Summit County Fair Housing Contact Service says there is a process for settling disputes like the one Joe Harris faced. After a disagreement about a plumbing problem, he threatened to put his rent in escrow but did not follow through.

The service’s website — www.fairhousingakron.org/Tenantresource.htm — offers instructions for how he could have filed a “notice to correct conditions” to the landlord. If that doesn’t work, the service shows how to contact the clerk of courts to put rent in escrow and ask a court to order instructions.

The website says “If you place your rent into escrow, the clerk will notify your landlord that they have the rent money that you owe for your rental property and that they will withhold it until the landlord makes the necessary repairs. The landlord must apply to the clerk to get your rent money after making the repairs.”

— Dave Scott