lardiere_McNair
When Retaliatory Eviction Can and Cannot Be a Defense in Ohio
LARDIEREMCNAIR
July 18, 2013

Under the Ohio Landlord-Tenant Act, R.C. Chapter 5321, a tenant may raise the issue of retaliation as a defense if the Landlord brings or threatens to bring an action against the tenant for possession in retaliation against the tenant’s forming a union, complaining to a governmental agency about a violation of a building, housing, health, or safety code, or complaining to the landlord about a breach of the landlord’s statutory obligations.  R.C. 5321.02(A).   Yet, under R.C. 5321.03(A)(4) nothwithstanding R.C. 5321.02, a landlord may initiate a forcible entry and detainer under R.C. 1923.02 against a tenant for holding over, and that tenant may not use a retaliatory action as a defense.

However, Ohio’s Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits unlawful discrimination under R.C. 4112.02(H)(1) and (12).  R.C. 4112(H)(1) states that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to refuse to rent, lease, or otherwise deny or make unavailable housing accommodations because of “race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, ancestry, disability, or national origin.”  R.C. 4112.02(H)(12) states it is unlawful to “coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of that person’s having exercised or enjoyed or having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by division (H) of this section.”

The FHA makes it illegal to discriminate because of a tenant’s disability.  42.U.S.C. 3604(f)(1).  Under R.C. 5321.03(A)(4), a tenant can assert a counterclaim in a forcible entry and detainer proceeding that he or she is being evicted for discriminatory reasons.

The Eighth District Court of Appeals in Ohio reversed the summary judgment in K&D Management, L.L.C. vs. Masten, and its decision is only intended to prevent a trial court, in a forcible entry and detainer action, from relying on the R.C. 5321.03(A)(4) exclusion when a tenant raises a claim of retaliatory or discriminatory eviction under the FHA or Ohio Fair Housing Act.  The decision is not intended to make a trial court “a prisoner to tenants’ assertions of discriminatory practices.”  A trial court may summarily dispose of such assertions based on the parties’ pleadings and filings.

To read the entire Decision in K&D Management v. Masten, click here:  2013-Ohio-2905

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Free Consultation

Law is a complicated matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!
Notice: If you send e-mail to Lardiere McNair, LLC in connection with a matter for which we do not already represent you, your communication may not be treated as privileged, confidential or otherwise protected because you are not a client. If you communicate with us by e-mail in connection with a matter for which we already represent you, please remember that Internet e-mail may not be secure. **
Notice: If you send e-mail to Lardiere McNair, LLC in connection with a matter for which we do not already represent you, your communication may not be treated as privileged, confidential or otherwise protected because you are not a client. If you communicate with us by e-mail in connection with a matter for which we already represent you, please remember that Internet e-mail may not be secure. *
Copyright Lardiere McNair, LLC 2022
Privacy Policy & Terms of Use
bubblecrossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram