Question regarding Landlording Laws

I need advice concerning a problem that I am having with a landlord. I am aware that asking these kinds of questions is not the premise of this site, but I dont know where else to find an answer.

This question is in regards to the regulations of landlords in the state of Ohio. I attend the University of Dayton and the majority of the housing is done through a tightly knit group of landlords who monopolize housing on campus. These landlords can charge whatever they please for houses that are completely dilapidated and run down.

My girlfriend has a landlord who is probably the most ruthless of them all. All year long they have had horrible problems with him, (such as at the beginning of the year he refused to rid the house of mold even after the girls in the house had a mold inspector come, long story short the city had to get involved and it was a mess)

So here is the scenario for the problem that I am inquiring about. My girlfriend’s house has 2 so called bathrooms, 1 on the 2nd floor which has a toilet that has never really worked and a bath tub that the landlord says that they cannot use because of leakage issues- and also a “bathroom” in the basement which is an open unfinished basment that has a toilet in the corner and a shower head on one wall.

The toilet in the upstairs bathroom has not worked now for over a week (this same toilet has been faulty 3 times already this year and required the services of a plumber) and the girls that live in the house called the landlord and told him about it the day that it stopped working. He yelled at them and told him that he would get to it when he could and hung up on them. He is now ignoring all calls and refuses to fix the problem.

–My question is, is there anything that binds a landlord to fix such problems in a timely manner? I read over the contract and it states that the landlord must provide working bathroom fixtures and fix problems at his expense (as long as the problem was not caused by flushing foreign objects and such). I know that he is just pushing them around because they are 8 girls that dont know anything about these matters. But how long can 8 girls be expected to share 1 bathroom in an unfinished basement without any kind of attempt to remedy the problem by the landlord?

Any opinions will be appreciated, and again I apologize for asking you landlords for an answer on how to force a landlord into doing something.

On a lighter note- if anyone is investing in the Dayton area here is a tip- buy in the UD “Ghetto” and rent to students- it is probably the most lucrative market around with no chances of slowing down-
Most houses rent to 7 - 8 students and charge no less than $2500 per semester per student
The house that I am in now- ( 8 Students x $3100 per semester x 2 semesters) = $49,600 for 9 months of rent, and there are practically no operating expenses because all of the houses are expected to be in horrible conditions and it is accepted

Thanks again- and sorry so lengthy


That’s one side of the story, but I bet the landlord would tell it quite differently. I also have a some student rentals in Ohio and can tell you for a fact that students can be VERY HARD on rentals. That is why student rentals do not look like a personal residence. It is pointless to fix them up to look beautiful when the students are going to destroy them in a single year.

The landlord is required to maintain the property in a habitable condition. I doubt that any judge would agree that 2 working bathrooms are required to meet that standard. On the other hand, I certainly maintain all plumbing fixtures in my rentals and I think this landlord should also. However, again I would like to hear the landlord’s side of the story.

With student rentals, the plumbing often gets plugged thanks to stupidity on the part of the students. They frequently flush feminine hygiene products and condoms which down the toilet and that can easily cause a plugged sewage line, especially in older buildings. If that is the case and this landlord has had to repair the problem several times, that might explain his slowness to respond.

On the other hand, this landlord could simply be a jerk.


why not buy one of these places and see it is to be a landlord of college students???

First off, if you aren’t on the lease, it isn’t really any of your business. The roommates should be dealing wih it, and if they don’t deal with it, apparently, the situation is OK with them.

Toilets are extremely simple. The only reason that a toilet will stop working is that someone has flushed something down that clogged the pipes. Since the landlord wasn’t the one who flushed the feminine products or handi-wipes, or shampoo bottles down the toilet, he’s understandibly getting a little slow to respond when this is the 4th clogged line in less than a month.

The bathroom was in the basement before your girlfriend rented, so she knew it was in that condition. Either the mold was already on the walls and she saw it before she rented, or else the rommates have done something to cause the mold.

People who keep their houses clean and water mopped up don’t get mold. And incidentlily, it’s possible for the roomates to go after that mold with alittle bit of bleach and get rid of it instead of leaving it there and complaining about it.

When you look at a crappy place and decide to rent it anyway, it isn’t going to turn into a palace just because you’ve signed a contract. It’s still going to be a crappy place, just like it was when you looked at it before you signed the lease.

My guess is that either your girlfriend took the rental because it was cheap, and you get what you pay for. Or else your girlfriend already had lousy credit and maybe an eviction on her record, so that the good landlords with nice house refused to rent to her. In that case, she did it to herself.

Ok so apparently I somehow offended a few of you, and this of course was not my intention. It appears that some people perceieved me as if I were some tenant from hell trying to reach in your guys’ pockets. I am sure that many of you seasoned landlords have had many of these issues and evidently it is a touchy subject, and if that is the case then I apologize.

propertymanager- I understand that there are 2 sides to each story, so please dont think that I am that arrogant to feel as if my girlfriend’s problem superceeds those of the landlord. I was not asking for advice on a loophole to try to screw this landlord, and if that is how I came off, again I apologize- I’ve been reading your posts for about a year now and I respect your thoughts and advice, so thank you for your insight.

aak5454- I plan on it- and believe me when I say that I dont think this is some kind of magical business and it is the simplest thing to do- so again it appears that I came off as some naive kid who thinks there is nothing more to this business then signing a lease and cashing a check.

tatertot- wow- “First off, if you aren’t on the lease, it isn’t really any of your business.”- Granted I am not on the lease, and no it is not my business, but haven’t you ever tried to help somebody out?? I see my girlfriend and 7 other girls completely baffled on this subject, and they continue to ask me for advice as if I have all of the answers. But due to the fact that I have this resource of like minded individuals on this forum who do in fact have the answers, I thought that I would try to HELP somebody out- first mistake huh

I did not think that I would have to justify myself and so I didnt include every horror story from this house. But I guess justification is warranted- First off I need to correct myself- when I said “this year” I was referring to this “school year” which dates back to August, so if that caused any confusion then that was my mistake.

