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Eviction Prevention Program aims to reduce the number of residents required to leave their homes.


Things you need to know while renting in Cincinnati.

The most a landlord can charge a tenant in Cincinnati for late fees.

Stopping the eviction process.

Information landlords must now provide about their properties.

Hamilton County Tenant Help Center after COVID 19 pandemic 


Hamilton County will pay up to three months of rent and utilities ($2500 maximum) for households at or below 80% of the area median income.

1 person     $48,350

2 persons     $55,250

3 persons     $62,150

4 persons     $69,050

5 persons     $75,600

6 persons     $80,100

Residents of Hamilton County can apply here:

Community Action Agency
513-569-1840 option #4

Talbert House

Freestore Foodbank


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These Cincinnati family assistance programs may help with rent payment.


During the Coronavirus pandemic, eviction proceedings were put on hold. Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, Aftab Pureval, set up a Tenant Help Center to connect residents and landlords facing eviction with available rental assistance and options. For more information, visit the Eviction Help Center in Room 115 of the Hamilton County Justice Center or .

Residents of Cincinnati have a few more options.  On January 15, 2020, a modification was added to Landlord-Tenant Relationships, stating landlords with 25 units or more are now required to accept a renters deposit in one of three ways:

1. Rental security insurance that satisfies the following criteria:
– The insurance provider is an approved carrier licensed by, and in good standing with, the Ohio Department of Insurance.
– The coverage is effective upon the payment of the first premium and remains effective for the entire lease term.
– The coverage provided per claim is no less than the amount the landlord requires for security deposits.
Remember, premiums from the insurance policy will not be refunded if/when the renter decides to move.


2. Payment of the security deposit over a series of no less than six equal monthly installment payments, which installments shall be due on the same day as the monthly rent payment and which may be paid together with the monthly rent payment in a single transaction, absent separate agreement by the landlord and tenant.


3. Payment of a reduced security deposit, which amount shall be no more than 50% of the monthly rental rate charged for the subject rental unit.


There is a downside to one of these modifications. If the renter opts for the insurance policy, premiums on the insurance policy will not be refunded, like most deposits are.


Do you need legal assistance as a renter or a landlord?


In October of 2019, Cincinnati City Council voted almost unanimously to approve legislation designed to reduce preventable evictions. Out of the eight motions that passed, below is an outline of the critical laws in the new Eviction Process in the City of Cincinnati you need to know. 


Landlords are required to register their residential rental properties in Cincinnati 
Owners of residential rental properties in the city will be required to enter a registry, their contact information, the address for the property, and an emergency contact associated with the building who would be available 24 hours a day. All Residential Rental Registrations shall be accompanied by the applicable fee necessary to recover (he cost and expense of administering the registry, which fee shall not exceed $1.00 per registered rental unit. This will hold all landlords, especially the ones that live out of town, accountable for the housing conditions.


Landlords in Cincinnati are required to create a tenant information webpage
Subject to the availability of necessary appropriations, the city manager is authorized to take all necessary steps to initiate the creation of a residential tenant information webpage on the city’s website that includes information regarding, residential tenants’ rights and responsibilities, relevant federal laws applying to residential tenants. Local resources and referral information for tenants, including information regarding any and all eviction relief services offered by the City of Cincinnati.


The City of Cincinnati will create a rental inspection pilot program
Landlords in Avondale, East Price Hill and Clifton-University Heights-Fairview would participate in a rental inspection pilot program. These communities were selected due to the higher than average concentration of aging rental properties and suspected code violations. The program will require landlords whose buildings are declared a chronic nuisance or buildings who have not met safety and maintenance codes for a year or longer to pay a fee and have their building undergo an inspection. Landlords will have six months before properties would be subject to inspection. It has not been specified who exactly creates this program.


Landlords are required to adhere to unit entry restrictions
Unless it is an emergency, a landlord must give a 24 hours’ notice before entering a tenant’s unit. If they do not, landlord penalties include a fine up to $1,000 and termination of the rental agreement. Proper City officials are authorized to do all things necessary and proper to carry out these terms.


City of Cincinnati imposes a limit on late fees for residential rental properties
If the rental agreement includes a provision that authorizes the landlord to assess the tenant a fee for late payment of the monthly rent, the total amount of that late payment fee for any month may not exceed $50 or 5% of the monthly contract rent whichever amount is greater.


