Ohio Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 12.05.2023

Understanding Ohio Security Deposit Law: A Comprehensive Guide for Landlords and Tenants

Ohio Security Deposit Law is crucial in maintaining a fair and transparent relationship between landlords and tenants. This article provides an in-depth look at the key aspects of this law, ensuring compliance and understanding for all parties involved.

Maximum Security Deposit Amount

Ohio has no cap on the amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit.

Interest on Security Deposits

Ohio law mandates that any security deposit exceeding the maximum limit must bear interest at five percent per annum. This interest is applicable if the tenant occupies the premises for six months or more and is payable annually by the landlord.

Refund Timeline and Requirements

Upon the termination of a rental agreement, landlords must return the security deposit. This process includes itemizing and identifying any deductions for damages or unpaid rent. Notably, the landlord must provide this written notice along with any remaining deposit amount within 30 days after the rental agreement ends and possession of the property is transferred.

Tenant’s Responsibility

For a smooth process, tenants must provide their landlords with a forwarding or new address to receive the final settlement. Failure to do so may result in the tenant losing the right to claim damages or attorney’s fees.

Consequences of Non-Compliance by Landlords

If a landlord fails to adhere to these regulations, tenants have the right to recover their property and money. They may also claim damages equal to the wrongfully withheld and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Documentation Requirements

Landlords and tenants should ensure all communications and transactions related to the security deposit are well documented. Documentation should include providing written notices, itemized deductions, and maintaining records of interest payments.

Regulations Specific to Columbus, Ohio

In 2021, Columbus City Council voted into law three new ordinances effective July 1st, 2021. These include:

  • Ordinance 0494–2021 prohibits housing discrimination based on the source of income.
  • Ordinance 0495–2021 provides multiple options for tenants to pay security deposits.
  • Ordinance 0496–2021 mandates landlords to provide receipts to document proof of payment.

These changes reflect Columbus’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and flexible housing market, mainly focusing on tenant accessibility and financial flexibility.

Regulations Specific to Cincinnati, Ohio

In Cincinnati, Ohio, there are specific regulations regarding security deposits that affect landlords and tenants:

  • Alternative Security Deposit Options: Cincinnati City Council passed legislation requiring residential landlords to offer alternatives to the traditional security deposit. These alternatives include rental security insurance, a reduced security deposit not exceeding 50% of the monthly rent, and the option to pay the full security deposit in at least six smaller monthly installments. This legislation aims to provide flexibility and reduce the upfront financial burden for tenants.
  • Implementation Timeline: Landlords were given until April 14, 2020, to comply with these new requirements, starting from the ordinance date on January 15, 2020. This grace period allowed landlords sufficient time to adjust to the new regulations.

These changes in Cincinnati’s rental laws reflect an effort to make housing more accessible and affordable, particularly for tenants who might struggle with the traditional security deposit requirements.


Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.


Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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