Tenants' Recovery of Attorney Fees From Landlords

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Under Ohio Revised Code 5321.16, a tenant may recover from a landlord the legal fees he/she incur in pursuing recovery of a wrongfully withheld security deposit. The issue in which appellate courts in Ohio have been divided in the past has been whether or not a trial court has the authority to determine and award attorney fees incurred by a tenant at the appellate level. The Supreme Court of Ohio, issued its decision today in 2007-1551 Klein v. Moutz, Slip Opinion No. 2008-Ohio-2329, and held that either the trial court or court of appeals could resolve the issue of appellate attorney fees in order to bring a case to conclusion. An opinion summary of the Supreme Court of Ohio decision can be accessed here.

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