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Can a landlord text message an eviction notice? Ohio

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  • Can a landlord text message an eviction notice? Ohio

    My daughter & her boyfriend received a text message last night saying that it was their 3 day notice to vacate. Can a landlord do that? I read that the notice had to be written and either sent by certified mail or hand delivered or hung on their door. They have lived in this apartment for over 3 years. They haven't had heat until this past December. They have a verbal lease. No due date was ever discussed. They moved in on the 15th so they usually pay their rent by the 15th but this past November they held their rent until November 30th because the landlord refused to fix their heat. I know that they are not allowed to withhold rent but they've gone without heat for over 3 years (I would never have stayed some place that didn't have working heat but they did.) They paid the rent on November 30th because they said that since they never had a set due date that they figured as long as they paid before the end of the month that they weren't late. I don't know what the laws are regarding verbal rental agreements. Anyway, they told the landlord that December's rent would be late because my daughter wouldn't get her financial aid (she's a college student) until the beginning of January. The landlord said okay. My daughter got her financial aid and paid for December's rent in the first week of January. They were planning on paying January's rent by the 15th as usual. Then they got the text message 3 day notice to vacate last night at 9:45pm. The landlord sent several nasty messages after that one too. They thought that she may have been drinking. The landlord also lives in Arizona so she's in another time zone but she should have known that their was a time difference. She last texted them a few minutes before midnight. They have heard that their landlord's properties are going into foreclosure. She hasn't been a very good landlord in the past. I wish that they could just find somewhere else to live. So, my question is, can a landlord use a text message as a way to deliver a 3 day notice to vacate? And what is the next step? What should they do next? I told them that they should pay January's rent right away and then start looking for another apartment by February. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm not a lawyer so please don't treat me like an idiot for asking these questions. I'm not here to get berated. I'm here for advice. Thank you so much!!!

  • #2
    I doubt that a text message will serve as an adequate 3 day notice to vacate but if you want to be sure, you will need to contact an Ohio lawyer who is familiar with landlord/tenant laws.

    The next step, if the landlord decides to proceed, is that after the three days pass, on the following day, the landlord may file the complaint for forcible entry and detainer. A hearing will be scheduled about two weeks after the day on which the case is filed. This first hearing will determine the landlord's right to regain control of the premises. At that point, your daughter would have a chance to challenge the validity of the notice to vacate.

    Of course, assuming that the text message was determined not to be a valid notice to vacate. the landlord can immediately serve a proper notice and within about 17 days, the landlord could have your daughter right back in court.
    David K. Staub (
    Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.


    • #3
      Going without heat for three years? Are you sure about that? is a good source of information and your daughter and her boyfriend may qualify for their help.
      Another good source is That takes you to a page when you can get the What You Should Know publication on Landlord/Tenant issues.

      I may be incorrect about this, but if your daughter has been there for over twelve months and she can prove it *I think* they may not have the 3 day eviction notice. It might then be a 30 day minimum. Don't quote me on this, just look into this to make sure, is all I can suggest.
      I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
      Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
      I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
      Don't worry, be happy. is a good resource!