant's interest in living in habitable and decent housing. Basically, the law allows tenants to

deposit their rent with a court, rather than paying the landlord, until certain repairs are made to

the tenant's rental home.

         Because the tenants living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions are typically the

individuals who are also unable to pay an attorney, the Ohio State Bar Association, with help

from Southeastern Ohio Legal Services and Jones Day, have designed a program to educate

lawyers about the rent escrow statute with the goal that attorneys will help disadvantaged tenants

in enforcing their rights under Ohio law. Ideally, this booklet will provide attorneys with the

information (including sample letters and forms) to assist in his or her representation of a

disadvantaged tenant. Of course, it is important to note, that the information contained in this

booklet was prepared to generally advise attorneys of tenants' rights and tenants' ability to

enforce their rights through Ohio's rent escrow process. State laws and court procedures often




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change. Attorneys should not solely rely on these materials. Attorneys must ensure that they are

following the law and acting in the best interest of their clients.




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                                 THE RENT ESCROW PROCESS

          We've all experienced the problems: an old heater that doesn't heat, a leaky roof, a

broken toilet, no hot water, mice, cockroaches, or a faulty septic tank. For most of us, when we

ask our landlords to make repairs, the job gets done. For some, however, the problems are not

resolved — even after repeated requests to the landlord. When a landlord ignores a tenant's

requests to make repairs, many tenants stop paying rent and are then at risk for eviction. Many

tenants do not know that they are not helpless under the law. Ohio Revised Code § 5321.07

provides a mechanism to protect tenants and ensure landlords fulfill their legal duties — "rent

escrow."

          "Rent escrow" is simply the tenant's paying of rent to the clerk of court in the tenant's

county, with the clerk then holding the money until the landlord fixes the problem with the

tenant's rental home. The landlord, therefore, does not receive his rental income from the tenant

until he makes the repairs the tenant is demanding. Put simply, tenants have the right to livable

rental homes, and landlords have the duty to maintain livable spaces for them. Rent escrow is a

way for tenants to pressure their landlords to make repairs the legal way.

          This packet of information explains the rent escrow process for you to help tenants to

utilize it. The information includes: (1) the three prerequisites your client must meet before

attempting to take advantage of the statute; (2) how to deposit the tenant's rent with the clerk of

courts; (3) the clerk of court's duties once you deposit your client's rent; (4) the landlord's

potential responses; (5) how to prepare for a court hearing; (6) the possible counterclaims your

client could bring against her landlord; (7) miscellaneous information you should know before

depositing your client's rent; and (8) sample letters and forms you can use to enforce your client's

rights.



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         For your convenience, a copy of R.C. § 5321.07 and other relevant sections of the Ohio

Landlord-Tenant Act are also attached to these materials.




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       THREE PREREQUISITES BEFORE YOUR CLIENT MAY DEPOSIT RENT

         Even if there are serious problems with your client's rental home, tenants cannot place

their rent into escrow unless they meet three specific prerequisites:

         1. Conditions of the Rental Unit: For your client to deposit his rent with the court

under the rent escrow provision, the tenant (and you) must reasonably believe either that (a) the

landlord has not complied with the terms of the lease or rental agreement based on the conditions

of the rental unit, or (b) the landlord has failed to fulfill any of her statutory obligations listed in

R.C. § 5321.04. In the alternative, for your client to deposit his rent with the court under the rent

escrow provision, a housing code inspector must find violations in the rental unit that could

materially affect your client's health and safety. Thus, the conditions in your client's rental home

must meet a certain level before your client may withhold his rent.

         2. Notice and Reasonable Time to Remedy the Condition: For your client to deposit

his rent with the court, the tenant must give the landlord written notice of the problem and wait a

reasonable time (thirty days, or less under emergency circumstances) to allow the landlord to

make repairs.

         3. Current on Rent: For your client to deposit his rent with the court, the tenant must

be current – and stay current – on all rent payments.

         The following section further explains the three prerequisites.




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                           1. CONDITIONS OF THE RENTAL UNIT.

