Wondering how you can get out of a lease early in the state of Ohio? By looking closely at the Ohio lease laws and regulations, you’ll find there are a handful of laws in place concerning when you can break a lease without paying additional costs.
When you sign Ohio rental agreements, you plan on living in your apartment for a specified period of months or years. But we all know life can occasionally get in the way and end up forcing you to leave your apartment before you expect to. If you are forced to move out, you could end up incurring thousands of dollars in costs through lost security deposits, remaining rent, and other fees.
With a fixed-term lease, you are agreeing to stay for a set amount of time. When breaking a lease in Ohio, you are breaking this agreement. But depending on the situation, you may be able to break your lease without any extra liability.
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How to Legally Break a Lease in Ohio Without Paying Fees
Have you ever wondered, “How can I break my lease legally in Ohio?” A few ways stand out regarding your job, key rights, and other factors.
Military Members Can Often Break Their Lease Legally
Ohio lease laws say active military service members have a legal right to break their lease as long as they are a part of the uniformed services. Along with the armed forces, this includes government branches like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Public Health Services commissioned corps, and activated National Guard members.
To begin this process, you must give written notice to your landlord regarding your plans to terminate your apartment lease because of military responsibilities. Once your landlord gets the letter, your lease will end 30 days after the next date your rent is due.
Ohio Lease Termination Over Privacy Rights
How can you break your lease without penalty? If your landlord violates your privacy rights, breaking a lease before moving in or afterward is easy. According to Ohio landlord tenant law, breaking lease agreements is allowed if your landlord entered your home without at least a 24-hour notice.
Your landlord is legally required to tell you he or she will enter the rental property at least 24 hours in advance. If your landlord comes into your home without giving this notice, they have legally violated your rights to privacy. According to the laws surrounding Ohio rental agreements, you are then allowed to move out and break your lease.
Breaking Lease Due to Fear of Safety in Ohio
Can you break a lease in Ohio because you fear for your safety? The law says you can.
You get an Ohio rental lease for a reason. When you rent an apartment or house, you want a safe, comfortable place to live. If your landlord doesn’t provide you with habitable housing, they are essentially violating this basic agreement.
According to state and local housing codes, your landlord is legally required to give you habitable housing that is secure and livable. If you are dealing with less than this standard, Ohio law says you can break your lease for all practical purposes when they offer a home too unlivable to use.
If your landlord violates health and safety codes, you have no additional responsibility for paying rent to them (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5321.07). But you will have to follow specific procedures before you can break your lease and move out, so check with the legal code to ensure you are completing each step properly. If you don’t follow the law to the letter, you may end up paying for breaking a lease in Ohio after all.
There is an exception you could use that fits this same situation. According to Ohio rental laws, breaking a lease can be done immediately if there is a serious repair problem. To be serious enough, the repair problem must be something like lacking essential services like water, electricity, or heat, which are crucial to a safe environment.
Constructive Eviction Means the Lease Is Already Broken
When a landlord breaks your lease, it is known as an eviction. There is a legal term called a “constructive eviction,” which is used at times when you aren’t physically evicted. While a landlord may not physically remove you from the property, they do things that make it impossible for you to live there.
With a constructive eviction in Ohio, the landlord may have done things like turning off the utilities or changing the locks, so you can’t get in. Or they could have compromised the safety of the living space by removing the doors or windows. All of these actions constitute a constructive eviction and mean you are legally justified for breaking your lease without having to pay anything more in rent.
Tips and Best Practices for Ohio Leases
Understanding the process behind a question like “how can you legally break a lease in Ohio?” is important. Once you find the answer, you must go through the proper steps and procedures. Otherwise, your landlord could say you have broken your lease for a reason which isn’t covered under the legal code and if you’re unable to prove otherwise, you’ll be liable for paying remaining charges.
Get Everything in Writing
The first tip for breaking a lease in Ohio is to document everything. If you have to deal with a lack of heat in your apartment, send your landlord an email about the problem instead of simply calling them over the phone. This way, you can show the court when you alerted the landlord to the problem and how long it took to respond.
Save any emails and other correspondence like texts between you and your landlord. Instead of only finding out how to break a lease legally, you must also find out how to prove you are breaking it legally. Save copies of your lease agreement, repair bills, emails, and registered mail in case you need them in the future.
Unfortunately, there can be times where Ohio landlords become disgruntled or vindictive after a tenant leaves. Even if the property wasn’t habitable, they may try to charge you repair costs for issues you didn’t cause. If a landlord tries to charge you for these things, it will simply be their word against yours without proof or evidence.
Whenever you leave an apartment or rental home, always take photographs on the last day. There are unscrupulous landlords in the world, this is an essential step to protecting yourself. By taking photographs of the property and saving them in your records, you can prove you weren’t the one who caused additional damage.
Read Your Rental Agreement
With Ohio tenant laws, breaking a lease is sometimes possible through loopholes or empty details in your lease or rental contract. There may be times when you want to break a lease without having any legal justification for doing so. In these cases, you should check your rental agreement to see if there are alternatives.
Even if you can’t find a way to legally break your lease within your agreement, you can at least see what the repercussions are. Depending on why you are breaking your lease, it may be worth it to lose your deposit or your last month’s rent. And if you have a month-to-month lease, you might not have any repercussions anyway.
Finding Ways to Break Your Ohio Lease
Learning the answer to, “How can you legally break a lease?” is one step toward moving to a new place that is a better fit for your needs. You’ll also need to find out what happens if you are illegally breaking a lease in Ohio. If it is worth it to you, you may decide to simply pay the cost that comes with it.
Whether you’re moving out of a rental space or moving into a new one, the team at Krupp Moving would love to assist with your relocation. From our packing services to our professional team of movers, you’ll be in good hands from the start. Feel free to complete the Request a Quote form for a free moving estimate or give us a call today at (330) 359-1491.