Residents v. tenants

The difference can make a difference

Tenant" means a person entitled under a rental agreement to the use and occupancy of residential premises to the exclusion of others. ( ORC 5321.01 )

Resident may mean:
  • a person who lives in another form of housing that is not covered by the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law, including (abridged)
(1) Prisons, jails, workhouses, and other places of incarceration or correction, including, but not limited to, halfway houses or residential arrangements that are used or occupied as a requirement of a community control sanction, a post-release control sanction, or parole;
(2) Hospitals and similar institutions with the primary purpose of providing medical services, and homes licensed pursuant to Chapter 3721. of the Revised Code;
(3) Tourist homes, hotels, motels, recreational vehicle parks, recreation camps, combined park-camps, temporary park-camps, and other similar facilities where circumstances indicate a transient occupancy;
(4) Elementary and secondary boarding schools, where the cost of room and board is included as part of the cost of tuition;
(5) Orphanages and similar institutions;
(6) Farm residences furnished in connection with the rental of land of a minimum of two acres for production of agricultural products by one or more of the occupants;
(7) Dwelling units subject to sections 3733.41 to 3733.49 of the Revised Code;
(8) Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit;
(9) Occupancy in a facility licensed as an SRO facility pursuant to Chapter 3731. of the Revised Code....
(10) Emergency shelters operated by organizations exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986,...

  • a person who occupies a manufactured home in a Manufactured Home park. MHP residents may be "owners" or "tenants".
  • Sometimes, tenants are called "residents" by landords who are either trying to downplay the rights that come with tenancy or to "show" respect to their customers by refraining from the word "tenant".

 Questions you may encounter
I live in a residential hotel/motel and I pay on a month to month basis. Am I covered by the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law?

The key case in this area of the law is Howard v. Shangri-La Inn, No. 48219, 1984 WL 195551 (Ohio App., 8th Dist., Nov. 29, 1984) which argued that "(1) the occupant paid rent monthly, paid a damage deposit, and paid Ohio Bell directly for the telephone service in the room, (2) the occupant partially furnished the room, and (3) the
occupant (and other seventh and eighth floor occupants) did not receive a myriad of hotel type services (e.g., linens and maid service) provided all other occupants of the hotel" where all characteristics of a non-transitory occupancy and therefore the "resident" was covered by the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law.

 Notes & Links