         Under R.C. § 5321.07(A), a tenant has the right to withhold the payment of rent to the

landlord under the following circumstances:

                 1)     If the landlord fails to fulfill any obligation imposed on her by

                        R.C. § 5321.04;

                 2)     If the landlord fails to fulfill any obligation imposed on her by the rental

                        agreement;

                 3)     If the conditions of the premises are such that the tenant reasonably

                        believes that the landlord has failed to fulfill any such obligations; or

                 4)     If a government agency has found that the premises are not in compliance

                        with building, housing, health, or safety codes which apply to any

                        condition of the residential premises that could materially affect the health

                        and safety of an occupant.

a. The Duties Imposed in R.C. § 5321.04.

         In order to protect tenants' health and safety, R.C. § 5321.04 requires landlords to fulfill

certain duties or face legal action. These duties include:

            to maintain the rental property so that it complies with local building, housing, health,

             and safety codes;

            to make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the

             premises in a fit and habitable condition;

            to keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition;




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            to maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing,

             sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances, and

             elevators;

            to provide and maintain receptacles for the removal of garbage and other waste and

             arrange for its removal (this duty only applies to landlords who are a party to any

             rental agreements that cover four or more dwelling units in the same structure);

            to supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water, and reasonable heat at all

             times;

            to not abuse the landlord's right of access conferred by R.C. § 5321.05; and

            to give the tenant reasonable notice of the landlord's intent to enter and enter only at

             reasonable times (twenty-four hours notice is presumed to be reasonable and this duty

             does not apply in the case of emergencies or if reasonable notice is impracticable).

         If the landlord fails to fulfill any of these duties, the tenant has met the first prerequisite

to deposit rent with the court.

b. The Duties Imposed by the Rental Agreement.

         A tenant also has the right to deposit his rent if the landlord fails to fulfill an obligation in

the lease or rental agreement. Often, landlords guarantee use of certain appliances or facilities in

a lease or rental agreement. If your client is guaranteed use of certain appliances or facilities in

his lease, and he cannot use them because they are broken, then you can demand repairs from his

landlord. If the landlord ignores these demands, then your client is eligible for depositing his

rent in the court.

c. What is a "reasonable belief" that the landlord has violated his duties?




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         A tenant may withhold the payment of rent to his landlord and deposit it with the court if

he reasonably believes that the landlord has failed to fulfill an obligation imposed by the rental

agreement or state law. Although no court has specifically analyzed what constitutes a

"reasonable belief" under R.C. § 5321.07, one could reasonably argue that a landlord violates his

duties if any of the following conditions apply:

         •       no heat in winter
         •       no hot water
         •       broken pipes
         •       insect or rodent infestation
         •       lack of electricity, faulty electrical system
         •       broken windows, doors, locks
         •       broken appliances or bathroom/kitchen facilities, or
         •       anything else that makes the rental home unsafe or uninhabitable, including
                 severe infiltration of cigarette smoke or wild animals in the common areas.

         Additionally, a landlord cannot abuse her right to access the rental home by entering

without proper notice, or at inappropriate hours, or when it is not necessary to make repairs or

maintain the property.




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2. NOTICE AND WAITING A REASONABLE TIME TO REMEDY THE CONDITION.

a. The Notice Requirement.

         Under R.C. § 5321.07(A), the tenant must give notice in writing to the landlord

specifying the acts, omissions, or code violations which constitute noncompliance with any of

the foregoing provisions. Thus, the notice must detail what conditions exist in the tenant's home.

         Such notice must be sent to the person or place where rent is normally paid. It is

recommended that you or your client send this notice by certified mail so that you have a receipt

from mailing it and to ensure it arrives. Two sample letters to notify the landlord of the

conditions in the tenant's rental home are included as Form A and Form B within this booklet.

Form A is a sample your client could use to draft the letter himself. Form B is sample you could

use to draft the letter on your client's behalf.

         If the landlord fails to give the tenant written notice of the name and address of the rental

unit's owner, R.C § 5321.18(C) provides that the tenant's notice prerequisite before depositing

his rent is waived. Thus, if your client's landlord has failed to give your client the owner's

address, the landlord has waived her right to written notice, and you and your tenant may

proceed without concern.

