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COVID-19 Information for Ohio

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Reopening Order 

Under its Responsible Restart plan, Ohio is currently resuming operations of most non-essential businesses per health and safety guidelines. 

Face Mask Mandate

Governor DeWine enacted a statewide order requiring any person over the age of 10 to wear a face covering in public indoor and outdoor spaces. 

State of Emergency 

Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency on March 9, 2020.

Eviction

Status: Local Court Discretion

Supreme Court Order (Expired)

  • Action: The Supreme Court of Ohio tolled all court deadlines until the earlier of the end of the emergency or July 30, 2020. The court also issued guidance to local courts that suggested courts could temporarily continue eviction filings, pending eviction proceedings, scheduled move-outs, and the execution of foreclosure judgements (except in the instances where allegations of domestic violence are involved). However, the determination of how to restrict access to the court is left to local discretion.
  • Duration: Through July 30 

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (HFA) established the Emergency Housing Assistance Grant Program which is administered through Ohio’s Continua of Care (CoC) and includes the eight large Continua and the Balance of State Continuum of Care.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) eligibility includes individuals who are unable to pay their rent and are at risk of imminent eviction. Applicants experiencing job loss, reduction in work hours, and all other economic challenges related to the health crisis are eligible. Rental payments must not exceed 120% of the HUD Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the CoC service area, unless approved by OHFA.

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. There is no statute preempting local rent regulation. 

Price-Gouging Law

Ohio does not have statutory language regulating price gouging during declarations of emergency.

Business Liability Protections

On Monday, September 14, 2020, Gov. DeWine established protections for businesses against civil liability. Under the rules, businesses are protected against civil liability claims resulting from customer or employee exposure to COVID-19 while on premises if the business follows applicable federal, state, and local safety guidelines. 

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Cleveland 

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

In Cleveland, a new rental assistance program will help tenants and landlords long-term. The $11 million program is funded by money the city received under the government’s CARES Act. The city is currently waiting for approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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Toledo

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced the city will set aside $2 million in emergency federal funding to assist about 700 qualifying households.

The new emergency rental assistance fund will give households up to $2,500 during a consecutive three-month period. Payments will be made directly to the landlord and may cover rent, past-due rent, late fees, new renter fees, and security deposits. Non-rental payments, including utility deposits and moving costs, will be made directly to the vendor.

Applications will be processed by NeighborWorks Toledo and Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio, in partnership with the city.

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