Lebanon, OH asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio

Q: On March 28th our landlord locked us out of our restaurant because of non payment of March rent. We were already closed

because of Covid. Now we are trying to pay the rent (March -current) but he would not accept it today. He said that he wanted us to now pay a deposit for our utilities and he wants to go through the building and make a detailed inventory list before we can get back in and open. We are in Oak Harbor OH. Our 2 year lease started in November of 2018. We did not open until March of 2019 due to all of the repairs and remodeling that had to take place before we opened. He put a note on the door on the 28th of March and did not send us a letter or call us. In March when he locked our door he did allow us to come in and take some of the food out of the building but did not let us take any of our property that was in there. I just dont know if he is allowed to do this or not. Can he change the terms of the lease? He is telling us if we do not accept the new terms we are not allowed to continue leasing the building... that we put over 30k into remodeling...

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: It depends on the terms of the written lease. Commercial leases typically allow landlords to seize the premises if tenant defaults, lock tenant out, and sell tenant's equipment and property to pay rent and any damages. Landlord does not have to accept late rent, and can terminate the lease because of non-payment. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review your lease, advise you of your options, and communicate with landlord or landlord's attorney to try to work it out.

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