Ohio law doesn’t restrict rental pricing but does provide some protections

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)  – Big cities like New York and San Francisco have rent control but that is not something you’ll find in Ohio, however, there are some guidelines landlords have to follow when it comes to raising prices and security deposits.  

Landlords can raise the price of a rental but not during the term of a lease. Also, a 30-day written notice must be sent. 

Ohio doesn’t put a limit on what landlords can charge for a security deposit, but that deposit must be returned within 30 days after a tenant moves out. What you may not know, is that your security deposit must earn interest if you live in the rental longer than six months. 

Any security deposit in excess of fifty dollars or one month’s periodic rent, whichever is greater, shall bear interest on the excess at the rate of five per cent per annum if the tenant remains in possession of the premises for six months or more, and shall be computed and paid annually by the landlord to the tenant. – Ohio Revised Code.

Compared to other metropolitan areas, the Valley has low rental costs, however, a  2018 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that Ohio workers would need to make almost double the minimum wage to rent a typical 2-bedroom apartment. 

In Ohio, the fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $793. That would require an annual income of $31,723 or $15.25 an hour. FMR Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $619, which requires 57 hours of work per week at the minimum wage of $8.30, and the numbers are even higher in cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati. 

Ohio does not have rent control when it comes to housing like in California and New York, and local economists say it really doesn’t work well.  

“It means those who are not in rent control apartments end up paying more. Obviously, it hurts the landlords, but it also long-term prevents further investment in new housing and potentially affordable housing so you can help a small percentage of people but at a cost to everyone else,” said A.J. Sumell, professor economics at Youngstown State University. 

See more safeguards and liabilities for renters and landlords in the Ohio Revised Code.

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