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  1. #1
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Condemned Property: What are my rights as a tenant?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Ohio

    I will try to be brief. I am currently a tenant in a property I believe will be condemned very soon. It is a side by side duplex. On the other side lives my mother in law. We were the ones who complained and reported the property to the City Of Cleveland because the LL would not make any repairs. The both have a month to month oral agreement, and the only time we saw the LL was when rent was due. An inspector came to the house on September 3, 2010. She inspected both sides of the duplex and found numerous violations, inside and out. My family and I have plans to move very soon, however it has proved very trying to find a place. I've been searching for over a month.

    My LL gave me a 3-day-notice the day after the Inspector came. My rent wasn't even due yet, but he states the eviction is for non-payment. I'm not worried about that, he hasn't started any proceedings, I haven't received any paperwork. I believe he did that because the Inspector came out.

    Back on point... My neighbors, who have lived in the house next door for over 20 years, know my LL personally. Today, I was told by this neighbor that in speaking with the LL today on the telephone, he informed her that this property has been cited with 45 (yes, you read that right, FORTY FIVE) separate violations. He has not informed us, his tenants. Isn't he obligated to do that? Also, we have not received anything from the City regarding the violations, so we don't know where we stand as tenants. I've been getting the complete run around from the Housing Code folks. I believe I'm going to actually have to show up to the office to get a copy of the Violations Notice.

    My questions are simply this. What are my rights as a tenant if this property is deemed uninhabitable? How long will I have to move? Is the landlord obligated to provide a place for us (hotel, motel) until I find somewhere to live? Will I be made to leave immediately? I have been looking online for answers for hours, that's how I came across this wonderful site. Please help!!
  2. #2
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    LL is not obligated to provide you with other housing. LL is obligated to follow the law re your deposit and final disposition of it . SO What you want to learn first is if the city issues a condemn order typically how many days do they give tenants to get out, this will give you time to prepare by packing ahead of time so moving can be done easily even if its moving things ahead of time into self storage. Your city has to tell you if they normally give a LL a set time to make repairs before condemnation. Yes go to city hall inspections , you may have to pay a fee to get copies but inspections orders are public information , they must allow you to get copies of the report. If they write a condemn order that too is public information. It will help you with having copies of the reports when you begin to look for a new place since your able to tell future LLs its not likely you will get a referral from current LL as you offer copies of the report. About the 3day notice , you have a rent reciept ? (not a money order slip but a reciept for cash payment or copy of canceled check , you may have to order up a copy of the canceled money order)
  3. #3
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks alot! I planned to go to the City Housing Code Records office anyway, because I know the LL will not be giving me any notice. If he were, I would not have heard about this from my neighbor. I have no problem paying the fee for it either. I've already begun packing, and will be looking for storage facilities just in case I need them.

    As far as the 3-day-notice and the rent is concerned, he left it in my door 2 days before my rent was actually due, and hasn't returned any of my phone calls. So if he wants to sue for non-payment, I don't believe he can because I tried to pay the rent, he refused it by not taking my phone calls. The month is almost over, and nothing has been filed, so I don't know what he's trying to pull.

    I didn't think the LL was responsible for housing if the property were condemned. I saw it on another site for another state and wondered if that were true in Ohio as well. Would be nice tho... but then, if he's not willing to maintain his property, what kind of a hotel would he pay for? Not one I'd like to stay in I'm sure...
  4. #4
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    I don't believe he can because I tried to pay the rent, he refused it by not taking my phone calls.
    how does not accepting a phone call equal refusing to accept the rent?

    Have you paid the rent for this month?
  5. #5
    Searchertwin is offline Senior Member
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    Hope you know that you will have a hard time finding a place. Once a future LL finds that you turn in your old LL, do you really think they will rent to you?
    And yes, he did give you the notice for turning him you, wouldn't you?

    No, LL has no obligation to inform you of the violations, he does have the right to get rid of you.

    Your rights as a tenant? Start hunting for a place. If he starts the eviction by a court order, very soon.

    Does LL need to put you in a hotel? hahahahahaha good one!

    LL refused to accept phone calls so that entitles renters not to pay rent? hahahahahahahahahahahaha, even better!!!
  6. #6
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    how does not accepting a phone call equal refusing to accept the rent?

    Have you paid the rent for this month?
    No, I haven't paid the rent for this month. I have tried to contact him by calling him twice a day everyday the week my rent was due and leaving messages regarding his rent, and he has not responded. I went to see a Housing Court Specialist in my city to see if any kind of proceedings had begun, and they have not. According to her, if I have tried to pay him and he hasn't responded that constitutes a refusal of rent and he can't evict me for non payment. I honestly don't think this man knows what he's doing as far as handling rental property. Maybe he thinks if he avoids me, he can evict me for not paying him.
  7. #7
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by searchertwin View Post
    Hope you know that you will have a hard time finding a place. Once a future LL finds that you turn in your old LL, do you really think they will rent to you?
    And yes, he did give you the notice for turning him you, wouldn't you?