City of Cincinnati requires landlords to accept rent during eviction notice
If renters can pay their due rent within the three-day period where they have been given notice of eviction, the landlord will have to accept the rent payment and cannot evict the tenant or sue them for eviction.


These Cincinnati Veteran programs serve those who served us.


What is affordable rent in Cincinnati?
Cincinnati renters, make up 62.7% of the city’s population. RentCafe reported that the average rent in Cincinnati is now $996. This is a 3% increase from the previous year. The most affordable neighborhoods in Cincinnati, starting at $619/month and up are West End, Carthage and Queensgate. The most expensive neighborhoods, starting at $1600/month and up are Pendleton, Over-The-Rhine, Downtown and Mt. Auburn. The average size for a Cincinnati, OH apartment is 870 square feet, but this number varies greatly depending on apartment type.


Where are the tenant and landlord training programs in Cincinnati?
In January of this year, City Council provided a one-time allotment of $227,000 for eviction prevention. After that, Mayor John Cranley made the program permanent for the 2020 Budget, which began July 1, 2019. He also pledged to put $250,000 a year himself into the program. This program is run by St. Vincent de Paul. In order to be qualified to receive assistance, one must:

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– Live within the City of Cincinnati limits.
– Income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
– Have been served a formal notice to leave for failure to pay rent
* Preference will be given to households with children and those in neighborhoods with high eviction rates.


July through September, statistics show that 540 people have applied for the program. That is about 97 households. The average amount of assistance was $639 per household, totally about $62,000. For more information, or to inquire about assistance, please call 513-562-8842 ext. 771.


The City of Cincinnati also has the below programs as an introduction on how to be good landlords and good tenants.

Cincinnati cannot discriminate against natural hair. 

Tenant Training Program
Cincinnati’s Tenant Training Program is offered by the City of Cincinnati Department of Buildings and the Cincinnati Law Department. This FREE training was created to provide critical information regarding tenant rights and responsibilities to those who may rent or are currently renting a property in the City of Cincinnati. Fill out the registration online.
Tenant Training Program Registration 


Landlord Education Program
The Landlord Education Program is a nationally recognized program offered by the City of Cincinnati Department of Buildings and Inspections in partnership with the Cincinnati Police Department, Cincinnati Fire Department, and the Cincinnati Law Department. This FREE training was created to help guide rental property owners and managers on how they can better maintain their property to attract quality tenants and keep illegal activity out of their units.
Landlord Education Program Registration


Make sure you respond to the 2020 Census.


What is the eviction rate in Cincinnati?
In 2016, there were 4,174 evictions in Cincinnati. This led the city to be listed at number 46 in the country at a 4.7% eviction rate. That evens out to 11.44 households being evicted every day. Evictions do more than displace people from their homes. It adds a bad mark to their credit history, making it hard to rent again.


In a 2017 national report, CityLab stated that Black households are most likely to be at risk for eviction. In the past year, 11.9% of black households had faced an eviction threat, as compared to 5.4%of white ones.


Even though the report does not include a race/gender breakdown, it says the number of women threatened with evictions is 4.9%, while men are slightly lower at 4.5%.


It is not shocking to know that families are the ones that suffer the most when it comes to evictions. Single parents with children face the highest rates of eviction, at 30.1%. Married couples with children are close behind, at 27.2%.


How do you feel about this new legislation? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Evictions are not the landlords fault. Evictions are a landlords worse nightmare and the legislators do not take that into account.

    Regarding the late fees, if a landlord has a mortgage on a property and the tenant is late paying, this puts the landlord at risk of being late on the mortgage which means they are now incurring fees which potentially exceed the fees the tenant is incurring.

    If a tenant can not pay rent, it is not the job of the landlord to subsidize the tenants hardships. I agree that we have to create options to help the disenfranchised, but creating hardship for landlords is not the answer.

    I wholeheartedly agree that landlords who do not maintain the rental properties should be penalized. But creating hardship for responsible landlords will discourage educated and responsible landlords from wanting to own property within the city limits.

    The best path forward is to include thee voice of the landlord in these conversations ahead of the legislation proposals.

    1. I agree with you…by putting a moratorium on evictions, the state and federal government has taken away our right as property owners under the constitution. And denied us due process of the law.

      Any funds that are given by the government should be given directly to the property owner. This will insure the rent is paid, the mortgage and other property related expenses are paid. If the funds are given to the tenants, many are not responsible and will use these funds elsewhere thus adding additional hardships for the property owner.

