How to Evict Someone in Ohio Without a Lease

How to Evict Someone in Ohio Without a Lease: A Guide to Landlord Rights and Procedures

Evicting a tenant can be a challenging and delicate process, especially when there is no written lease agreement in place. However, as a landlord in Ohio, you have certain rights and procedures you can follow to legally evict someone without a lease. This article will outline the steps you need to take to ensure a smooth eviction process, along with answers to some frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Provide Written Notice
The first step in evicting someone without a lease in Ohio is to provide written notice to the tenant. Ohio law requires landlords to give a 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. This notice should clearly state the reason for eviction and the date by which the tenant must vacate the property.

Step 2: File an Eviction Lawsuit
If the tenant fails to vacate the property within the specified timeframe, you will need to file an eviction lawsuit, also known as an “unlawful detainer” action, in the local municipal or county court. You will need to provide evidence of the written notice and any other relevant documentation to support your case.

Step 3: Serve the Tenant with the Lawsuit
Once the eviction lawsuit has been filed, you must serve the tenant with a copy of the complaint and summons. This can be done by certified mail, by personal service, or through a process server. It is crucial to ensure proper service to avoid any complications during the legal proceedings.

Step 4: Attend the Court Hearing
Both you and the tenant will be required to attend a court hearing. During the hearing, each party will have the opportunity to present their case and provide evidence. If the court rules in your favor, it will issue a judgment of possession, granting you the legal right to reclaim the property.

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Step 5: Obtain a Writ of Restitution
If the tenant still refuses to vacate the premises after the court hearing, you will need to obtain a writ of restitution. This document allows law enforcement officers to physically remove the tenant from the property. Once the writ is obtained, it should be delivered to the local sheriff’s office for execution.


1. Can I evict someone without a lease in Ohio?
Yes, you can evict someone without a lease in Ohio. Even without a written agreement, landlords have the right to terminate a month-to-month tenancy by providing a 30-day written notice.

2. What happens if the tenant refuses to leave after the 30-day notice?
If the tenant refuses to vacate the property after the 30-day notice, you will need to file an eviction lawsuit and go through the legal process to obtain a judgment of possession.

3. How long does the eviction process take in Ohio?
The eviction process timeline can vary, but it typically takes around 4-8 weeks from the initial notice to the execution of the writ of restitution. This can be affected by factors such as court availability and tenant response.

4. Can I change the locks to force the tenant out?
No, changing the locks without following proper eviction procedures is illegal in Ohio. It is essential to go through the legal eviction process to avoid any potential legal consequences.

5. Can I evict a tenant for non-payment of rent without a lease?
Yes, you can evict a tenant for non-payment of rent without a lease. The process is similar to evicting someone with a lease, requiring a written notice and a court hearing.

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6. Can I enter the property without the tenant’s permission?
As a landlord, you must provide at least 24 hours’ notice before entering the property, except in cases of emergency. Entering without proper notice may be considered a violation of the tenant’s privacy rights.

7. Can I evict a tenant for illegal activities without a lease?
Yes, you can evict a tenant for engaging in illegal activities, even without a lease. However, you must provide a written notice specifying the illegal activities and follow the proper eviction procedures outlined by Ohio law.

Remember, it is crucial to consult with an attorney or seek legal advice specific to your situation to ensure compliance with Ohio’s eviction laws. Evicting someone without a lease can be complex, so understanding the legal process and your rights as a landlord is essential for a smooth eviction process.