    No, LL has no obligation to inform you of the violations, he does have the right to get rid of you.

    Your rights as a tenant? Start hunting for a place. If he starts the eviction by a court order, very soon.

    Does LL need to put you in a hotel? hahahahahaha good one!

    LL refused to accept phone calls so that entitles renters not to pay rent? hahahahahahahahahahahaha, even better!!!

    Maybe the LL doesn't have to inform me by law of the violations notice, I'm still looking into that one... Also, he can't give me a notice and try to evict me for turning him in. It's called RETALIATION and it's ILLEGAL. What he should have done was maintain his property and I wouldn't have had to report his property.

    And if I have a hard time finding a place, oh well. Property owners should take care of their property and keep it up to code. If a person is worried about me turning them in, I don't want to rent from them anyway.

    And tenants do have rights. That's the problem with LL like mine, they think tenants don't have rights. I've already explained my position on the hotel thing. I read on another site that it is law in another state, I didn't know if it was a law where I live.

    As far as the LL not accepting or returning phone calls, that has also been explained. I got my answer from a Housing Court Specialist in my City. I'm not going to chase him, and I don't have to.
  8. #8
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Should your LL file a eviction based on unpaid rent bring with you copies of the work orders and have your rent money with you and offer to the court that you did try to contact LL about the rent , what may also matter is if your LL normally picked up the rent from you or met you every month then that can be offered as to why you didnt mail the rent in ,. hard to say how the court will deal with it since rent could have been mailed to LL at any time via certified mail . Also take pics of the units problems that are code violations and offer those to the court as well. Its not perfect but the court very well could decide to refuse to allow a eviction claim to go through due to the housing violations and may ask to hold your rent payment until inspections signs off or orders the home condemned.
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiredofslumlord View Post
    No, I haven't paid the rent for this month. I have tried to contact him by calling him twice a day everyday the week my rent was due and leaving messages regarding his rent, and he has not responded. I went to see a Housing Court Specialist in my city to see if any kind of proceedings had begun, and they have not. According to her, if I have tried to pay him and he hasn't responded that constitutes a refusal of rent and he can't evict me for non payment. I honestly don't think this man knows what he's doing as far as handling rental property. Maybe he thinks if he avoids me, he can evict me for not paying him.
    Unless you somehow transfer the funds to him via the phone, not answering the phone is not refusing to accept the rent.

    Maybe he thinks if he avoids me, he can evict me for not paying him.
    It has nothing to do with him avoiding you. If you do not pay the rent, he can evict you. You need to mail it or drop it off wherever you were directed to. Failure to do this is you refusing to pay the rent.

    as to him putting you in a hotel: depends how long your lease is, what the violations are, and what the health or building department does, and if he charges you rent for the time not able to be in the home.

    Maybe the LL doesn't have to inform me by law of the violations notice, I'm still looking into that one..
    he doesn't.

    If the health department or the building department deems the home uninhabitable, you can be removed immediately, like in no notice and that is not up to the LL. The health department or building department will issue the order.

    If a person is worried about me turning them in, I don't want to rent from them anyway.
    sounds like you will probably get your wish.
    Last edited by justalayman; 09-23-2010 at 11:27 PM.
  10. #10
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerJ View Post
    Should your LL file a eviction based on unpaid rent bring with you copies of the work orders and have your rent money with you and offer to the court that you did try to contact LL about the rent , what may also matter is if your LL normally picked up the rent from you or met you every month then that can be offered as to why you didnt mail the rent in ,. hard to say how the court will deal with it since rent could have been mailed to LL at any time via certified mail . Also take pics of the units problems that are code violations and offer those to the court as well. Its not perfect but the court very well could decide to refuse to allow a eviction claim to go through due to the housing violations and may ask to hold your rent payment until inspections signs off or orders the home condemned.
    Thanks. He usually comes and collects the rent, because I pay in cash. He brings a receipt with him. I have never mailed rent to him. This is the 1st time he has not returned any calls regarding rent. I don't think he will actually file eviction, but who knows? The thing that sticks out to me most though is that he gave me the notice for non payment 2 days before my rent was due per our agreement, and it was only after the City Inspector had come to the property. That's not legal.

    But that's not even the issue. He hasn't filed anything as of today. I just want to know what I need to do if (more like when) this property is deemed condemned.
  11. #11
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    Unless you somehow transfer the funds to him via the phone, not answering the phone is not refusing to accept the rent.

