Landlord Responsibilities

This information does not constitute legal advice.

According to Chapter 5321, Ohio Revised Code (Landlords and Tenants), as the landlord of a rental property, you have the responsibility to do the following:

  • Keep the building safe and sanitary by complying with local housing, health and safety codes.
  • Make repairs to keep the building fit and habitable.
  • Keep hallways, stairs and other common areas safe and sanitary.
  • Keep in good working order all electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems and fixtures.
  • Provide garbage cans and arrange for pickup, if the landlord owns four or more units in the same building.
  • Provide running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat unless hot water and heat are supplied by an installation under the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.
  • Exterminate any insects, rodents, or other pests on the premises.
  • Not abuse the right of access.
  • Give at least 24 hours notice, unless it is an emergency, before entering a tenant's unit and enter only at reasonable times. Landlord agrees to enter only after knocking, to leave the premises in as good a condition as when entered, to clean and remove all dirt or debris that result from the performance of maintenance and repairs, and to lock the premises when leaving unless otherwise requested by tenant(s).
  • Evict tenant when informed by a law enforcement officer of drug activity by the tenant, a member of the tenant's household, or a guest of the tenant occurring in or otherwise connected with the tenant's premises.

Additional landlord responsibilities under Oxford City Code include the following:

  • All rental properties for which a permit is required shall be equipped with a smoke detector in every room used for sleeping. (OCO Sec. PM-308.1)
  • All rental units shall be supplied with a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen. (OCO Sec. PM-705.4.1)
  • Landlord must number interior rooming units of every rooming house, lodging house, or fraternity house of more than 3 units, in a conspicuous manner. (OCO Sec. PM-304.3)
  • Premises shall be kept free from weed or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. (OCO Sec. PM-303.4)
  • Exterior wood and metal surfaces, including all trim, shall be kept free from peeling, flaking, and chipped paint; in good condition. (OCO Sec. PM-304.2)
  • Each structure shall have its assigned street number displayed in a position readable from the public way; at least 3 inches high with ½ inch wide strokes. (OCO Sec. PM-304.3)
  • From May 15 to October 15, every door, window, and other outside opening utilized for ventilation in a dwelling shall have approved tightly fitting screen. Screen doors shall have a self-closing device. (OCO Sec. PM-304.15)
  • Owner must have a permit from the City of Oxford to rent any dwelling to any person other than a member of their own family. (OCO Sec. PM-308.0)
  • Every habitable space shall have at least one openable window. (OCO Sec. PM-404.1)
  • All plumbing fixtures shall be kept in working order, free from leaks, obstructions, and defects. (OCO Sec. PM-505.1)
  • Water heaters shall be maintained capable of providing adequate water to be drawn at every required sink, lavatory, bathtub, shower and laundry facility at a temperature of not less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (OCO Sec. PM-506.4)


For more information, see the American Legal Publishing Corporation's web page on Oxford City Code.