  • The first week that they lived there they clogged the toilet with femine products- which was there mistake and they paid the plumber. The toilet has not been clogged since, in fact I dont recall saying anything about a clogged toilet. The internals of the toilet has been the problem every other time and he jerry-rigs it to work each time.

  • The mold- quickly this is how the housing issue works at UD. All of the housing on campus is called the “UD Ghetto” and is owned by a few landlords. There are only x number of houses and y number of students. To get a house one must sign a lease in January for the following year to come. When the girls moved in in August one of the girl’s dad (whom is a mold inspector) noticed the issue. I only included this information to portray that this particular landlord can be a little bit difficult.

REGARDLESS- this was a failed attempt to look for any help. All I was really looking for is some advice that I could pass along that could make this process as quick and painless for all parties involved (and yes i know that excludes me). It was not my intentions to cause a big debate on good/bad landlords and good/bad tenants.

Thanks for the advice good or bad- I found this forum about 2 years ago and I have been on it everyday since- I have been interested in REI since I was probably 16 and I have read numerous books, but this site is by far the best resouce that I have- But I never post because everytime I do if the subject matter comes up as me being a college student- every response talks to me like I am 5. Ill keep reading and keep my mouth shut and just learn what I can.



Landlords can be a little touchy because we get ripped off by tenants so often. Just take it with a grain of salt.

Actually, I think you got some good advice. If the girls don’t like the mold, then they might want to put some Joy detergent in a bucket of water and clean it up. Mold has been blown out of all proportion in the media and most mold is absolutely harmless (unless you’re alergic to it). The mold inspector father could certainly help with this. This shouldn’t be too big of a deal. A few minutes of cleaning should take care of it.

You could fix the toilet for the girls. Nothing in the toilet costs more than a few dollars. Fixing the innards of a toilet shouldn’t take over 15 minutes and should cost less than $10. Lowes probably even has an instruction sheet that tells you how to do it. If not, the Flushmaster definitely comes with instructions. Tell us what is wrong and I’ll tell you what part you need. If you’re interested in becoming a real estate investor, this will be good practice!

Good Luck,


Mike- Thanks for the advice. I understand where everyone was coming from- I mean I can sympathize with landlords for the infinite amount of problems and headaches, but I can not yet empathize with them due to the fact that my only experience has been on the tenant end (that of which I have had an excellent experience with my landlord, acutally just yesterday I called him because my garbage disposal wasnt working, and he personally came this morning and found the problem and ordered the part)- I suppose that my exceptional personal experience and that of which is my only experience with landlords, has placed a preconceived notion in my head of how all landlords are- I now see that this was a naive perception on my account.

And I did try to fix the toilet- because I do have a pretty significant background of construction and more specifically building restoration. I attempted to look at the problem and when I got into the tank I noticed that the lift rod had at sometime been broken and replaced with what looked like a coat hanger. Needless to say I then chose to leave it be.

Also thanks for the tip on the mold. The mold was never a big issue with the girls, but it was a HUGE issue with the parents. Imagine move in day and 8 sets of parents goings absolutely nuts threatening to call their lawyers and everything else to that extreme. And witnessing this one act alone made me sympathize with every landlord out there. At any rate, its good to now know that this could have all be solved with a little bit of Joy.

In hindsight, I suppose that it wasn’t the best idea to ask a group of landlords for advice on how one could pressure a landlord for a speedy result that is only in favor of a tenant- lesson learned.

Thanks again,


p.s. Mike, just curious- are you around the Dayton area


No, I’m closer to Columbus.


$49,000 for 6 months of rent for that one house? I suggest that the girls pool their resources and buy a little duplex.

That “lift rod” in the toilet costs $1.19 to replace. There is a ring that screws off and on on the handle end, and the chain fastens to it with a hook.

I have a suggestion. Send one of the actual tenants here, and we will walk her through how to fix the toilet.

Yes, the landlord should fix the toilet, but apparently, he isn’t going to, and it actually makes more sense to spent $1.19 and 3 minutes of time to fix it instead of complaining about it for the next 6 months.

Incidentily, has anyone actually submitted a request for repairs IN WRITING? A written request is almost always required by any landlord that has more than a couple of rentals.

One alternative a tenant always has is to pay their rent to the local court (a simple phone call or two will get you to the right office) instead of to the landlord if the tenant has honest claims and the landlord won’t do anything…Then they can duke it out in court and find out who the winner is…Paying rent to the court instead of the landlord is probably the best way to get his attention…

For the bathtub that doesn’t work, did he advertise a 2 bath apartment with only one working bathtub?..Sounds like the tenant will win that one…And see if you can find out what the plumbing repairs consisted of…Was it a broken pipe inside the wall, or something jamming the water flow in the pipe?..that’ll pretty much determine who’s at fault…