§ 626.055  INTIMIDATION IN CONNECTION WITH HOUSING; BURIAL LOTS; MODIFICATIONS TO ACCOMMODATE DISABLED PERSONS.
   (a)   No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall, by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate or interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with:
      (1)   Any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, military status, disability, ancestry or familial status and because such person is purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing or occupation of any dwelling, or applying for or participating in any service, organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting housing accommodations;
      (2)   Any person because that person is or has been doing, or in order to intimidate that person or any other person or any class of persons from doing, either of the following:
         A.   Participating, without discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, military status as defined in that section, disability, ancestry or familial status, in any of the activities, services, organizations or facilities described in paragraph (a)(1) hereof;
         B.   Affording another person or class of persons opportunity or protection so to participate.
      (3)   Any person because that person is or has been, or in order to discourage that person or any other person from, lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate, without discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, military status as defined in that section, disability, ancestry or familial status, in any of the activities, services, organizations or facilities described in paragraph (a)(1) hereof, or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate.
(Adopting Ordinance)
   (b)   No person shall discourage or attempt to discourage the purchase by a prospective purchaser of a housing unit by representing that any block, neighborhood or area has undergone or might undergo a change with respect to the age, religious, racial, sexual, ancestral, military status, disability, familial or ethnic composition of the block, neighborhood or area.
   (c)   No person shall refuse to sell, transfer, assign, rent, lease, sublease or finance, or otherwise deny or withhold, a burial lot from any person because of the race, color, religion, age, military status, sex, ancestry, disability, familial status or national origin of any prospective owner or user of such lot.
   (d)   No person shall discriminate in any manner against any other person because that person has opposed any unlawful practice as defined in this chapter, or because that person has made a charge, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under the provisions of this chapter.
   (e)   No person shall aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any act declared by this chapter to be an unlawful discriminatory practice, obstruct or prevent any person from complying with the provisions of this chapter or any order issued thereunder, or attempt, directly or indirectly, to commit any act declared by this chapter to be an unlawful discriminatory practice.
   (f)   (1)   No person shall refuse to permit, at the expense of a person with disability, reasonable modification of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person with a disability, if the modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the housing accommodations. This section does not preclude a landlord of housing accommodations that are rented or to be rented to a disabled tenant from conditioning permission for a proposed modification upon the disabled tenant’s doing one or more of the following:
         A.   Providing a reasonable description of the proposed modification and reasonable assurances that the proposed modification will be made in a workmanlike manner and that any required building permits will be obtained prior to the commencement of the proposed modification;
         B.   Agreeing to restore at the end of the tenancy the interior of the housing accommodations to the condition they were in prior to the proposed modification, but subject to reasonable wear and tear during the period of occupancy, if it is reasonable for the landlord to condition permission of the proposed modification upon the agreement;
         C.   Paying into an interest-bearing escrow account that is in the landlord's name, over a reasonable period of time, a reasonable amount of money not to exceed the projected costs at the end of tenancy of the restoration of the interior of the housing accommodations to the condition they were in prior to the proposed modification, but subject to reasonable wear and tear during the period of occupancy, if the landlord finds the account reasonably necessary to ensure the availability of funds for the restoration work. The interest earned in connection with an escrow account described in this division shall accrue to the benefit of the disabled tenant who makes payments into this account.
      (2)   A landlord shall not condition permission for a proposed modification upon a disabled tenant's payment of a security deposit that exceeds the customarily required security deposit of all tenants of the particular housing accommodations.
   (g)   No person shall discriminate in the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny housing accommodations to any buyer or renter because of a disability of any of the following:
      (1)   The buyer or the renter;
      (2)   A person residing in or intending to reside in the housing accommodations after they are sold, rented, or made available;
      (3)   Any individual associated with the person described in division (g)(2) of this section.
   (h)   No person shall discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of housing accommodations to any person or in the provision of services or facilities to any person in connection with the housing accommodations because of a disability of any of the following:
      (1)   That person;
      (2)   A person residing in or intending to reside in the housing accommodations after they are sold, rented or made available;
      (3)   Any individual associated with the person described in (h)(2) of this section.
   (i)   Except as provided in this section, no person shall make an inquiry to determine whether an applicant for the sale or rental of housing accommodations, a person residing in or intending to reside in the housing accommodations after they are sold, rented, or made available, or any individual associated with that person has a disability, or make an inquiry to determine the nature or severity of a disability of the applicant or such a person or individual. The following inquiries may by made of all applicants for the sale or rental of housing accommodations, regardless of whether they have disabilities:
      (1)   An inquiry into an applicant's ability to meet the requirements of ownership or tenancy;
      (2)   An inquiry to determine whether an applicant is qualified for housing accommodations available only to persons with disabilities or persons with a particular type of disability;
      (3)   An inquiry to determine whether an applicant is qualified for a priority available to persons with disabilities or persons with a particular disability;
      (4)   An inquiry to determine whether an applicant currently uses a controlled substance in violation of Ohio R.C. 2925.11 or a substantively comparable municipal ordinance;
      (5)   An inquiry to determine whether an applicant at any time has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any offense, an element of which is the illegal sale, offer to sell, cultivation, manufacture, other production, shipment, transportation, delivery, or other distribution of a controlled substance.
   (j)   No person will refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services when necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy any dwelling unit, including associated public and common use areas;
   (k)   No person will fail to comply with the standards and rules adopted under Ohio R.C. 3781.111(A);
   (1)   No person shall discriminate against any person in the selling, brokering, or appraising of real property because of race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, ancestry, disability or national origin;
   (m)   No person shall fail to design and construct covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy on or after June 30, 1992, in accord with the following conditions:
      (1)   The dwellings shall have at least one building entrance on an accessible route, unless it is impractical to do so because of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site;
      (2)   With respect to dwellings that have a building entrance on an accessible route, all of the following apply:
         A.   The public use areas and common use areas of the dwellings shall be readily accessible to and usable by persons with a disability;
         B.   All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises shall be sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with a disability who are in wheelchairs;
         C.   All premises within covered multifamily dwelling units shall contain an accessible route into and through the dwelling; all light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls within such units shall be in accessible locations; the bathroom walls within such units shall contain reinforcements to allow later installation of grab bars; and the kitchens and bathrooms within such units shall be designed and constructed in a manner that enables an individual in a wheelchair to maneuver about such rooms.
   For purposes of this division, COVERED MULTIFAMILY DWELLINGS means buildings consisting of four or more units if such buildings have one or more elevators and ground floor units in other buildings consisting of four or more units.
   (n)   Whoever violates any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(Ord. 093-37, passed 4-20-1993; Am. Ord. O2010-83, passed 12-7-2010)
Statutory reference:
   Intimidation in connection with housing, see ORC 2927.03