Oklahoma City is one of the best locations for investing in rental properties. As a landlord, getting your property occupied is a crucial factor that can affect your profitability. However, you also have to make sure that you have a proper tenant screening process in place to avoid bad tenants.

The ideal tenants are those who pay their rents on time, take care of the rental unit like it’s their own, and abide by the rules and regulations as stated in the lease agreement. However, even if you screened your tenants carefully, there are times when you still end up with a problematic renter. 

When this happens, some landlords will be left with no other choice than to resort to eviction. This is why it is important for rental property owners to know and understand the eviction laws in their state and local city. Knowing the law will help you proceed with the eviction process smoothly and avoid additional legal problems.

 

What Is the Eviction Process in Oklahoma? 

Here’s a guide:

In general, the eviction process in Oklahoma can take around two to seven weeks. Depending on the reason for eviction, this duration may vary and can even take longer, especially if the tenant requests for a jury trial.

 

court

 

Notice for Lease Termination with Legal Cause

There are several reasons why landlords in Oklahoma may begin the eviction process. These include:

  • Late or missed rent payments.
  • Violation of the lease agreement.
  • Staying at the property even without lease or after the lease ends.
  • Involvement in any illegal activity.

In Oklahoma, rent is considered past due the day after the due date. If a tenant fails to pay the rent on time, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving a notice to pay. For tenancy of less than 3 months, the landlord must provide a 5-day notice.

For tenancy of more than three months, the landlord must issue a 10-day notice. If the tenant fails to settle the rent before the notice ends, the landlord can file an eviction case.

If tenants do not uphold their responsibilities under the landlord-tenant law and/or lease agreement, the landlord should issue a 15-day notice to comply. Tenants are given 10 days to fix the issues, or they will have to move out after the notice expires. If the tenants remain at the property after the notice period, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.

Typical lease violations include: 

  • damaging the premises.
  • having too many people living in the rental property.
  • having a pet even with a no-pet policy.

Tenants who stay at the property with no lease or after the lease ends can be evicted. The landlord is required to issue a notice to quit. For less than month-to-month tenancy, a 7-day notice to quit should be given to tenants.

 

written notice

 

For month-to-month tenancy, the landlord should provide a 10-day notice to quit. On the other hand, a 90-day notice to quit is required for tenants that pay on a yearly basis.

Oklahoma landlords are not required to issue any notice to tenants who are involved in any illegal activity.

For illegal activities, landlords can proceed with the eviction process right away. Landlords have the right to terminate the tenancy immediately with a forcible entry and detainer action.

 

Serving a Tenant with an Eviction Notice in Oklahoma

If the tenants remain on the property after the expiry of the notice, landlords can file a complaint in the appropriate district court. Landlords are required to pay the filing fees of around $85. The sheriff will then serve the summons and complaint to the tenant at least three to five days before the eviction hearing. 

 

Tenant Eviction Defenses in Oklahoma

The defense is a reason why the petitioner/landlord shouldn’t win the case. The tenant may claim that:

  • The landlord tried to forcibly remove them.
  • The landlord shuts off utilities and other essential services.
  • The landlord failed to provide proper maintenance and did not comply with housing, safety, and health codes.
  • The eviction is retaliatory or discriminatory in nature. 

 

Attending Court Hearing in Oklahoma

Once the summons was issued to the tenant, the eviction hearing will be held within 5 to 10 days. Tenants may file an answer if they wish, but they are not required to attend the hearing. 

 

lawyer

 

If the tenants fail to show up for the hearing, the court will automatically rule in favor of the landlord. However, if a jury trial is requested, the eviction process will be longer. Once the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the court will issue a Writ of Possession. 

 

Writ of Possession 

In Oklahoma, the writ of possession is issued after the court has ruled in favor of the landlord. This will serve as a final notice for the tenants to vacate the rental property and remove their belongings. The tenants will be given 48 hours to move out. 

 

The Eviction

If the tenants remain at the property after 48 hours, law enforcement officials will forcibly remove them from the premises. Plus, the tenants will be considered as trespassers. They may be charged a fine up to $500 and/or detained at the county jail for not more than 30 days.

 

Bottom Line

As a landlord, it’s important to know your rights so you can protect yourself from bad tenants. Knowing the legal process for eviction can help you when the need arises. If you don’t want to undergo this kind of stress, it’s also possible to work with a professional and experienced property manager in Oklahoma to handle this procedure for you. 

For any specific legal questions, you should talk to a qualified lawyer in Oklahoma. You can also hire a property management company in Oklahoma to help you with your property management needs. Contact Keyrenter Oklahoma City at (405) 454-7000.

Note that this blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in Oklahoma. Laws frequently change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.