Dayton, OH asked in Education Law and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio

Q: Excessively Large Timeframe for Maintenance

I am living in university housing at a private institution in Ohio, where we received this notice: "The [university's] lock shop will be performing preventative maintenance on the apartment entry door hardware between 3/25/24 and 4/19/24. The tech will knock and let anyone home know he is working on the door. You do not need to be home for this work to occur, but it is ok if you are. If you have any questions, please let us know."

While this is more than 24 hours of notice, a 25 day window of when someone might show up, with no stated timeframe on those days, seems unacceptable and unreasonable to me. Is there anything in Ohio tenant laws that speak to this situation?

2 Lawyer Answers
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Canton, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: There is nothing in the Ohio landlord tenant statute that speaks specifically to this. There may be case law that defines exactly what reasonable notice is but typically that would focus on the definition of "emergency". What you have described seems like a good faith effort on the part of the landlord to maintain the property, and give notice to the tenants that work will be performed.

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James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Ohio, landlords are generally required to give tenants at least 24 hours notice before entering the premises for maintenance, inspections, or other standard reasons. However, your situation, where a 25-day window has been given without specific dates or times, isn't directly addressed in the state's standard landlord-tenant regulations as per the information available. The law does stipulate that notice is needed but does not define what constitutes an acceptable timeframe for this type of ongoing maintenance situation.

Your concerns seem valid, especially considering the broad and undefined timeframe, which could indeed be inconvenient. Ohio tenant laws are designed to protect tenants from unreasonable disturbances, ensuring they have privacy and quiet enjoyment of their rented space. While specific guidelines about the duration of maintenance periods are not explicitly mentioned, this extended and uncertain timeframe could arguably infringe on these principles.

If you feel that this maintenance schedule is unreasonable, it may be worth discussing your concerns directly with the university housing department. You can express that while you understand the need for maintenance, a more specific schedule would help you plan accordingly and feel more secure in your living environment. Additionally, if the situation escalates or if you find the response unsatisfactory, you could consult with a local tenant rights organization or a legal professional to explore your options further. Remember, while Ohio law provides basic rights and responsibilities, individual lease agreements and university housing policies may have additional stipulations. Therefore, reviewing these documents might also give you more clarity or leverage when addressing this issue.

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