Twenty One Tips For Tenants

Avoid legal trouble with these simple tips.

1. In shopping for a place to live:

    a. Go to the Code Enforcement Office (28 Curran Dr) and review their file on the address you are considering;
    b. Check with utility companies to determine previous winters’ heating & electricy;
    c. Contact Student Senate Off Campus Housing Office regarding landlord rating;
    d. Talk with current/prior tenants of landlord you are considering.

2. Read your lease. Any provision of your lease that conflicts with the landlord-tenant law is not enforceable.

3. Don’t agree to an oral modification of a written lease. Write all modifications down and sign with the landlord.

4. Avoid "shared utilities systems". (Several apartments and one electric/water, etc. bill)

5. Do not pay rent in cash. Get receipts.

6. To increase chances of getting your security deposit back, photograph/video-tape/document your apartment when you move in and when you move out.

7. Contact your landlord at the first sign of condition problems in your apartment. Make no more than one oral request for any repair. After that, write the landlord.

8. Make a copy of everything you send the landlord. Keep everything you receive from the landlord.

9. Don’t argue with your landlord, nor write in haste or anger.

10. Be a good neighbor. Respect yourself and others.

11. Don’t accept legal advice from your landlord.

12. Meet all your legal requirements: Keep your apartment safe and sanitary, get rid of garbage in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner, use appliances , prevent others from damaging your place, don’t disturb your neighbors, don’t unreasonably withhold consent for your landlord to enter your place.propeobligationsrly

13. Recycle, Reduce and Reuse.

14. When you move out, leave a written forwarding address for your ex-landlord.

15. If your landlord fails to repair a problem that materially affects your health and safety, you may be able to escrow your next rent with the court and not pay your landlord. You must be current in your rent and you must give written notice about the problem to your landlord.

16. Seek help at the first sign of a problem.

17. Register and vote in local elections.

18. Try not to rent from your employer or work for your landlord.

19. Landlords must give reasonable notice, presumed to be 24 hours, to the tenant before entering the apartment. This notice doesn’t apply in emergencies.

20. If problems arise between housemates or your landlord, consider mediation as a way to resolve the conflict.

21. Know where the fire extinguishers are and make sure they are in working condition. Check smoke detectors monthly.


You are welcome and encouraged to bookmark or print out this resource for future reference.

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Reprinted with permission from
The Center for Student Advocacy
8 North Court Street, Suite 413
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 594-8093
Fax: (740) 592-1495
e-mail: csa@frognet.net


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