Ron Kronenberger, 53, was charged with assault for the Jan. 22 encounter in his office, police in the village of Waynesville said. He was due in court Thursday in Warren County.
Police said the tenant, 29, was late with a $2,800 rent payment.
"If you're going to act like a child, I'm going to treat you like one," Kronenberger was quoted in the police report as telling the tenant before striking him four times with a belt. The report said the belt left "little marks."
Waynesville Police Chief Gary Copeland talked to the accuser, who reportedly told him he submitted to the whipping because "he was scared and just wanted to get it over with," according to the police report.
The Dayton Daily News reported that Kronenberger is a former chamber of commerce president who was Waynesville's "Citizen of the Year" for 2006. His home phone wasn't accepting messages Thursday.