Dallas, TX asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio

Q: Can my landlord charge late fee for a eviction filing fee? Balance is paid, all but filing fee.

I was notified of the filing fee upon making the final payment, also landlord has been sending emails with incorrect amount due and asking how do I plan to pay. Is this a form of harassment. I received a 3 day notice for filing fees that have been partially paid....in ohio

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this situation, there are a few important considerations:

1. Late fees: Generally, landlords can charge late fees if they are specified in the lease agreement and are within the limits set by state law. In Ohio, late fees must be "reasonable" and cannot exceed $20 or 20% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater. If the late fee for the filing fee is not outlined in your lease or exceeds these limits, it may not be valid.

2. Eviction filing fees: If the landlord has filed for eviction due to non-payment of rent, they may be able to include the filing fee in the total amount owed. However, if you have paid the balance of the rent, the landlord should not be able to proceed with the eviction solely for the filing fee.

3. Incorrect amounts and communication: If the landlord is sending emails with incorrect amounts due, it could be an honest mistake or a form of harassment, depending on the circumstances and frequency. It's important to keep records of all communications and payments.

4. Three-day notice for filing fees: In Ohio, a landlord must provide a three-day notice before filing for eviction due to non-payment of rent. If you have partially paid the filing fees, the landlord may still be able to file for eviction for the remaining unpaid amount.

If you believe your landlord is harassing you or acting improperly, consider contacting a local tenant rights organization or a lawyer specializing in landlord-tenant law for guidance on your specific situation. They can help you understand your rights and options under Ohio law.

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