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Are You Facing Eviction?

If you are having trouble paying rent and are facing eviction, rental assistance may be available to you.

These funds can be used to pay:

  • Rent Payments
  • Rental Payment in Arrears (“back rent”)
  • Utilities and Home Energy Costs
  • Utilities and Home Energy Costs in Arrears
  • Relocation Assistance
  • Security Deposits
  • Prospective Rent
  • Short-Term Hotel Accommodations

To qualify, you (or at least one member of your household) must meet the local income requirements and be behind on your rent. Your eligibility is determined by your local program or community action agency. Assistance programs may also cover reasonable late fees, internet services to your home, and other rental-related and utility fees.

Required Information and Documentation:

  • Names of all household members
  • Date(s) of birth
  • Social Security Number(s), if applicable
  • Current or previous address
  • Copies of Social Security cards, or verification for each household member, if applicable
  • Proof of income for all household members 18 years or older
  • Any supporting documentation to demonstrate need
  • Proof of hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Total amount due, including fees
  • If moving to a new location, justification for the move (i.e. currently homeless, living with another family and not sufficient space etc.)
  • Landlord contact information and lease/rental agreement

Note: some local community action agencies may require additional documentation.

Application Process:
Many community action agencies only offer online rental assistance applications.  If you do not have access to the internet or a device that allows you to complete the online application, visit your local public library to access a computer with internet capability.

FOR LANDLORDS: Yes, landlords are eligible for rental assistance funds too. Your eligibility is based upon the tenants’ income. Some local programs allow you to initiate the application process. Check with your community action agency.

It is important to know your rights and your potential options whether you are behind in your rent or have received an eviction notice. You are encouraged to seek legal assistance to help explain your rights and the steps involved in the eviction court process.

Visit Ohio Legal Help for legal information and additional legal resources. The eviction process has strict deadlines. You should you seek assistance as soon as possible if you receive an eviction notice.

Some municipal courts offer self-help centers that may be able to assist you with legal information or connect you with a lawyer.

Evictions can be costly and time-consuming for both tenants and landlords. Oftentimes, a payment plan can be worked about between the parties to avoid having to go to court and the loss of tenancy.

How to Start a Conversation About Payment Agreements

Additional Options to Consider:

  • Adjust your rent payment due dates
    • It may be easier to make your rent payment in the middle of the month or into two smaller payments that better align with payday.
  • Request late fees to be waived
    • Your landlord may be willing to waive the late fee after understanding your financial situation if you agree to keep paying your rent on time.
  • Agree to lower rent payments
    • Ask your landlord to accept a lower rent payment until you can get back on your feet.

Additional assistance may be available if you are facing an eviction.

What is eviction?

An eviction occurs when a landlord seeks to remove a tenant from a rental property.  Landlords can make a claim at the clerk of courts to try to obtain a Writ of Restitution, which would allow them to remove you from the property.  Evictions are also known as forcible entry and detainer cases.  The Ohio Revised Code sets out procedures that must be strictly followed in order to have a Writ of Restitution granted. The same law also gives both the landlord and tenant certain rights and responsibilities.

You have the right to complain to a governmental agency if your landlord violates housing laws or regulations affecting health and safety. Keep the premises safe and sanitary. Dispose of all garbage in a safe and sanitary manner.
You have the right to complain to your landlord for failing to perform any legal duties. If you complain and the landlord retaliates by increasing rent, decreasing services, or seeking to evict you for complaining, the landlord has violated the law. There are legal remedies to stop or punish retaliation, such as terminating your lease and recovering damages and attorneys’ fees. Allow your landlord reasonable access (upon 24 hours’ notice) to the premises to inspect, make repairs or show the property to prospective buyers or renters. Twenty-four hours of notice is not required in emergencies, or for the landlord to deliver large parcels, or upon agreement with the landlord.
You have the right to join with other tenants to bargain with your landlord about lease terms. Keep plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit as clean as their condition permits. Operate all electrical and plumbing fixtures properly.
You have a right of privacy, which the landlord must respect. The landlord may enter your apartment after reasonable notice (at least 24 hours) for certain legitimate reasons and without notice in certain emergency situations. Comply with the standards imposed by all state and local housing, health and safety codes.

If you breach your lease, the landlord may not seize your furnishings or possessions to recover rent payments.

You have the right to know the name and address of the owner of your residential premises and the owner’s agent, if applicable. This information must appear in your written lease or be given to you in writing at the beginning of your tenancy if the lease is oral.

If your landlord fails to provide this information, you do not have to notify your landlord before you escrow your rent with the court. The county auditor also maintains records on the owners of residential properties.

Not disturb, or allow your guests to disturb, your neighbors.

Keep clean and use appropriately any appliances the landlord has provided and promptly tell your landlord if your appliances need repair.

Not intentionally or negligently destroy, deface, damage or remove any fixture, appliance or other part of the premises, or allow your guests to do so.

Within 30 days after receiving a written complaint from you about the premises, the landlord must make appropriate repairs. The landlord must remedy conditions that significantly affect health and safety in fewer than 30 days and must act immediately in the case of emergency. Not allow controlled substances (such as drugs) to be present on the property.
If the landlord fails to make repairs within a reasonable amount of time (not more than 30 days), you may have the right to get a court order for repairs to be made, obtain a court-ordered reduction in rent or terminate the lease. You also may have the right to escrow your rent. Not allow sexual predators to occupy the unit if the unit is located within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool or child daycare center.

Garfield Heights Municipal Court, Rental Basics

Additional Resources

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