      The local and state government has made it very difficult for property owners. Thus allowing some tenants to take undue advantage of the system. When the bill is lifted, then the property owners are stuck not only trying to evict the tenants , but finding the funds to rerent the property. Provided, the foreclosure process has not already started. Or the property is in tax foreclosure.

      In some states, renters are asking to forgive rents. If the mortgage companies dont forgive our debts, why would the local and state governments forgive rents or paying of rents? and leave the property owner to fend for themselves and may not be in a position to hire an attorney.

      Some say property owners should have enough funds for a raining day. Really! Then the state and local governments should be asking the Federal government for help because they also should have had the funds for a rainy.

      I will take the state and local government right to court.

      We didnt create this mess so this should not fall in our lap, to clean it up.

  2. I’m tired of these slum landlords that have their tenants living in such horrible conditions like bed bugs, roaches, mold and leaks. They should be forced to live in their own buildings to see how it feels. I’ve read articles about management ignore the tenants when they complained about issues with their apartment and usually the owner is not local. Kudos to City Council.

  3. Great article; very informative. Landlords have a tendency to treat tenants as though they are doing you a “favor” by taking your money every month. There seems to be a shortage of “proficient” property management companies for absent landlords, and the tenant suffers because of that. Landlords who cannot afford to pay late fees ( which you will sue to recover ) probably cannot afford the mortgage on the property they are leasing. Unfortunate circumstances happen to everyone.

    1. I have owned properties in OHIO, I find it very challenging to hire and retain good property management companies. Many are subpar, have very little knowledge of how to manage properties and keep the bottom line from going belly up. I found it very difficult to attract good property management companies who are good at dealing with the problem tenants in some neighborhoods. Even though they enjoy the benefit of getting their 10% of the rent paid up front, they seem to slack on communication with the property owners. Therefore, many property owners may not be aware of the problems that may exist.

      I do not condone irresponsible property owners, and not all property owners are slum lords. However, it is a FACT in some neighborhoods in OHIO, you can barely get a decent rent to cover expenses. I have had tenants leave my properties with so much damage, I am paying sometimes treble times or more to fix it up way over the security deposit of just one months rent. And forget trying to collect one a judgement. Some people want to bash property owners! And when we rent the property, they want steak with burger money. There are a lot of bad acting tenants that just move from property to property, destroying and damaging our properties. And have the audacity to call you or the property management company and say something is broke, when they broke it because they didn’t want to or didn’t have the money to pay the $500.00 rent. And on top of that just moved in three months ago its only been 6 months. This is damage and destruction beyond normal wear and tear. I call it vandalism and destruction of property, and should be prosecuted as such. The local and state governments condone this kind of behaviors by not holding them accountable.

  4. When are landlord required to register by? COVID seems to have pushed the deadline back and I can’t find any info on when this will go into effect.

    Great article and summary btw

    1. Thank you for visiting our website. We invite you to contact any of the support services listed in the article for additional information.

  5. As a landlord, this keeps me very far away from the areas that are in most desperate need of repair. I would love to invest in rehabbing more areas that would benefit most, but these types of policies place too much risk on the property owner. Everyone loses.

  6. A very small percentage of landlords create problems for the city and residents. Most want their properties to be taken care of and avoid future big maintenance problems by taking care of say a roof leak as quickly as possible while it’s a small problem initially. There are far more tenants damaging landlords properties than their are landlords not maintaining properties but I haven’t seen a new law making life tougher for tenants that do not live up to the city laws (damaged walls, stained carpets, broken windows, non payment of rent, living in tenant created messes drawing mice or roaches to what was a beautiful and clean home at move in). All landlords are being penalized because a few don’t respond when the city inspector sees a problem. When all of one group are seen as bad apples or treated as undesirable due to the action of a few it is profiling. Anyone happy about or think the world just needs a bit more profiling? How about we just go after the few bad apples with greater vigor and tougher laws and not create hardship for those that have done nothing wrong? I only buy properties that need work to be brought back to the level of the surrounding homes. I will not buy any more in the city of Cincinnati so there will be at least some homes that sit in poor condition a bit longer because folks like me will not buy them and fix them up to rent to responsible tenants due to the ever increasing difficulty provided by the city. Home prices go down when properties sit a bit longer. Rents go up when less landlords are willing to own where the local authorities create hardship for them. This doesn’t sound like the long term plan of City Council but it’s the logical net result. Good luck. If this profiling works out it stands to reason more of it should be done in other areas. Right?

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