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Domestic Violence Protections

House Bill 297 would extend Federal protections for domestic violence victims to non Federal Housing in Ohio

House Bill 297 protects victims of domestic violence
House Billl 297 was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly by Reps Garland and Driehaus to provide additional protections to victims of domestic violence in housing and employment settings. If enacted, the bill would extend protections of the Violence Against Women Act to non Federally assisted housing. The housing provisions include:
    • Permitting a tenant to terminate a rental agreement or have the tenant's name removed from a rental agreement as a co tenant if the tenant or a member of the tenant's household is a victim of domestic violence.

    • Establishing procedures for termination of or removal of a tenant's name from a rental agreement, including notice to the landlord and documentation of the grounds for termination or removal.

    • Authorizing a landlord to terminate the rental agreement of a co tenant when a tenant's name is removed from the rental agreement and to charge a prorated share of the rent and the security deposit to a tenant who terminates or is removed from a rental agreement and to terminate the rental agreement of a tenant who is convicted of domestic violence.

    • Prohibiting a landlord from terminating the tenancy because the tenant is a victim of domestic violence and provides the tenant with a civil remedy for a violation of the prohibition.

    • Requiring a landlord, on request of a tenant who is the victim of domestic violence or menacing by stalking, to change the tenant's lock. Prohibits a landlord who receives a request to change a lock under the bill from allowing the respondent in a protection order proceeding access to the petitioner's dwelling unit except as authorized by the order to retrieve personal property when accompanied by a law enforcement officer.

    • Requiring a metropolitan housing authority, on request of a tenant who is the victim of domestic violence or menacing by stalking, to move the tenant to another unit as soon as practicable.

    • Prohibiting counties, municipal corporations,and townships and their lawenforcement agencies from charging a victim of domestic violence or an owner of property where a victim of domestic violence resides for assistance that law enforcement officers provide to a victim of domestic violence.

Housing advocates are urged to contact RHINO if they know of victims of domestic violence who can provide testimony about their experiences, either directly or indirectly. write to communitymanager@rhinohio.com

Advocates are also urged to contact their state representatives directly. You can find your Rep here

Read the official analysis here
There's more on protections for women in rental housing here
 What's the latest?
9/4/14:  Ohio Poverty Law Project reports that an interested
parties meeting will be held shortly to iron out differences among supporters and opponents of the bill...stay tuned for details.

6/20/14: 
House Bill 297-Domestic Violence Protections
Mike Smalz reports that proponent testimony-well received.  The Apartment Association (owners) suggested minor changes that will be incorporated into the bill, however the OREIA (Ohio Real Estate Investors Association) is opposed.  House Speaker has said-no action until OREIA objections are reconciled and so an interested parties meeting will be convened this summer. 

5/7/14:
  House adopted the substitute bill and accepted proponent testimony from domestic violence and housing advocates. 

5/2/14: Proponent Testimony scheduled for Wednesday May 7, 2014:  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Gonzales, A., Driehaus, D.) To allow an employee who is a victim of domestic violence to take unpaid leave for purposes relating to the incident of domestic violence; to allow an employee who is a victim of domestic violence to file a civil action against that employee's employer if the employer terminates the employee's employment as a result of the employee taking unpaid leave for purposes relating to the incident of domestic violence; to allow a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence to terminate a rental agreement or have the tenant's name removed from the rental agreement under certain circumstances; to require a landlord of a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence or menacing by stalking to change the lock to the dwelling unit where the tenant resides under certain circumstances; to require a metropolitan housing authority to transfer a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence or menacing by stalking if the tenant requests such a transfer and provides the metropolitan housing authority with certain specified information; and to prohibit a county, municipal corporation, township, or law enforcement agency of such a political subdivision from charging any victim of domestic violence a fee for assisting the victim. --2nd Hearing-Proponent-Possible substitute

April, 2014:  Ohio Poverty Law Center reports that sponsors are meeting with interested parties to 'Tweak' the language.  There will soon be a third interested party meeting and a meeting between the sponsors and the committee chair, and then hopefully committee hearings will resume on the bill. If you know of anyone who might be able and willing to testify as a proponent, please let me know. The passage of this bill is a high priority for both legal aid and the DV community.

California Law extends housing protections


Notes & Links    

Copies of the bill and the analysis are attached at the bottom of this page


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Spencer Wells,
Mar 9, 2014, 4:35 AM
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Spencer Wells,
Mar 9, 2014, 4:36 AM
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