         However, you must be certain that your client has not received notice of the owner's

address from some other means. Ohio courts have held that, although the landlord should

provide the tenant with the owner's address in the rental agreement, a tenant's statutory duty to

provide written notice to the landlord of faulty conditions applies when the tenant has actual

knowledge of where to write to obtain prompt action. Thus, even if the landlord has not given

the tenant the owner's address, if the tenant knows the owner's address – from another source –

then the tenant must give notice of the conditions he wants remedied.



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b. Waiting a Reasonable Time to Remedy The Condition.

         Under R.C. § 5321.07(B), you must then give the landlord "reasonable time" to remedy

the condition in your client's rental unit. Reasonableness will vary with the condition to be

remedied. The statue provides that thirty days after the landlord receives the notice is generally

sufficient time, although depending on the severity of the condition (e.g. no heat in the winter),

less time could be reasonable.

         During this period, the landlord should respond to the tenant. She may make the

requested repairs or present reasons to your client why the repairs are not necessary.




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                                  3. STAY CURRENT ON RENT.

         The final prerequisite under the rent escrow statute is that the tenant must be current in

his rent payments. "Current" means that your client cannot be behind in rent, or owe any late

fees that he is required to pay under the lease agreement. Therefore, if your client has a problem

with his rental home that his landlord won't fix, you must stress to your client that he should not

stop paying rent. This is a common mistake that tenants make, which causes problems when

they try to deposit their rent into escrow. If your client becomes behind in his rent, he has

violated the lease agreement, and his landlord may have the right to evict him.

         This final prerequisite is necessary even if a government agency has found that the

conditions in the rental unit violate applicable building, house, health, or safety codes and that

the violations materially affect the health and safety of the tenant. The obligation is also

imposed regardless of the length of time that such conditions have existed at the rental premises.

         Ideally, the written letter notice of the conditions in your client's rental unit will be

enough to encourage the landlord to make the needed repairs. If the landlord does not cooperate,

however, you are taking the steps necessary to successfully place your client's rent in escrow.




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                 HOW TO DEPOSIT YOUR CLIENT'S RENT INTO ESCROW.

         If your client has met all three requirements for eligibility, the next step is going to the

court house and depositing her rent into escrow. R.C. § 5321.07(B) specifically provides that

once the tenant has met the three prerequisites, she may do one of the following:

         (1) Deposit all rent that is due and thereafter becomes due with the clerk of the municipal

or county court having jurisdiction in the territory in which the rental unit is located;

         (2) Apply to the court for an order directing the landlord to remedy the condition. As

part of the application, the tenant may (a) deposit rent pursuant to the first option (1) above;

(b) apply for an order reducing the periodic rent due until the landlord remedies the condition, or

(c) apply for an order to use the rent deposited to remedy the condition; or

         (3) Terminate the rental agreement.

         The clerk of court for Washington County is located [insert address and hours of

operation]

         [Some local courthouses also allow you to deposit rent by mail – check what

Washington county requires, if anything additional]

         An application to deposit rent with the clerk of courts is provided at Form C in the

enclosed materials.

         [Insert information on any Washington county forms, if any.]

         Once your client has deposited her first rental payment into escrow, she must continue to

pay her rent to the clerk of courts as she would pay it to her landlord. It is important that your

client not become late in her rental payments into escrow because this could have the same

consequence (including possible eviction) as being behind in her rent when paying to her




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landlord. In addition, your client must pay her rent to the clerk of courts either on or before the

due date for each month she deposits her rent into escrow.




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  THE CLERK OF COURT'S RESPONSIBILITIES, INCLUDING POSSIBLE COURT
                              FEES.

         When a tenant deposits rent with the clerk of a court, R.C. § 5321.08(A) requires the

clerk to give the landlord written notice of the deposit. The statute also requires the clerk to

place all deposited rent in a separate rent escrow account in the name of the clerk and to keep in

a separate docket an account of each deposit.

         The clerk may charge a court costs fee of 1% of the amount of the rent deposited.

However, the clerk cannot require your client to pay the fee in advance. Court costs are

deducted from the rent on deposit prior to its release. For example, in State ex rel. Gudzinas v.

Constantino, 43 Ohio App. 3d 52 (11th Dist. Trumbull County 1988), a local court rule required

the prepayment of a $25 minimum fee for rent deposits. The Eleventh District Court of Appeals

found this rule invalid because "the statue clearly places the onus of paying the fee on the

landlord after the procedure has been completed." Id. at 54. This result, according to the court,

"is consistent with the goal of the provisions since it was the failure of the landlord to meet his

obligations that instigated the procedure." Id.




