State Rules and Regulations for Oklahoma Rental Properties and Landlords
In Oklahoma if rent is paid in a timely manner in exchange for inhabiting property, then Oklahoma law (Oklahoma Statute Title 41) ensures that a landlord-tenant relationship is established (even without a written lease), Tenants have the right to pursue housing without discrimination, take alternative action, and more.
Landlords also have the right to receive rental payments and the right to deduct from security deposits for costs from damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Oklahoma Official Rules and Regulations
- Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 41, § 101 to 136 – Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Scroll down to § 101)
- Oklahoma Non-Residential/Residential Landlord and Tenant Acts (PDF)
Oklahoma Security Deposit Limit and Return
- General deposits are often required as a way to hold a tenant’s place. They are often returnable and can be lost by the tenant if they do not move in by the specified date.
- Pet deposits are another means that some landlords charge. These generally are used to help repair any damages that pets may cause or even used as clean up fees after the animals as well. They may be returned if the unit is left in a clean and repaired state.
- Security deposits are a bit different and more common.
- They generally cover the cost of any damages made by the tenant or their respective parties. If the deposit is not enough to cover those damages, then more will be charged to the tenant.
- Sometimes, the security deposit will be used to pay the last month’s rent if the tenant refuses to pay or if the two parties work out that as an agreement.
- If the deposit is not returned or is not returned whole, a written list should be sent to outline what the deposit was spent on.
- Things such as chipped paint or worn carpet and floors are not options to use the security deposit on.
- Things such as broken windows, wall holes or a messy unit are usually what the deposit is spent on.
- The itemized list and/or the full security deposit amount should be returned to the tenant within thirty days.
- Tenants may sue their landlords for fraudulent security deposit transactions.
- Tenants should do all they can to ensure they get their security deposit.
- Keep the unit clean after the tenancy is over.
- Repair all things that are needed before moving out.
- Pay all rent on time.
- Be open in communication with the landlord.
Lease, Rent & Fees Under Oklahoma Law
- Rent Is Due: As agreed to in the lease (§ 109(B)).
- Rent Increase Notice: No statute, but this is typically defined in the lease.
- Rent Grace Period: No statute.
- Late Fees: No statute, but late fees are allowed by case law with certain restrictions. See Sun Ridge Investors v. Parker.
- Prepaid Rent: No statute.
- Returned Check Fees: There is no statute defining allowable fees for returned checks, though fines and criminal penalties for check fraud are defined by statute. (§ 1541.1)
- Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): After giving the landlord written notice of a breach of statutory Landlord Duties, the tenant may procure the essential services during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance and deduct the actual and reasonable cost from the rent. See statute for other tenant options (§ 121).
- Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: For repairs up the $100 that are for conditions affecting health, the tenant must notify the landlord in writing of the tenant’s intention to do the repair at the landlord’ expense after 14 days. If after 14 days the landlord has not remedied the situation, or sooner if emergency conditions warrant, the tenant may have the repair done and then, after submitting an itemized statement to the landlord, deduct the reasonable amount of the repair from the rent (§ 121(B)).
- Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes, the prevailing party in any residential rental-related lawsuit is entitled to reasonable attorney fees. Rental agreements, however, may not include any provision for either party to pay the other party’s attorney fees (§ 105(B)).
- Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (§ 105(A)) and (§ 129(B)).
- Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute.
Evictions in Oklahoma
These are the most common reasons in Oklahoma that a landlord may evict a tenant:
- Nonpayment of rent – If a tenant does not pay rent by the required date and after any applicable grace period, landlords may issue a 5-day Notice to Pay of Quit. If the amount is not paid within 5 days, then landlords may proceed with eviction.
- Violation of lease terms – If a lease violation occurs, then the landlord may issue a 15-day Notice for Cure or Quit. If the problem is not fixed, then landlords may proceed with the eviction. Landlords may immediately evict without notice if it is a serious infraction or is a second infraction.
- Illegal Acts – Landlords are entitled to immediately evict tenants without notice if they have proof of any illegal activity that threatens the safety, health, or enjoyment of other tenants.
At-will tenants that pay on a weekly or monthly basis are entitled to a 7-day or 30-day notice of eviction, respectively.
Notices and Entry Under Oklahoma Law
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is required as the lease simply expires (§ 111(C)).
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days’ written notice (§ 111(A)).
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: Seven days’ written notice is required for any lease that is less than month-to-month (§ 111(B)).
- Immediate Termination of Tenancy: Yes, if the tenant causes violations of the rental agreement or statutory Tenant Duties that cause or threaten to cause imminent and irreparable harm to the premises or any person, and which the tenant has not remedied as promptly as conditions require once notified, the tenancy can immediately terminate. Landlords may also immediately terminate the lease for drug-related criminal activity, or any other criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or peaceful enjoyment of the premises (§ 132(C) and (D)).
- Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute.
- Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: Landlords may terminate the rental agreement if tenant fails to pay rent within five days of landlord having given written demand for payment. Furthermore, notwithstanding the five days’ grace period, landlord may begin an action for recovery of the rent at any time if rent is unpaid when due (§ 131).
- Termination for Lease Violation: 15 days’ written notice for tenant noncompliance with either the rental agreement or with statutory Tenant Duties, but tenant has 10 days to remedy to avoid termination (§ 132(B)).
- Required Notice before Entry: One days’ notice (§ 128(C)).
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes, with one days’ notice and entry is allowed only at reasonable times (§ 128(A) and (C)).
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (§ 128(A)).
- Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (§ 128(B)).
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Allowed only if tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises (§ 128(D)).
- Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute.
- Lockouts Allowed: No (§ 123).
- Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (§ 121(C)).
Mandatory Disclosure in Oklahoma
Oklahoma landlords must five the following disclosures:
- Lead-based paint. For houses built prior to 1978, landlords must provide information about concentrations of lead-based paint.
- Authorized authorities. Landlords must also provide tenants with all the names and addresses of people who own and manage the property, as well as agencies that do this on their behalf.
- Methamphetamine. Landlords must disclose whether they know or have reason to believe that the property has been involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine drugs.
- Recent flooding. Landlords must notify tenants if the residence has been subjected to flooding in the past 5 years.
- Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency
- Economic and Community Development Services
- Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
- Oklahoma Insurance Department
- Oklahoma Guide for Selecting Homeowners Insurance (PDF)
- Oklahoma Business Services (Oklahoma Secretary of State)
- Oklahoma Real Estate Commission
- Guthrie Housing Authority
- Housing Authority of the City of Shawnee, Oklahoma
- Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation
- Housing Authority of Osage County
- Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
- Housing Authority of Tecumseh, Oklahoma
- Lawton Housing Authority
- Muskogee Housing Authority
- Oklahoma City Housing Authority
- tillwater Housing Authority
Realtor, Landlord, and Tenant Organizations
- Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
- Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®
- Norman Board of REALTORS®
- Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®
- Lawton Board of REALTORS®
- Oklahoma Landlords Association
- Oklahoma City Landlord & Investors Association
- Tulsa Real Estate Investors Association
- Oklahoma City Real Estate Investors Association
- Metro Fair Housing Council of Oklahoma, Inc.