Ohio Lease Agreement Template – Forbes Advisor


Published: Oct 30, 2023, 4:34am

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If you’re a landlord trying to lease your property to someone or a tenant looking to rent, an Ohio lease agreement is vital. Whether renting for a few months or several years, a well-written and legally binding contract is important.

A good Ohio lease agreement protects all parties’ interests and clarifies all the obligations and benefits of the landlord-tenant relationship. If you need to draft a rental contract, a template is a great way to start. You can get a free Ohio lease template by entering your email address below.

What Is a Lease Agreement?

A lease agreement is a legal contract that outlines the terms and conditions of renting a property. This binding document establishes the rights and responsibilities of both parties—landlord and tenant—throughout the lease term.

The lease details key aspects such as:

  • Rent amount
  • Payment schedule
  • Security deposits
  • Lease duration
  • Maintenance obligations
  • Restrictions on the use of the property

It serves as a vital framework for the landlord-tenant relationship, ensuring clear communication and expectations. It provides legal protection for both parties by defining their respective rights in case of disputes or violations. A well-drafted lease helps prevent misunderstandings. It promotes a harmonious rental experience while adhering to the laws and regulations governing rental agreements in Ohio.

When Is a Lease Agreement Used in Ohio?

A lease agreement is often used to formalize an Ohio landlord-tenant relationship and to outline the rights and obligations each party owes to the other.

Ohio leases do not have to be written to be valid, but it is a good idea to put your lease in writing.

If you do decide to enter a lease without a written rental agreement, you should be aware of potential consequences. Without documentation, it will be difficult to prove when a party fails to comply with the agreement.

Who Typically Creates a Lease Agreement?

The creation of the document is usually left to the landlord, and you may find that a landlord is unwilling to use a lease created by a tenant. This is especially true of residential leases. However, prospective tenants always have the right to negotiate terms with a landlord, but this practice is more common when negotiating a commercial lease.

Regardless of who creates a lease, it can benefit both parties to document all the terms agreed to at the beginning of the landlord-tenant relationship.

Which Parties Are Involved in a Lease Agreement?

The parties to a lease are:

  • The landlord—or lessor—owns the property. They can be an individual, multiple people or a company.
  • The tenant—or lessee—wants to use the property for the lease term. Just like the landlord, tenants can be people or, usually in commercial leases, companies.

In some instances, the landlord may require a cosigner or guarantor to also be party to the contract. The cosigner agrees to accept responsibility for complying with the lease if the tenant can’t. Usually, this means that the cosigner or guarantor will pay the rent if necessary.

What Should Be Included in an Ohio Lease Agreement?

In Ohio, a lease only needs to contain a few things to be legally sufficient. As long as the contract identifies the landlord, tenant, property and material terms of the lease and is agreed to by both parties, it’s a valid document.

“Material terms” in Ohio means the terms necessary to the agreement. In the case of a lease, this means terms required for the landlord or tenant to fulfill their obligations to one another. The amount of rent due, how often it’s due and how it’s to be paid are all necessary terms (especially if you’re the landlord).

If your rental agreement has these terms along with the duration of the lease, it’s probably legally sufficient in Ohio.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does a lease need to be notarized in Ohio?

An Ohio lease does not need to be notarized to be valid and enforceable. In fact, notarizing a lease is extremely rare—increasingly so as more and more residential leases are e-signed.

How much can a landlord increase the rent in Ohio?

There are no caps on how much a landlord can increase the rent in most states. In Ohio, there are no rent controls.

What is the maximum fee for late rent in Ohio?

Under Ohio law, there is no limit to the late fee landlords can charge tenants for late rent, however a court will likely only uphold a fee that is reasonable and which the tenant was made aware of in the lease..

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Jeffrey Johnson started his editorial career nearly 20 years ago as an editor and researcher for McGraw Hill and Pearson. After earning an MFA from Chapman University and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, he combined his editorial and writing experience with his legal education. He served as the Managing Legal Editor for the websites Free Advice and Law Firm, and has been featured as a legal expert on The Manifest and Vice.

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