    It has nothing to do with him avoiding you. If you do not pay the rent, he can evict you. You need to mail it or drop it off wherever you were directed to. Failure to do this is you refusing to pay the rent.
    If the LL has normally come to pick up his rent and has never accepted it by mail, then what? I have lived here for 7 months, and on the 6th day of each month, he has shown up at my front door to collect his rent. The notice I received is dated 9/3/10 and was dropped off on 9/4/10 sometime in the middle of the night because it was in my door when I awoke at 9 am. So, you're telling me that even though that notice is dated before m y rent was due, he can sue me for non payment even though I've tried countless times to contact him about his rent? I doubt that. If he could, he would have done it by now.


    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    If the health department or the building department deems the home uninhabitable, you can be removed immediately, like in no notice and that is not up to the LL. The health department or building department will issue the order.
    Gotcha. I thought they would give notice, but if they don't then I'll have to deal with that. I haven't received anything from them, but I will be going to get whatever records they have from City Hall tomorrow.... or today, sine it is after midnight now...
  12. #12
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    =tiredofslumlord;2653540]If the LL has normally come to pick up his rent and has never accepted it by mail, then what? I have lived here for 7 months, and on the 6th day of each month, he has shown up at my front door to collect his rent.
    then that is different. If he has not given you an address to mail your rent or some other method of delivery, they you are correct. If you have an address you can mail it to, unless it specifically states in your lease he is to pick it up in person, you need to mail the rent to him.

    The notice I received is dated 9/3/10 and was dropped off on 9/4/10 sometime in the middle of the night because it was in my door when I awoke at 9 am. So, you're telling me that even though that notice is dated before m y rent was due, he can sue me for non payment even though I've tried countless times to contact him about his rent? I doubt that. If he could, he would have done it by now.
    the notice given wasn't valid but without you paying the rent (in a situation where you had means to deliver it to him), he can issue another one anytime.




    Gotcha. I thought they would give notice, but if they don't then I'll have to deal with that. I haven't received anything from them, but I will be going to get whatever records they have from City Hall tomorrow.... or today, sine it is after midnight now..
    they may or they may not. It depends on what the violations are. If they deem the home unsafe, they can make you leave right then. If it is not an immediate danger, they should allow you some time to move.

    They may not even condemn the house. They could simply issue repair orders and you could stay right there. It just depends on what the violations are.
  13. #13
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your advice. I don't know if they will condemn the house, but if I could show you the pictures I have of the damages I found, we would probably agree that they should. There are holes in floors from rodents chewing. In the last 3 days, traps have caught 7 mice. I can't tell you how many we've caught since we moved in. My bathroom floor is rotting, separated from the wall in places, and sinking. There's wood missing from the outside... mold growing in my basement. It's awful. Whether he files eviction or not, my family is moving. I have a 16 month old son, we can't live like this. I just really wanted to know how much time we had and if I had any kind of rights as a tenant in a house that has been violated.
  14. #14
    tiredofslumlord is offline Junior Member
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    Alright folks, I got the violations notice from the City today. There are alot of things on here that I don't know exactly how they affect me. The notice is dated 9/14/10 and the LL was given until 10/14/10 to correct them. I haven't seen or heard from him regarding any kind of repairs. I honestly don't think this stuff can be completed by then, especially since he hasn't even started.

    I don't even think a person can live here while this house undergoes these types of repairs. There are violations regarding exterior masonry walls, openings in the foundation, and deteriorated wood trim. Not exactly sure what a fascia or soffit is, but according to this, that is in need of repair or replacing also. There's stuff about weak and deteriorating floors and stairs, the porch system, and some major electrical work. Not to mention a rodent infestation and also termites. That's not even all of it. I have five pages of violations in front of me and I have no clue what that means for me and my family.

    Can anyone help me make heads or tails of this?
    Last edited by tiredofslumlord; 09-24-2010 at 07:59 PM.
  15. #15
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    fascia is the vertical board that you see at the edge of the roof. The soffit is the material horizontally placed that covers the area from the outside building wall to the fascia board.


    unless the gov office condemns the building, they (the gov) is not going to make you move. If the work can be done while you live in the house (not sure about all of it but much of what you list can be), while you will obviously be inconvenienced, they can work around you.

    I would contact the office that issued the defects notice and ask them if the house is legally habitable as it is while the repairs are being made. Most likely it is or they would have posted a notice of condemnation.

    Then, ask them if the LL does not repair the defects, will the condemn it or simply fine the LL for non-compliance. If they say they will condemn it, I would take that as a heads up to get ready to go if you don't see some work happening soon.

    If they are simply going to fine the LL, then it will not affect you living there (anymore than it does already anyway).

    If the LL deems it unreasonable to allow you to live there while the repairs are made, he can evict you and not provide any assistance as you are a month to month tenant other than any time he would be required to give you as notice.

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