Do I need to file for eviction if I have someone in my house staying rent free?

The Kent Police Department does not handle evictions. The Portage County Sheriff's Office does. Please contact the Sheriff's Office at 330-296-5100 for further information.

If an individual is staying on the premises without a written lease and rent free, that individual does not qualify as a tenant under Ohio law and therefore does not need to be given notice or an eviction order to be removed from the premises.

Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law

Under Ohio landlord-tenant law, a tenant is afforded the right to remain on the premises until and unless a lawful eviction order is filed against the tenant pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 1923, 5303 and 5321. The right however, may only be claimed if the person seeking its protection qualifies as a tenant. If the person and the homeowner do not have a written lease agreement or an arrangement for the regular payment of rent, such person does not qualify as a tenant and therefore may be removed from the premises by the owner at any time without notice or filing for an eviction order. Police may aid the homeowner in removing the unwanted guest without any civil liability so long as police reasonably believed the person being removed was a house guest, and not a tenant, at the time such removal took place.

Information provided by the City of Kent Law Director.

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