How can you respond to an eviction? What are your rights when facing an eviction?
A landlord cannot force you to leave your home unless they have an eviction order from the court. They may sue you in court for 2 things: first to evict you from the home, and second to get money they say you owe.
On this page, find steps to an eviction. Or, explore your options on how best to respond.
Call the Community Action Agency at 513-569-1840, option 4 or visit apply.cincy-caa.org.
Apply online through Jobs and Family Services by visiting https://www.hcjfs.org/services/workforce-development/apply-for-cares/.
Call St. Vincent De Paul: 513-421-0602
This map shows how an eviction might happen in Hamilton County, Ohio.
Please note that you may be able to stop the eviction process before or after the lawsuit has been filed.
You can try to stop the eviction by:
Before your landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against you, they must give you a proper Notice to Vacate.
You may be given a 3- or 30-Day Notice (followed by a 3-day notice) depending on the situation. During this period, you may be able to stop the eviction by:
If your landlord does decide to sue you, they and the court will notify you with these documents.
Read the Complaint and Summons documents to get important information:
Before the Eviction Trial, you can take important steps to protect yourself:
You may be able to work out a payment plan or settlement agreement with the landlord, without going to trial.
Working out a plan may help both of you reach your goals outside of court. Find help in reaching an agreement with your landlord.
The court will hold a trial on whether the landlord can evict you or not. (Any claims on money owed will be held at the later Money Trial.) The court may side with the landlord and issue an eviction order, that they can give to the bailiff to set you out.
The first trial (or hearing) deals with the actual eviction from the home. At this trial, the court will hear your side and the landlord’s side. The court will decide whether to give the landlord an eviction order to remove you or not.
If you work it out with the landlord, then you can tell the judge that you have reached a settlement. This can stop the hearing and end the court process.
If the court decides for you (the tenant) at the eviction trial, the landlord is not allowed to remove you from the home.
If the court decides for the landlord at the eviction trial, then they can get an eviction order to have the bailiff present while you are removed from the home.
If the court has sided with the landlord at the Eviction Trial, then the landlord must wait the specified time (like 0, 3, or 7 days) to schedule an eviction Set Out.
The landlord cannot evict the tenant themselves. They can bring the order to the Bailiff to schedule a Set Out.
At the Set Out, your things may be removed from your home, and the locks may be changed.
You must file an Answer to stop the landlord from automatically getting a default judgment to collect the money.
If the landlord is suing you for money (a 2nd Cause), then there will be a second part to the court process.
You have 28 days after being served with the complaint to file an Answer with the court, regarding the money the landlord is seeking. A blank Answer form can be found here.
At this second trial, the court will hear both sides on what money is owed by whom. They will make a judgment about who can collect money and how much.
Once you file an Answer on the money claims, the court will schedule a Money Trial. At this trial, the court will ask you and the landlord to present evidence and testimony about what money each side owes -- for rent, home damages, living conditions, security deposits, damaged furniture, or other costs.
The court will decide who owes what money, and will issue a judgment for this to be paid.
Visit or call the Help Center at 513-946-5650 to get legal information or to make a free 40 minute appointment with a lawyer. They cannot represent you in court. For more information, visit room 113 of the Hamilton County Courthouse or visit https://www.cincyhelpcenter.org
Call Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati at 513-241-9400, or go to https://www.lascinti.org/. You may qualify for a free lawyer. If eligible, Legal Aid could represent you in court.
Visit https://cincybar.org or call 513-381-8359 for a referral. You can ask them about the Modest Means Program. This may let you get a private lawyer for a more affordable price.
Request a translator or disability accommodation at your court hearing.
Call the Hamilton County Municipal Court at 513-946-5200 to make your request.