Housing

Getting your landlord to make repairs

It’s your landlord’s job to fix the heat, refrigerator and other basics when they break down–not yours. If your landlord refuses, you can use an Ohio law to force your landlord to make repairs. It’s called rent escrow.

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Understanding the Basics

See what you need to know to take action.

Your landlord is responsible for making repairs to your home. For example, fixing the heat or refrigerator if they break. Here’s a list of the kind of repairs your landlord is required to make.

But what should you do if your landlord refuses to make repairs? Stop paying rent? Absolutely not. That will create more problems for you. And you could get evicted. Follow these steps instead.

Tell your landlord

Let your landlord know about the repairs you need. Do this with a phone call, text or email. Your landlord might even ask you to fill out an online form. What’s important is that you tell your landlord what repairs you need. 

Write a letter to your landlord

If your landlord does not make the repairs, write a formal letter to your landlord. Use this form to send a letter requesting repairs to your landlord.  

If there is a housing code enforcement office in your area, you can also contact code enforcement and request an inspection of your home. If the code enforcement officer finds that there is a code violation, they will issue an order requesting that your landlord make the repair. Keep a copy of the code enforcement report to document the problems with your home.   

What if my landlord still hasn’t made the repairs?

If it’s been 30 days since you sent the formal letter, you can pay your rent to the court instead of your landlord. You could wait even less time if the problem is an emergency repair, like no heat in the winter. In Ohio, this is called rent escrow. You must be current on your rent to qualify for rent escrow. Learn more about the rent escrow process and rules.

Forms and Letters

Find forms and letters that you can fill out yourself.

Local Government and Community Resources

Find courts and helpful resources in your community.