Ohio Bipartisan Legislation Authorizing Tax Credit for Landlords That Allow Pets Assigned to Committee

A piece of legislation introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives to authorize a tax credit for landlords who allow companion animals to reside in their rental units has been assigned to a committee for review.

Assistant Majority Whip Sharon Ray (R-Wadsworth) and State Representative Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) introduced House Bill (HB) 277, known as the Pet Friendly Rental Act on September 18th.

The legislation would authorize a landlord to receive a tax credit of $750 per unit and a maximum credit of $7,500 per taxpayer. In return, the landlord cannot place size or breed restrictions on pets or charge extra rent or nonrefundable pet-related fees to their tenants. Under the legislation, landlords can still choose to provide pet-free housing.

On Tuesday, the legislation advanced for review by the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee.

According to Ray, the legislation aims to ease the Ohio housing crisis by offering these tax breaks to landlords if they don’t restrict pets.

“This legislation is in response to the growing and complex housing crisis throughout our state. Every day, Ohio pet owners are being forced to make the heartbreaking decision to surrender their beloved family members because of the lack of pet-friendly housing options, especially affordable options,” Ray said.

According to Cleveland Animal Protection League (APL) President and CEO Sharon Harvey, pet owners have surrendered nearly 100 pets in 2023 alone due to landlords restricting animals in their units.

“So far this year, nearly 100 pets have been surrendered to the Cleveland APL alone because their owners were facing challenges with landlords or had lost their homes and couldn’t take their pets; nearly 150 more were surrendered because their owners were ‘moving. ‘I’m grateful to Representatives Brent and Ray for sponsoring this proactive piece of legislation that recognizes pets as members of our families and the benefits they bring to their peoples’ lives,” Harvey said.

Harvey also noted that this bill has passed in various forms in other states.

Brent says that with the rise of residential renting and owning, it’s critical that Ohioans can keep their pets.

“With the exponential rise of residential renting vs. owning, it is vital Ohioans have access to keeping their pets. The Pet Friendly Rental Act is a commonsense bill that makes sure anyone with a companion animal can find a home,” Brent said.

The Ohio Star contacted Ray and Brent for comment but did not receive a reply before press time.

The Star also reached out to Harvey to obtain details of what other states have passed similar legislation but did not receive a reply before press time.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star, The Star News Network, The Arizona Sun Times, and The Tennessee Star. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]







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