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How to Evict a Tenant in Ohio (7 Steps)

Evicting a tenant in Ohio obligates landlords to first provide notice to tenants which includes lawful reasoning behind their intent to evict. In some cases, the tenant will have the option to cure their violation. Notices may be used for evictions when a tenant has failed to pay rent, has committed a breach of their lease agreement, is responsible for a health and safety violation, or when a month-to-month tenancy has ended. If the tenant doesn’t remedy the situation by the notice deadline, a landlord may then file an eviction complaint in the Municipal County Court. 

Laws – Chapter 1923: (Forcible Entry and Detainer)

How to Evict

Step 1: Send an Eviction Notice 

In accordance with Ohio state law, every eviction notice must contain the following language: “You are being asked to leave the premises. If you do not leave, an eviction action may be initiated against you. If you are in doubt regarding your legal rights and obligations as a tenant, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance.”1

  • Non-Payment of Rent (3-Day Notice to Quit)When rent is not paid, tenants may be given the option to pay the amount due within three days in order to avoid eviction or vacate the premises.
  • Non-Compliance (3-Day Notice to Quit)Violations of the rental agreement should be described in the notice to quit along with any applicable options for the tenant to cure and avoid eviction.2
  • Health or Safety Violation (30-Day Notice to Quit)A tenant’s actions that materially affect the health or safety of themselves or others on or near the property, a landlord must give them no less than 30 days to remedy the violation.3If they fail to do so, the landlord may choose to move forward with the eviction.  
  • Month-to-Month (30-Day Notice to Quit)Either the landlord or the tenant is required to give 30 days’ notice when they wish to end a month-to-month tenancy. 
  • Illegal Activity (3-Day Notice to Quit) – Tenants who are involved in criminal/illegal activity on or about the rental property may be served a three (3) day notice by the landlord. Likewise, tenants may also be evicted with this notice if their guests or occupants are involved in illegal drug activity.4

Step 2: Wait to Hear from the Tenant 

If the tenant doesn’t respond, remedy whichever violation is prompting their eviction (including non-payment), or leave the property within the notice deadline, the landlord may then choose to file a Complaint with the Local Municipal County Court in which the property is located. 

Step 3: File in Court 

Forms to File: 

*Each county in Ohio has complaint forms and paperwork for their specific county. They can be found with each Local Municipal County Court, typically in the Court of Common Pleas or Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Division for their given jurisdiction.

Step 4: Serve the Tenant 

Once filed through the court, a tenant must be served at least 7 days before the scheduled trial date.6 The clerk of the court will mail a copy of the Complaint and Summons to the tenant as well as have the county sheriff, a bailiff of the court, or another person of legal age designated by the court serve the tenant.7

Once served, if the tenant wishes to contest the eviction, they will have an option to respond to the court by filing an Answer.

Step 5: Attend a Hearing 

Defenses used in court against possible eviction may include that the tenant paid rent but payment wasn’t accepted by the landlord, claims that landlords have violated fair housing laws and the tenant has been treated differently because of race, gender, disability, or because they have children, or that the eviction is retribution for a tenant’s complaint about property maintenance or repairs.8 

Step 6: Apply for a Writ of Restitution  

A ruling in favor of the landlord does not promise the court’s automatic oversight in the tenant leaving the property. Therefore, if the tenant still has not vacated after a judge grants possession to the landlord, the landlord will apply for a writ of restitution.9

Step 7: Obtain a Red Tag 

If the tenant still has not vacated the property, the writ of restitution (which may be called a Red Tag) will be served to the tenant, giving them one final deadline to leave or be forcibly removed by the sheriff. 

Fees for this vary by county. In Franklin County, for example, the Red Tag fee is $45.10

Video: Evictions in Ohio


  1. § 1923.04 (A)
  2. § 1923.01 
  3. § 5321.11
  4. § 5321.17
  5. http://ohiolandlordtenant.com/eviction-process/common-eviction-questions/#:~:text=There%20is%20a%20filing%20fee,charges%20for%20the%20eviction%20process.
  6. § 1923.06 (A)
  7. § 1923.06 (D)
  8. https://www.ohiolegalhelp.org/detail/how-fight-eviction
  9. https://ruzicholaw.com/eviction-law/post-eviction-process-in-ohio/
  10. http://ohiolandlordtenant.com/eviction-process/common-eviction-questions/#:~:text=There%20is%20a%20filing%20fee,charges%20for%20the%20eviction%20process