Why is solving rental housing problems so complicated?
1. There are lots of different laws and regulations...
Ohio Landlord Tenant Law
Local building, housing, health and safety codes
Federal, state, local Fair Housing Laws
Federal program regulations
State program regulations (special need housing)
Lease provisions and Property specific "house rules"
Local court procedures
2. Facts in a specific situation make a big difference.There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to human behavior. Responding to "what if" questions or "do I have a right to..." questions can lead you into error. Get the facts, then explain the law.
3. Things that sound alike are different
People always get mixed up among notice of lease violation, termination, notice to vacate, eviction. and set out notice...each is a different thing.
There really is a difference between retaliation and harassment. One is a defense against eviction and the other could be a fair housing claim.
4. Tenants don't always tell you all the facts. Most often you get the facts that they think are in their favor. Solution: ask questions until you have o logical, rational story, not just a collection of incidents.
Establish a relationship
1. introduce yourself, explain (briefly) the service you offer. Explain your limitations, eg. can't give legal advice. 2. Ask for some background info-name, contact info. 3. Then ask: how can i help?
General Questions to ask
1. What kind of rental agreement? 2. What kind of housing? 3. Date of most recent rent payment 4. Received anything in writing? 5. Any witnesses to verbal contacts? 6. Name of management COMPANY, not just name of site manager.
Don't ask but listen for:
1. Special needs in the household? 2. Active with health/social service provider?