You may visit the Civil Division during the office hours of 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. The civil division is located in Cleveland Heights City Hall - to the left of the main entrance doors. The phone number is (216) 291-4901, extension 4.
You may file a civil action in this Court if the total amount of damages is $15,000.00 or less. The jurisdiction of the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court is limited to the boundaries of the City of Cleveland Heights.
Is Cleveland Heights the appropriate Court to file my Civil action?
The answer is yes if ONE of the following statements is true:
Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) Complaints
The court does not have any forms for filing a notice to leave premises or the appropriate complaint forms. The usual procedure is as follows:
The Court cannot offer legal advice or assistance in completing a complaint. Plaintiff's are advised to seek legal counsel or to call the Landlord Tenant Association of Cuyahoga County at (216) 621-0540.
Physical Eviction Procedures
Within ten (10) days after service of a Writ of Restitution, a physical eviction shall go forward. Evictions are set by schedule of the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court.
It is the responsibility of the attorney, plaintiff, or agent to arrange for movers to be at the eviction site at the time and date specified by the Court. The bailiff or a deputy bailiff never make such arrangements; handle keys or monies, or directs any party to a specific moving company. By local ordinance the City of Cleveland Heights prohibits evictions where furnishings are set out on the street.
Once authorized entry is made, the bailiff or deputy bailiff carries out the first piece of furniture and places it in the moving truck or storage area. Any items moved are to be kept in a locked area, safe guarded from weather and theft. If any problems arise during the eviction procedure, the police department will be called.
Any costs incurred from the move out are the responsibility of the plaintiff, and may be included in the second cause of action if amended. All parties are advised to contact an attorney regarding release of tenant's property from a storage area.
NOTE: The plaintiff must call the court the day BEFORE the scheduled eviction date to confirm or cancel the proceedings. FAILURE TO CALL WILL AUTOMATICALLY CANCEL AN EVICTION. Please call the Court between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. at (216) 291-4901, opt 4.
The State of Ohio has in place "The Landlord-Tenant Law" which explains the responsibilities each party has in regard to a rental unit, and the actions that each party may take if those responsibilities are not met.
What are the Landlords Responsibilities?
The landlord has the responsibility to keep the structure in a safe and sanitary condition, in compliance with state and local housing, health and safety codes. In general, this means that the landlord must keep in working order electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning fixtures and appliances. He must supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water and heat. In most cases he must also provide waste receptacles. The landlord must give the tenant reasonable notice of his intent to enter the premises for any reason and he must not harass the tenant with unreasonable or repeated demands of entry.
What are the Tenants Responsibilities?
The tenant has the responsibility to keep the premises clean and sanitary. The tenant must not damage property beyond normal wear; he must use electrical equipment properly and keep it clean and sanitary; he must not disturb the neighbors; and he must allow the landlord to inspect, repair and maintain the premises, after giving reasonable notice.
What can the tenant do if the landlord DOES NOT meet his responsibilities?
If the tenant believes that the landlord has not met his responsibilities under the law, he has a number of options available to him. Normally a tenant must make a written complaint to the landlord to rectify the problem and give him 30 days in which to do so before any of the remedies may be instituted.
The remedies may be found in Section 5321.07 of the Ohio Revised Code. They include rent deposit actions, lease termination or a request for a Court Order to repair. There are however, conditions the tenant must meet before taking advantage of these remedies--see 5321.07.
What can the landlord do if the tenant DOES NOT meet his responsibilities?
Of course, the tenant has the responsibility to pay his rent on time, maintain the rental unit properly and fulfill his obligations under the law.
Generally, if the tenant does not meet these responsibilities, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and take action to evict the tenant. The court can also order the tenant to pay the landlord for past due rent and damages to the premises.
Adequate notice to tenant to comply with the requirements of the law and allowing him time to repair the situation should be given before using any other option. A three-day (3) notification prior to filing an action for eviction may include notification to the tenants of his rights...
A full explanation of the procedures can be found in Chapter 5321.07 of the Ohio Revised Code.
After a tenant moves out, the landlord subtracts from the deposit any past due rent and the cost of tenant-caused damages. He then must return the balance, with an itemized list of subtractions to the tenant within 30 days of the termination of the lease.
When the tenant provides the landlord in writing with a forwarding address and a security deposit is wrongly withheld, the tenant may recover double the amount due and reasonable attorney fees.