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                       THE LANDLORD'S POTENTIAL RESPONSES.

         Once rent is deposited with the court by the tenant, the landlord has three basic options:

                 1)     Remedy the condition. If the landlord remedies the condition, the landlord

                        should apply to the clerk of court for release of rent on the ground that the

                        condition contained in the notice has been remedied. You or your client

                        should also give written notice to the clerk that the condition has been

                        remedied and the clerk will release the rent to the landlord, less costs.

                 2)     Apply to the clerk of court for release of the rent on the ground that the

                        tenant failed to properly follow the conditions imposed in the rent escrow

                        statute. Specifically, the landlord could argue that the tenant did not

                        comply with the notice requirements of R.C. § 5321.07(A) or the tenant

                        was not current in rental payments at the time the tenant initiated rent

                        deposits.

                 3)     Apply to the court for the release of rent on the ground that there was no

                        violation of any obligation imposed on the landlord, including any

                        obligation imposed by R.C. § 5321.04, a rental agreement, or any

                        building, housing, health, or safety code.

         An application to release rent is considered a "legal complaint" under Ohio law.

Therefore, if the landlord applies to the clerk of court for release of rent, your client will be

named as a party and will be required to file an answer and any counterclaims, as in other civil

actions. R.C. § 5321.09(B) provides that if a landlord files a complaint, the court must hold trial

within sixty days of the date of the landlord's filing of the complaint, unless, for good cause

shown, the court continues the period for trial.



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         If the landlord disputes your client's claims and applies to release the rent, Ohio law

allows him to request partial release of the rent to pay the landlord's essential costs. Specifically,

R.C. § 5321.10(A) provides for the partial release of deposited rent for payment of periodic

interest or principal on a mortgage, insurance premiums, real estate taxes, utility services,

repairs, and other customary and usual costs of operating the premises. In determining whether

to release rent, the court will consider the amount of rent the landlord receives from other rental

units in your client's building, the cost of operating those units, and the costs which may be

required to remedy the condition contained in your client's original written notice to the landlord.




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                      YOUR CLIENT'S POSSIBLE COUNTERCLAIMS.

         If your client's landlord files an application to release the rent from escrow, you will need

to demonstrate that your client was entitled to escrow rent. In addition, you may bring any

counterclaims against the landlord. Possible counterclaims include:

            Damages from the landlord's failure to repair your client's home. Such a claim for

             damages could be a breach of contract claim (i.e. if the landlord breached the rental

             contract by failing to repair and your client suffered damages) or for breach of the

             landlord's duties under Ohio law (i.e. if the landlord breached her duties under Ohio

             Law by failing to maintain your client's home and your client suffered damages).

            Damages for retaliation. You may have a retaliation claim if the landlord retaliated

             against your client for complaining to the authorities about his rental conditions or

             because he placed his rent in escrow. For example, your client may have a

             counterclaim if his landlord wrongfully terminated the utilities or locked your client

             out of his home, and your client suffered damages as a result. Retaliation by

             landlords when tenants are exercising their legal rights is illegal under Ohio law.

            Damages for wrongful seizure of property. You may have a claim for damages if the

             landlord wrongfully seized some of your client's personal property.

         When your client makes a counterclaim, he may ask for monetary compensation for his

damages, including asking for the escrowed rent to be released to him instead of the landlord.




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                            PREPARING FOR A COURT HEARING.

         If the landlord files a complaint, a hearing should be scheduled within sixty days.

Although your client's testimony may be enough, it is very helpful to back up her story with

credible evidence. This evidence could include photographs of the problems in her home,

eyewitnesses to the problems, and official code inspection reports from the county.

         Additionally, you should keep records from each step of the rent escrow process,

including:

                A copy of the notice to the landlord and a mailing receipt (if you sent the notice

                 by certified mail);

                Copies of any correspondence between you or your client and the landlord;

                Receipts from the clerk of court for escrowed rent; and

                Proof that your client was current in her rent when she started rent escrow, such as

                 cancelled checks.

