The Ohio Revised Code, in the section referred to as the statute of conveyances, mandates, inter alia, that all leases of any interest in real property shall be signed by the lessor, attested to by two witnesses, and bear a certificate of acknowledgement subscribed to by a proper authority. Exempted from the operation of the statute are leases for a period of less than three years. Thus, all leases in Ohio, even the typical form lease for a residential apartment building, must comport with the formal requirements of the statute of conveyances if they convey a term of three or more years. Once a court has determined that such a lease fails to meet the requirements of the statute of conveyances, it must define the remaining relationship between lessor and lessee. Historically, Ohio courts have had difficulty with this definition. The recent decision of the Eighth District Court of Appeals in Friedrich v. Matrka is an excellent vehicle by which to illustrate the problems existing in this area of Ohio law.
Note, Residential Renewal Leases and the Ohio Statute of Conveyances: Invalidation and Subsequent Treatment, 27 Clev. St. L. Rev. 231 (1978)