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How are rules for landlords and tenants changing this summer?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2021 | Landlord-tenant law

Landlords leasing their properties and tenants living in rental housing are subject to state and local rental rules. Understanding the details is important for both parties. Rental laws protect the properties of landlords from tenant misconduct and establish basic protections for tenants.

The city council in Columbus has recently added new statutes to the local rules. There are three new rental ordinances that will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Each of these three ordinances will impact the interactions between landlords and tenants.

Sources Of Income

The existing language in the rental housing code in Columbus may have made it legal for a landlord to discriminate against tenants based on their source of income. Those who violate this rule could face serious consequences.

Not only might landlords choose not to rent to those who work in certain industries, but they might discriminate against those paying some of their rental costs with child support, spousal support, state aid or similar, unconventional sources of income. Under this new ordinance, the amount of income can influence the landlord’s decision, but not the source of the income.

Security Deposits

The requirement to pay a security deposit has frequently affected the ability of tenants to access the best rental housing.

Landlords may need to offer installment payments for security deposits, as well as accepting less common forms of payment. The emphasis on lump-sum payments or standard banking systems leaves low-income tenants without a bank account at a disadvantage.

Landlords now need to allow tenants to make security deposits in three monthly installments if they manage at least five units. This new security deposit rule will make it easier for tenants and landlords to safely transfer security deposits.

Written Receipts

Tenants without checking accounts or similar financial resources are sometimes at a disadvantage when making payments to their landlords. Paying rent in cash can be a particularly risky decision.

The landlord might keep the cash payment and make no formal record of it before taking steps to collect rent again or even evict the tenant. By requiring written receipts for all rent payments, this new ordinance helps protect both landlords and tenants from fraudulent claims about rental payment activity.

Understanding how rental laws will change soon will help you protect yourself either as a tenant or someone about to rent out a property.