In the state of Oklahoma, a landlord-tenant relationship is established once a tenant pays rent in exchange for occupying a property. This relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be defined in a written agreement, it can also be confirmed verbally.
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 in order to avoid potential issues with your tenant.
The following is a basic overview of the Oklahoma landlord-tenant laws.
Landlords’ Rights & Responsibilities in Oklahoma
As a landlord in Oklahoma, you obtain the following rights under the state’s landlord-tenant laws. This includes the right to:
- Terminate a lease agreement in the event the tenant fails to abide by the terms.
- Create a lease agreement, stipulating rules and policies that a tenant must abide by.
- Require a tenant to pay a security deposit as part of the move-in costs.
- Charge as much rent as you like, as Oklahoma does not have rent control laws.
- 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 Fair Housing Act.
- Be served certain mandatory disclosures.
The list of responsibilities include the following:
- Provide your tenant with a livable rental space.
- Respect the peace and quiet of your tenant.
- Notify your tenant when terminating their lease due to a lease violation.
- Respond to maintenance issues within a reasonable period of time, especially in cases of emergency.
- Treat tenants respectfully and fairly without discriminating against them on a basis of their protected classes.
Tenants’ Rights & Responsibilities in Oklahoma
Oklahoma tenants have the following rights under state 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 in accordance with the Oklahoma Fair Housing laws.
- Be evicted in a judicious eviction process.
- Break the lease agreement 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:
- Paying rent every month without fail.
- Abide by all terms of the lease agreement. For example, not to keep an unauthorized pet or sublet the unit without approval from the landlord.
- Keep their rented premises 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 arise.
- Maintain the noise levels, and not cause unnecessary disturbance to neighbors or other tenants.
- Notify the landlord if planning to move out at the end of the lease term.
- Notify the landlord when planning to be away for an extended period of time.
- Avoid causing or allowing guests to cause damage to the property.
- Repair 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.
- If your property was built prior to 1978, you must let tenants 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 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 tenants’ rented units. Nevertheless, you 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 Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of the following classes:
- Familial status
Examples of violating the Oklahoma fair housing law 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 law in Oklahoma. 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 security 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.