         In addition to providing evidence that your client was justified in escrowing her rent, you

can also ask the court for additional remedies, such as:

                a court order directing the landlord to make repairs;

                lowering your client's monthly rent until repairs are made;

                releasing the escrowed rent to your client so that she can make the repairs; or

                asking the court to terminate your client's lease.




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      MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ON OHIO'S RENT ESCROW STATUTE.

                                         1. EXCEPTIONS.

         There are two important exceptions to Ohio's rent escrow statute. First, the rent

withholding statute does not apply to a landlord who is a party to any rental agreement that

covers three or fewer rental units. This exception only applies, however, if the landlord provides

notice of such fact in writing. In the case of an oral lease or rental agreement, the landlord must

deliver written notice of such fact to the tenant at the time of the tenant's initial occupancy.

         Second, the rent escrow statute does not apply to a dwelling unit occupied by a student

tenant. You should be aware, however, that if your client is a college student or lives in a

school-owned housing unit, she may have special rights as a student tenant, including a hearing

before she may be evicted. Thus, if your client is a student living in college or university-owned

housing, she will not be able to deposit her rent into escrow but you should call her school to

learn its policy on student tenants.

      2. DO NOT THREATEN TO DEPOSIT YOUR CLIENT'S RENT WITHOUT A
                        LEGITIMATE GRIEVANCE.

         R.C. § 5321.09(D) provides:

                 If the court finds that the condition contained in the notice given
                 pursuant to division (A) of 5321.07 of the Revised Code was the
                 result of an act or omission of the tenant, or that the tenant
                 intentionally acted in bad faith in proceeding under section
                 5321.07 of the Revised Code, the tenant shall be liable for
                 damages caused to the landlord and costs, together with reasonable
                 attorney's fees if the tenant intentionally acted in bad faith.

         Thus, if you escrow your client's rent, and in response, the landlord files a complaint and

wins because your client caused the condition in the rental unit, your client will be liable to the

landlord for the damages to the unit and the landlord's costs. If the court finds that your client

intentionally acted in bad faith, then your client will be required to pay the landlord's attorney's


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fees as well. In such a situation, the landlord has the burden of proving that a tenant wrongfully

withheld rent.

                         3. MANUFACTURED OR MOBILE HOMES.1

         If your client rents space from a mobile home park operator, her rights are similar, but not

identical, to the rights of tenants who rent apartments or homes.

         R.C. § 3733.12(B) provides that a resident of a manufactured or mobile home has the

right to withhold the payment of rent to the park operator under the following circumstances:

                 1. the park operator fails to fulfill any obligation imposed by R.C. § 3733.10 or

                    the rental agreement;

                 2. the conditions of the premises are such that the resident reasonably believes

                    that a park operator has failed to fulfill any such obligations; or

                 3. a governmental agency has found that the premises are not in compliance with

                    building, housing, health, or safety codes which apply to any condition of the

                    residential premises that could materially affect the health and safety of an

                    occupant.

         The tenant must meet the same three prerequisites explained earlier – conditions of the

mobile home, notice and wait a reasonable time, and stay current on rent – before depositing

rent. Please refer to R.C. §§ 3733.12–3733.15 if your client rents a manufactured or mobile

home from a park operator for the specifics on how to deposit his rent.

                                    4. PRACTICAL ADVICE.

         There are several things you should inform your client to help him defend his right to safe

and habitable housing. Going to court and placing his rent into escrow are the last steps in the


         1
          [Depending on whether the laws on manufactured/mobile homes are relevant to Washington county
tenants, we will expand this section and probably move it to its own separate heading.]


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process of getting the repairs that are needed and should only be resorted to if all else fails.

Simply asking for repairs is the first step, either by phone, in an informal letter, or by sending an

official notice such as the examples in the attached forms.

         If asking for repairs is not enough, and you think your client's landlord is purposely

failing to perform the repairs he has been asking for, only then you should start considering rent

escrow. Then you should request a housing code inspection for your client's home. You can

request a code inspection by calling the code enforcement officer for Washington County at

[Insert Washington County info]

         It is also important to inform your client that his landlord is prohibited by law to retaliate

against him for requesting a code inspection, putting his rent in escrow, requesting repairs, or

otherwise exercising his rights as a tenant, and your client should report any such retaliation to

you.




