I am just starting out in the rental business and i would like to get some of the basic laws down. I am from Ohio and I was wondering if there are any great websites that can tell me the basic laws in Ohio. I have looked up the state laws and all i can find is websites with a bunch of ads and different rules.
My main question is about entering the property. If i have to go and clean out one apartment in a triplex do i have to let the other 2 tenants know I am coming? Also what is the best way to let them know do I text, call, or mail them?
Also being my first summer of being a landlord, if I want to mow the yard every weekend do I need to let them know I will be there every Saturday morning or how should I do this?
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
One last thing i found a bunch of lease agreements and forms from www.uslegalforms.com I was wondering if anyone has ever been to that website and possibly purchased the package of agreements?
@Ben Meade If you find and join a local rental association or real estate investors group you will likely meet other landlords who can guide you to local resources. Many such groups have materials available such as rental forms, legal materials, landlording materials, etc, that are much better suited than what you can find on-line. You need to know more than just the basic laws, you need to educate yourself on landlord-tenant law for your jurisdiction and how to apply it effectively and ethically. Often you can find a mentor in these groups as well.
For example, our local rental association publishes a booklet (for $15) called "State of Washington Residential Rental Laws" which brings all of the pertaining laws together in one place and also provides an easy reference summary of them. It is edited by an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law who is now a superior court judge in our county. I can also purchase information pamphlets on mold/moisture and lead-based paint that I am required (by federal law) to give to tenants upon move in. Attorney reviewed rental forms tailored for the local area are also available this way. Also, new members to our local rental association are automatically assigned a mentor.
Landlord laws in Ohio can be found here:
Ohio is a pretty Landlord friendly state so there's not a ton of laws/rules. There may be city ordinances that you have to follow so you might want to check on that.
I guess I don't know what a "triplex" is, but if they are all separate units you don't need to notify other tenants that you will be in another unit, you only have to notify the occupant(s) of that unit, and you have to give 24 hour notice unless it's an emergency. There are no laws that I am aware of about how notice is given. You want to be a good landlord and you want your tenants to feel secure so do your best to notify them, whether that's by phone or email or text or a note on the door or whatever, you want them to know you're coming and you preferably want them to acknowledge your notice. In your case though where the apartment is empty, no notice is required assuming your tenant has terminated tenancy officially.
You can mow grass whenever you feel like it. A nice landlord might want to let folks know that you'll be there "every Saturday around noon" or whatever, but it's not necessary.
The suggestion about a local landlord group if you can find one is a good one. A lease can be difficult, and sometimes local judges can rule differently on lease clauses so it's good to have a local reference if you can find one. If nothing else, this might be the time to spend a little money with an attorney and have them help you with the official paperwork.
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