When should I send an answer to a complaint regarding an unlawful detainer?

I received a notice from a lawyer for a forcible entry from my landlord; now he has been refusing to fix anything or accept any rent. It says that I have 30 days to send a written reply to the complaint. I need to know if I should wait to closer to the 30 days to send it so that will this give me extra time to move or does it matter?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

My suggestion is that you surely need to get the answer to the unlawful detainer action served and filed well within the thirty (30) day time period with applicable affirmative defenses. As a practical matter, I suggest that you get all served and filed on day twenty-five (25) or so after service so as to give you time to move out of the unit as you have indicated.

Once filed and after move out, if the court date has not been heard, you should advise the landord's attorney in writing to drop the action since you are not in possession. I suggest that you have a written walk through with your landlord and a third party in order to get a written and signed checklist from the landlord to avoid potential issues of damage claims and a tap on your security deposit after move out.

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