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File #: 3316-2018    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 11/19/2018 In control: Rules & Reference Committee
On agenda: 12/10/2018 Final action: 12/13/2018
Title: To amend Section 4509.07 of the Columbus City Codes, in order to address retaliatory eviction language.
Sponsors: Jaiza Page
Explanation

This ordinance is intended to update and clarify retaliatory eviction criminal code section for the City of Columbus. City agencies have expressed to City Council that the existing law is outdated and difficult to enforce due to lack of definitions as well as a lack of a burden-shifting scheme which would provide guidance to the City, tenants, landlords and the court.

Although the City of Columbus has a process in place for investigating retaliatory evictions, under the existing law, any reason that the landlord proffers to justify the action taken against the tenant can serve as a defense. Under the proposed change, the court would ultimately decide if the proffered reason is a valid defense.

FISCAL IMPACT: No funding is required for this legislation.



Title

To amend Section 4509.07 of the Columbus City Codes, in order to address retaliatory eviction language.



Body

WHEREAS, it is necessary to clarify and update the language pertaining to retaliatory evictions in order to protect tenants who make a good faith complaint about a housing, building, health or other code violation to a government authority or to a person in control of the rental property where the tenant resides; and,

WHEREAS, City Council recognizes the challenge before the City of Columbus and the tenants in demonstrating that the action taken by the landlord or a person in control of the premises is in fact in retaliation; and,

WHEREAS, City Council finds that a burden-shifting scheme would allow the City of Columbus or a tenant in a civil matter to ensure that tenants are protected against retaliatory action while also allowing the landlord or the person in control of the property to be heard and demonstrate that the action taken was not retaliatory; and,

WHEREAS, City Council recognizes the need to provide definitions and clarity on the subject of what types of actions are to be considered retaliatory; and,

WHEREAS, consistent with O.R.C. 5321.02, City Council fin...

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