Evictions

INTRODUCTION

Evictions (forcible entry and detainer actions, or FEDs) are legal proceedings brought by a landlord against a tenant (residential, manufactured home park or commercial) to recover the rental unit.

Evictions may be brought because the tenant has failed to comply with the lease or rental agreement, or because the lease or rental agreement has ended and the tenant has not returned possession of the rental unit. Return of possession occurs when the tenant surrenders the keys to the landlord.

FILING AN EVICTION

An eviction may only be filed in Toledo Municipal Court if the rental property for which you are seeking possession is located within the City of Toledo, the Village of Ottawa Hills, or Washington Township. The court cannot grant a judgment for properties with a Toledo post office address that are not within the above listed jurisdictions.

Complete the landlord's complaint and attach to it copies of all required documents: notice of termination of tenancy (if applicable), notice to leave the premises (required), written lease (if applicable), and any other applicable documents.

Make three (3) copies of the landlord's complaint and all exhibits (necessary documents) for the first occupant of the premises and two (2) copies for each additional occupant. Also keep a copy for yourself.

File the original complaint and all copies with the Civil Clerk’s Office in the basement of the Toledo Municipal Court. The clerk will mail copies of the complaint to each tenant at the address you provide by regular mail. The bailiff will attempt service of another copy at the rental unit. You may choose to have the clerk mail an additional copy by certified mail. You must provide the correct street address, including apartment number, and complete zip code for proper service of the complaint.

Note: A landlord's complaint may only be filed by the owner of the property. A property manager, someone acting under a power of attorney, an officer of a corporation, etc. may not prepare a landlord's complaint or appear in court for another person or on behalf of the corporation. If you are not the owner of the property, an attorney must prepare the complaint and must represent the owner in all court proceedings. Various Ohio laws spell out the steps that must be taken to bring an eviction.

The procedure to be followed for all evictions, including termination of some land contracts, is found in Chapter 1923 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Click here for the Do's and Don’ts of the Eviction Process

Please visit the Toledo Municipal Court Clerk of Court website for filing information

WHEN WILL THE CASE BE HEARD?

Evictions are heard by a Housing Court Magistrate every afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The clerk will schedule the hearing date approximately three (3) weeks after the complaint is filed. Have your copy of the complaint and all supporting documents and necessary witnesses in court on the day of the hearing.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER COURT?

If judgment is entered for the landlord, a civil bailiff will oversee the eviction.

Additional eviction information

Business Eviction Information (PDF)

Manufactured Home Lockout Information (PDF)

Residential Eviction Information (PDF)

SELF HELP

A landlord may not use "self-help" remedies to regain possession of the premises, and may only recover possession of the rental unit through either (a) a voluntary return by the tenant, or (b) through an eviction proceeding filed in the court where the property is located. (There may be an exception for those business premises when the terms of the written lease expressly provide for self-help, but only where there is no breach of the peace).

A landlord may not move a tenant's furniture from the rental unit, lock the tenant out, or threaten any unlawful act including utility shutoff to regain possession.

Various Ohio laws spell out the steps that must be taken to bring an eviction. The procedure to be followed for all evictions, including termination of some land contracts, is found in Chapter 1923 of the Ohio Revised Code.

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