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3 October 2022 / Stefanie Kempfer Collier

Cleveland Municipal Court Evictions No Longer Require Lead-Safe Certification

On August 11, 2022, the Eighth District Court of Appeals in Shaker House LLC v. Christopher Daniel ruled that landlords do not need to comply with the Cleveland Municipal Court’s Housing Divisions Local Rule 3.015 to obtain an eviction. Cleveland’s Local Rule 3.015 requires landlords to provide evidence of the City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing's lead-safe certification.

The purpose of Local Rule 3.015 is to force compliance with Cleveland Codified Ordinance Section 365.04. As part of the eviction complaint, landlords were required to attach a Lead-Safe Affidavit; otherwise, the eviction complaint would be dismissed. The purpose of Local Rule 3.015 is to force compliance with Cleveland Codified Ordinance Section 365.04, which requires Lead-Safe certification for residential rental units built prior to January 1, 1978. 

The Court of Appeals found that Local Rule 3.015 is unenforceable as it adds an additional requirement to an eviction cause of action that is not required under Ohio law. Additionally, the requirement was found to conflict with enforcing health and safety laws during eviction proceedings as it prolonged potential exposure to lead-based paint. 

Independent of an eviction action, landlords must still comply with the Lead-Safe Certification. The Shaker House LLC decision allows landlords to obtain an order for eviction without demonstrating compliance with the Lead-Safe Certification. Landlords should be aware that they still must comply with local housing ordinances and that the housing court may prohibit the re-rental of a unit for failure to comply with the Lead-Safe Certification. 

Our team is constantly monitoring this topic and its impact in Ohio. If you have any questions, please connect with attorney Stefanie Kempfer Collier at any time.

This blog is not a solicitation for business and it is not intended to constitute legal advice on specific matters, create an attorney-client relationship or be legally binding in any way.

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