First and foremost, make sure you have made a complaint about the problem to your landlord in writing, so that you have proof that you have complained about the situation. Upon receipt of your complaint, a landlord typically has a reasonable amount of time to remedy the problem.
If you have already given written notice, or after you give written notice, you have a few options you could exercise. The first would be to declare the problem with the electric a constructive eviction, thereby terminating the lease, and moving out to a new place. If the problem with the electric would make the property uninhabitable (i.e. make it unsafe, unclean, or not fit for living in some way), then after the landlord has been given a reasonable time to fix the problem and no remedy has been made, you can declare the problem as a breach of the lease agreement and terminate the lease.
Another option you have, if the landlord has failed to remedy the problem in a reasonable amount of time, is to pay for the repairs yourself and then deduct the amount it cost you to make the repairs from your monthly rent until you have been reimbursed for the total cost of the repair. Although this is an option for you, based upon the nature of the problem and the involvement of other units, I would probably recommend that you do not exercise this option. The next option is a better option.
Under Ohio law, when a landlord has refused to make repairs in a reasonable amount of time after notice of the problem, a tenant can deposit their monthly rent with the local municipal clerk of court’s office to be held by the court until the repairs have been made. Once the repairs have been made, then the court will release the money to the landlord. If the repairs are not made and you end up leaving the premises, the court can return your money to you. In order to exercise this option, there are certain requirements that you must follow. It would be best for you to at least discuss this with an attorney or a clerk at the municipal court to ensure that you do everything properly. If leaving the property is not an option for you, I think depositing your rent with the clerk of courts is the next best option.
Best of luck to you.
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