Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations
What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
There is no limit on the amount collected for a security deposit. The deposit must be kept in an escrow account in a federally insured institution in the State of Oklahoma; misappropriation of the fund is a misdemeanor.
Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.
May I charge a late payment or a returned check fee?
Assessed fees must be reasonably related to the expenses the landlord incurs as a result of a late payment. There are no stated regulations on the amount that can be charged for a returned or dishonored payment. But any amount charged should not be so high as to be considered unconscionable.
What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.
How can I end a Oklahoma lease agreement?
If the tenancy is:
- Week to Week Tenancy: 7 days advance written notice.
- Month-to-Month Tenancy: 30 days advance written notice.
- Fixed Term: Expires on the stated ending date without notice, unless otherwise agreed upon.
My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
Upon termination of the tenancy, any security deposit held by the landlord may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement, all as itemized by the landlord in a written statement delivered by mail to be by return receipt requested and to be signed for by any person of statutory service age at such address or in person to the tenant. If the landlord proposes to retain any portion of the security deposit for rent, damages or other legally allowable charges stated in the rental agreement, the landlord shall return the balance of the security deposit without interest to the tenant within 30 days (45 days as of November 1, 2015) after the termination of tenancy, delivery of possession and written demand by the tenant.
- If the tenant does not make such written demand of such deposit within 6 months after termination of the tenancy, the deposit reverts to the landlord in consideration of the costs and burden of maintaining the escrow account, and the interest of the tenant in that deposit terminates at that time.
Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.
How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.
How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
Often times it’s best to look for the obvious, such as removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It’s extremely important to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.
Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
The landlord shall have the right to enter the leased premises at reasonable times and hours, after reasonable notice has been given to the tenant(24 hrs), unless in cases of emergency.
Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.
If the premises to be rented has flooded within the past 5 years and such fact is known to the landlord, the landlord shall include such information prominently and in writing as part of any written rental agreement. Failure to provide such information shall entitle any tenant who is a party to the rental agreement to sue the landlord for recovery of personal property damages sustained by the tenant, from flooding of the leased premises.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.