Landlord/Tenant Law

Landlord-Tenant Lawyers Represent Owners’ Interests

Skilled attorneys for commercial and residential transactions and disputes

At Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A., our business attorneys manage numerous aspects of real estate transactions for landlords. We handle lease and purchase contracts, closing statements, and preparations of deeds, though we don’t participate in closings. We also litigate disputes between landlords and tenants. Whether you own commercial or residential property, you rely on an uninterrupted income stream. When controversies with tenants disrupt your business, you can trust Stubbins, Watson & Bryan to resolve matters quickly and cost-effectively.

Evicting residential tenants in Ohio

Our attorneys can often resolve conflicts with tenants without resorting to eviction, but if you must use this last resort, it’s important to know your rights and restrictions. Ohio does not allow a landlord to perform a “self-help” eviction. You may not:

  • Lock out a tenant
  • Turn off the utilities
  • Threaten to lock out a tenant or to turn off the utilities

These restrictions apply even if the tenant no longer has a right to occupy the premises. Therefore, you must go through the legally required steps to get a court-ordered eviction:

  • Establish cause — If the lease has not expired, you can only evict a tenant for certain causes, such as failing to pay rent, failing to comply with the terms of the lease or violating Ohio drug laws.
  • Consult an attorney — Since failure to follow the eviction statute exposes you to a tenant-initiated lawsuit, you should seek reliable advice to keep you in compliance.
  • Serve the tenant with a Notice to Leave Premises — The “three-day notice” alerts the tenant that an eviction proceeding is pending.
  • File an eviction action with the court — If the tenant has not vacated the premises within three days of the notice, you can file with the court. You must present a written complaint with a copy of the “three-day notice” and pay a filing fee.
  • Attend the court hearing — A hearing is scheduled within seven days of your filing. If the tenant does not appear, you are likely to win a default judgment and can request law enforcement to remove the tenant’s belongings. If the tenant appears and the court rules in your favor, the tenant must vacate the premises within 10 days.