In the state of Oklahoma, a landlord-tenant relationship is established once a tenant pays rent in exchange for occupying a unit. This relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be defined in a written rental agreement, it can also be confirmed verbally. This means the landlord consents to the tenancy, whether a month to month tenancy or yearly agreement for the dwelling unit.
Oklahoma Statute Title 41 gives both parties certain rights and responsibilities. As a landlord, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with your legal obligations and include it in the rental agreement in order to avoid potential issues with your tenants.
The following is a basic overview of the Oklahoma landlord-tenant act.
Landlords’ Rights & Responsibilities in Oklahoma
As a landlord in Oklahoma, you obtain the following rights under the state’s landlord and tenant act. This includes the right under Oklahoma state law to:
- Terminate rental agreements and start the eviction process in the event the tenant fails to abide by the terms.
- Create a rental agreement, stipulating rules and policies that a tenant must abide by during the tenancy.
- Be provided with a written notice if the tenant will be gone for a long period.
- Be provided with a written notice if the tenant must end the lease.
- Require a tenant to pay a security deposit as part of the move-in costs.
- Charge as much month’s rent as you like, as Oklahoma does not have control laws for a maximum amount for tenants to pay rent.
- Enter the tenant’s unit for certain legitimate reasons, such as to inspect the unit for damage.
- Select which tenants you would like to rent the unit to, as long as the screening process abides by the federal Fair Housing Act.
- Be served certain mandatory disclosures during the tenancy.
The list of landlord responsibilities include the following:
- Provide tenants with a livable rental unit.
- Respect the peace and quiet of your tenant.
- Give proper notice when terminating their rental unit lease due to a lease violation.
- Respond to maintenance issues in a timely manner, especially in cases of emergency or necessary repairs.
- Treat tenants respectfully and fairly without discriminating against them on a basis of their protected classes.
- Evict tenants through the judicial eviction process in Oklahoma.
Tenants’ Rights & Responsibilities in Oklahoma
Tenants have the following rights under Oklahoma law. This includes the right to:
- Live in premises that abide by the Oklahoma warranty of habitability.
- Have repairs made within a reasonable time after notifying the landlord.
- Be treated fairly by your landlord in accordance with the Fair Housing Act.
- Be evicted in a judicious eviction process.
- Be provided with a written notice when being evicted.
- Break a lease early without penalty for certain legally justified reasons.
- Exercise any of their rights without being discriminated or retaliated against.
Some of the responsibilities tenants have in Oklahoma include the following:
- Pay the month’s rent without fail.
- Submit the required deposits for the premises.
- Abide by all terms of the lease. For example, not to keep an unauthorized pet or sublet the rental unit without approval from the landlord.
- Keep their residence in a safe, clean, and sanitary manner.
- Keep appliances and fixtures in working condition.
- Abide by cleanliness standards in accordance with the lease agreement.
- Notify the landlord whenever maintenance issues or necessary repairs arise.
- Maintain the noise levels, and not cause unnecessary disturbance to neighbors or other tenants.
- Provide notice to the landlord if planning to move out at the end of the lease term.
- Provide notice to the landlord when planning to be away for an extended period of time during the lease.
- Avoid causing or allowing guests to cause damage to the property.
- Making repairs for any damage they cause.
- Provide a forwarding address in order to receive their security deposit.
Required Landlord Disclosures in Oklahoma
As a landlord in Oklahoma, you must provide the following disclosures to your tenant when they sign the lease.
- If your property was built prior to 1978, you must let residents know about lead-based paint.
- You must disclose the names and addresses of the people tasked with managing the property on behalf of the property owner.
- A disclosure on whether the unit has flooded in the past five years.
Overview of the Oklahoma Landlord-Tenant Law
1. Small Claims Courts
Disputes between Oklahoma landlords and tenants can arise. When an agreement can’t be reached, a small claims court can help. They provide an alternative to lengthy and costly court proceedings.
Small claims courts in Oklahoma will hear cases in which the losses of the dispute have a maximum value of $7,500. The statute of limitation for rent-related cases is 5 years.
2. Landlord Entry
Landlords have a right to enter their residents rented units. Nevertheless, landlords must provide your tenant an advance notice of at least 24 hours, as well as have a legitimate reason for entry. The only exception to the advance notice requirement is in emergency situations.
Common reasons for landlord entry in Oklahoma include:
- To inspect the unit.
- To respond to an emergency.
- In the event the tenant abandons the unit.
- To follow court orders.
- To show the unit to prospective tenants, buyers, or lenders.
3. Housing Discrimination
As a landlord, you have a responsibility and legal obligation to treat your tenant with respect and fairness.
The Oklahoma Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of the following classes:
- Familial status
Examples of violating the Oklahoma fair housing act include:
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations and modifications to people living with a disability.
- Lying about the availability of a unit for rent.
- Making rental advertisements that encourage or discourage certain groups from applying.
- Offering different conditions, privileges, or terms depending on the characteristics of different people.
4. Rent Control
There is no rent control in Oklahoma for landlords to comply with. In fact, Oklahoma has passed legislation barring any local government from passing legislation to the contrary. Therefore, as a landlord, you’re free to charge whatever you see fit for your rental price.
Also, you can raise rent as you wish, without serving any advance notice.
5. Security Deposits
Landlords in Oklahoma must abide by certain deposit rules. For example, you must return your tenant’s security deposit within 45 days of them moving out.
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Disclaimer: This content isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice from a qualified attorney. If you have a specific question regarding the Oklahoma landlord-tenant law, Keyrenter Oklahoma City can help. We provide comprehensive property management solutions for homeowners and real estate investors in Oklahoma City.