Accessible parking laws in Ohio

Ohio’s Fair Housing Act mostly follows the federal Fair Housing Act, but it does provide broader protection in several important areas. The most important is that it does not have the same exemptions for owner-occupied dwellings of four units or less, or the exemptions regarding sale and rental of owner-occupied single-family homes, meaning that nearly all housing scenarios are covered by the law. At the local level, some county governments in Ohio have also added protections for additional classes of persons, and may have additional requirements for housing providers.

Who do I contact if my accessible parking rights are infringed in Ohio?

If your landlord or employer isn’t providing enough accessible parking, we encourage you to use the form letters on our Resources page to request that they add more. This is usually the first step in straightening out any accessible parking problem.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) handled complaints made at under state law, and often handled Ohio-based complaints made under federal law in cooperation with HUD. Complaints can be filed in person or via mail or online form (although the online or mail-in forms are not available as of this writing). Contact information for the regional offices is available here.  Complaints regarding housing discrimination must be filed within one year of the original incident (versus six months for all other types of discrimination). If your charge is filed online or mailed, you must have it signed and notarized within 30 days, or it can be dismissed. If you file in-person or have your charge signed and notarized, it will be assigned to an investigator and an initial interview will be scheduled.

Within two weeks, each party will receive a copy of the charges and be given two weeks to decide whether to proceed with mediation or an investigation. If both sides choose mediation, a third-party mediator will attempt to help you reach a settlement (usually within 45 days of your complaint). If either side declines mediation, or mediation fails, an investigation will be carried out. Your housing provider will have to respond to the charges, and you will have to present witnesses and evidence to support your case.

The OCRC office will review the evidence and decide within one year (typically two to eight months) and determine whether there is probably cause to believe discrimination occurred. If probable cause exists, you will be given one more chance to resolve the dispute through conciliation, otherwise the Ohio Attorney General’s office will initiate a civil case in administrative court (or state court, if the parties choose). If your unsatisfied with the result of this process, the OCRC has an appeals process explained here.

There are a variety of fair housing organizations throughout Ohio that may be able to assist you and direct you towards legal advice, such as those listed here, here. Organizations based in your county may be most helpful in determining whether there are any additional protections under local law that could help you secure your rights. You may be able to obtain legal assistance, if needed, via Ohio Legal Services, which provides information for the several legal aid societies that together provide coverage for the entire state of Ohio.

The information contained in these pages is for informational purposes only, and it’s no substitute for legal counsel.