Do I need a rental Permit?

The Cincinnati Metro area has over 30 municipalities on the Ohio side alone. Which means it is likely that if you are renting multiple properties in the area, at some point you are going to cross from one municipality into another. Why does crossing a municipal line matter? Because each municipality has its own set of laws (called ordinances) which range from ‘who can run a bingo game’ to ‘requirements to maintain a rental property’.

One of the most important distinctions to keep yourself apprised of when moving into a new municipality is whether or not you are required to register your rental property with the city or obtain an occupancy permit. Currently Norwood, Glendale, Lockland, St. Bernard, and Springdale all have laws on the books that require a landlord to take steps to register his/her rental property or have it inspected by the city before renting the property.

What happens if you don’t register? Most of the municipalities have small fines associated with failure to register, while others have low level misdemeanor violations. However, a bigger concern may be when it comes to evicting a tenant. A tenant could use your failure to register as a defense to the eviction action, which could cause you further delay in getting a non-compliant tenant evicted.

When you buy a buy a rental property in a new municipality, it is worth the time to familiarize yourself with the ordinances you will be required to follow. You can find an index of the local ordinances here.

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