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                 PLACES TO CALL FOR HELP AND INFORMATION

                                            [To fill in.]

The Legal Aid Society of Columbus
40 West Gay Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Toll Free: 1-877-224-8374
Intake Local No.: 614-241-2001
Intake Toll Free: 1-888-246-4420
Online: www.columbuslegalaid.org

Ohio State Legal Services Association
Online: www.ohiolegalservices.org/OSLSA/PublicWeb
1-866-LAW OHIO (to access your local legal aid provider)

Washington County Court




Southeastern Ohio Legal Services




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                              FORM A: NOTICE TO THE LANDLORD2

         This letter is an example of the statutory notice written by the tenant (or one you could

draft on your tenant's behalf) informing the landlord of the problems in the rental unit, as

required by the rent escrow statute.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Date]

[Landlord's Name]

[Landlord's Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]



         Re: Notice to Correct Conditions/Problems

Dear     [Landlord's Name]          :

         I am writing this letter to put you on notice about conditions and problems in my rental

unit and in the common areas of my apartment building. These problems are:

                   1. The radiator in bathroom is turned off and the valve is missing so that I am

                       unable to adjust the heat.

                   2. The toilet seat is cracked and must be replaced.

                   3. There is not enough hot water. The water is, at best, lukewarm, and it turns

                       cold before a shower can be completed or dishes washed.

                   4. There is a leak in the wall of the bedroom next to the bath of the adjacent

                      apartment.

                   5. The refrigerator will not hold the proper temperature and my food is spoiling.


         2
             This form is modeled after Thomas Swisher, Ohio Forms & Transactions Form 18.09 (2002).


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                 6. The lights in the stairwell and hall are not working.

                 7. There is no dumpster in which to place trash and garbage.

         Please correct these problems within thirty (30) days of your receipt of this letter.

                                                    Sincerely,

                                                    [Tenant's Name] _________________________


                                                    [Tenant's Address] _______________________




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                               FORM B: NOTICE TO THE LANDLORD3

          This letter is an example of the statutory notice written by you, the attorney, informing

your client's landlord of the problems in the rental unit.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To:       [Name]
          [Address]

          This notice is to inform you that as the [owner or agent] of the dwelling located at

[address] you have breached your obligations under Section 5321.04 of the Ohio Revised Code

and/or the rental agreement.

          The following conditions must be corrected:

1.                              6.
2.                              7.
3.                              8.
4.                              9.
5.                              10.

          If the necessary steps are not taken to correct the above conditions by [date], the tenant at

the above address will deposit rent with the Clerk of Municipal Court until the conditions are

corrected, and take such other action as permitted by Section 5321.07 of the Ohio Revised Code.



[Attorney's Name], Attorney for [tenant's name]

Date mailed:




          3
              This form is modeled after James A. Lowe, Ohio Jurisprudence – Pleading and Practice Forms § 104:23
(2005).


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     FORM C: APPLICATION TO DEPOSIT RENT AND STATEMENT IN SUPPORT4

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Caption]

          In accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.07(b)(1), I hereby deposit all rent

that is due with the clerk of the ________ County Municipal Court.


[Tenant of the premises]

                                         Statement in Support of Rent Escrow

          The undersigned, under penalty of perjury, states that the following facts are true to the

best of his or her knowledge:

1.      (Use one) I gave notice to my landlord of the failure to fulfill obligations imposed upon
landlords by Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.04, or by the rental agreement; or, a governmental
agency has found that the premises are not in compliance with a building, housing, health or
safety code that could materially affect health and safety.

       The landlord failed to respond to my notice by correcting these violations within a
reasonable time.

(or)
          The landlord did not supply me in writing with the name and address of the owner or
agent.

2.      The landlord has not supplied me with a notice in writing stating that [he or she] is a
party to a rental agreement which covers three or fewer rental units.

3.        I am current in my rental payments and the rent now due is $________.


Tenant of the premises

          Dated              .




          4
              This filing is modeled after James A. Lowe, Ohio Jurisprudence – Pleading and Practice Forms § 104:36
(2005).


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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Sample Letters to Landlords Rent Obligation from Tenant document sample