Your Rights and Responsibilities

Living off campus can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, roommate, neighbor and community member.

Did you know there is a law in Ohio that regulates the relationship between property managers and tenants? This is known as the Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law, and it sets forth the rights and responsibilities for both property managers and tenants. In addition, the City of Columbus has implemented several city ordinances. The following information will help you understand the law and city ordinances, so that you may have a successful experience in your off-campus community.

Note: The following information refers only to Ohio law and does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact Student Legal Services.

Property Manager and Tenant Obligations

Both property managers and tenants have certain statutory obligations, regardless of anything set forth in the lease. If you have any questions regarding this information, set up an appointment to speak with Student Legal Services (

Property Manager Obligations under Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law:

  • Comply with all applicable building, housing, health and safety codes
  • Keep the property in a fit and habitable condition
  • Keep all common areas safe and sanitary
  • Maintain all appliances and equipment
  • Provide 24-hours’ notice prior to entering the unit (unless there is an emergency)

Tenant Obligations under Ohio Landlord-Tenant Law:

  • Keep the property safe and sanitary
  • Dispose of all garbage in a clean, safe and sanitary manner
  • Use electrical and plumbing fixtures properly
  • Comply with housing, health and safety codes that apply to tenants
  • Avoid damaging the property
  • Keep appliances supplied by the property manager in good working order
  • Do not disturb your neighbors
  • Allow the property manager to enter the premises if the request is reasonable and proper advance notice is given. Proper notice typically refers to 24-hours’ notice, although in an emergency, it may be less time

Code of Student Conduct

It is a violation of The Ohio State University Code of Student Conduct to participate in off-campus behavior that causes substantial property damage or serious harm to the health or safety of members of the university community. Some examples are hosting an out-of-control party, setting fires, setting off fireworks, standing on or rocking cars, throwing glass bottles or other dangerous items, and rioting. You can view the full Code of Student Conduct online. 

The Code of Student Conduct outlines many different behaviors, including, but not limited to:

Riotous Behavior

1. Participation in a disturbance with the purpose to commit or incite any action that presents a clear and present danger to others, causes physical harm to others or damages property

2. Proscribed behavior in the context of a riot includes, but is not limited to:

  • Knowingly engaging in conduct designed to incite another to engage in riotous behavior
  • Actual or threatened damage to or destruction of university property or property of others, whether done intentionally or with reckless disregard

  • Failing to comply with a directive to disperse by university officials, law enforcement or emergency personnel

  • Intimidating, impeding, hindering or obstructing a university official, law enforcement, or emergency personnel in the performance or their duties

3. This rule shall not be interpreted as proscribing peaceful demonstrations, peaceful picketing, a call for a peaceful boycott or other forms of peaceful dissent

Dangerous Weapons or Devices

Use, storage or possession of dangerous weapons or devices including, but not limited to, firearms, ammunition or fireworks, unless authorized by an appropriate university official or permitted by a university policy, even if otherwise permitted by law.

Failure to Comply with University or City Authority

Failure to comply with legitimate directives of authorized university officials, law enforcement or emergency personnel, identified as such, in the performance of their duties, including failure to identify yourself when so requested is a violation of the terms of a disciplinary sanction.

Noise Ordinance

The Columbus City Code prohibits any unreasonable loud noise that disturbs the quiet and comfort of a person with ordinary sensibilities. This code has restrictions on the level of noise and the distance from which the noise is coming. It cannot be so intense that it is offensive or disturbing. Violations of the City Noise Ordinance can result in criminal charges. Be respectful: do not play loud music late at night and disturb your neighbors.

Banners in the University District

Did you know that the City of Columbus requires a Miscellaneous Graphics Permit for many house banners?

If you plan on hanging a house banner, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities! Any banner greater than 10 sq ft up to 16 sq ft requires a Miscellaneous Graphics Permit. Banners greater than 16 sq ft are not permitted.  Contact to inquire about a Miscellaneous Graphics Permit.