Leasing Tips & Resources
While answering calls, volunteers explain the state of Ohio landlord/tenant law to callers with questions involving their leases, the eviction process, loud neighbors, or the condition of their apartments. Volunteers explain the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant and the options that the caller may have available.
A hotline is operated by law students of the University of Cincinnati College of Law:
TIP Hotline: (513) 556-0053
8am - 5pm, M-F
TIP does not accept questions by email or in person. TIP volunteers are not attorneys, and cannot provide legal advice. They can, however, help clarify the law and explain possible courses of action. Should a person require legal advice or more in-depth assistance, TIP volunteers can direct your call to other agencies and lawyers in Cincinnati.
The UC College of Law has a volunteer-service led by law students to outreach to tenants.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal(HOME) is an organization that exists to eliminate illegal discrimination in housing.
HOME assists people who feel that they are victims of illegal housing discrimination.
HOME will investigate complaints of discrimination and offer courses of action to protect housing rights. Client services are free.
Landlords and tenants are welcome to call HOME with questions about Fair Housing Act requirements
Look Before You Sign on the Dotted Line
Many landlords will require you to sign a lease for a specific length of time. Before you sign the lease, please read the document carefully. Make certain the following items are correct on the lease:
Date the lease is to begin.
Date the lease expires.
The correct rental rate.
Information regarding the return of your deposit.
Grounds for termination of the lease agreement.
Penalty for terminating the lease prior to the end of the lease period.
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How far away am I from Campus?
Is off-street parking available?
What is included in the rent? Heat-Water-Electricity-Gas
Ask the landlord what the average utility bill has been for an apartment within his/her building?
Are there laundry facilities in the building or close to the apartment?
Is the apartment air-conditioned? Carpeted?
How close am I from the grocery store?
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View the apartment!
Visit the neighborhood at various times of the day, night, and weekend.
Read the lease and make sure you understand it.
Obtain a copy of any rules and regulations in addition to the lease, before signing.
Have all promised repairs written into the lease and signed by landlord.
Keep a copy of the lease along with any additional rules.
Know the rules about pets, if you will be bringing one.
Check maintenance responsibilities, when renting a house.
Know the penalties for breaking a lease.
Sign a 12 month lease if you only are going to rent for 9 months (the school year.)
Sign a lease without seeing the apartment.
Sign a lease with an automatic renewal clause.
Sign a lease that gives the landlord unlimited access without giving notification, an exception to this rule would be "in cases of emergency."