Oklahoma Eviction Process

Oklahoma Eviction Process

Last Updated: September 1, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

Steps of the eviction process in Oklahoma:

  1. Landlord serves tenant written notice.
  2. Landlord files complaint with court (if unresolved).
  3. Court holds hearing and issues judgment.
  4. Writ of execution is issued.
  5. Possession of property is returned to landlord.

Evicting a tenant in Oklahoma can take around two to seven weeks, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a jury trial, the process can take longer.

Questions? To chat with an Oklahoma eviction attorney, click here

Grounds for an Eviction in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 5 Days Yes
End of / No Lease 30 Days No
Lease Violation 15 Days Maybe
Illegal Activity Not Required No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Oklahoma, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 5 days’ notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Oklahoma the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days) or exceptions for weekends or court-observed holidays.

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Oklahoma, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (30 days for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Oklahoma, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities. To do so, the landlord must give 15 days’ notice to fix the issue or move out.

For all lease violations, a tenant has the opportunity to correct the issue to avoid eviction. However, if the issue is not fixed within 10 days, the tenant must move out at the end of the 15-day notice period.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Keeping the premises clean and sanitary.
  • Disposing of all ashes, rubbish, and other waste in a safe and clean manner.
  • Keeping all plumbing fixtures clean and sanitary.
  • Using appliances and fixtures in a safe and nondestructive manner.
  • Not deliberately or negligently destroying, damaging, or removing any part of the premises.
  • Not disturbing the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Not engaging in criminal activity.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Having an unauthorized pet or guest.
  • Parking in an unauthorized area.
  • Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.

Eviction for Illegal Activity

In Oklahoma, a landlord can evict a tenant for an illegal activity. Landlords are not required to give prior notice to tenants who are involved in illegal activity and may immediately proceed with an eviction action. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must vacate.

In the state of Oklahoma, illegal activity includes:

  • Criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or peaceful enjoyment of other tenants.
  • Drug-related criminal activity.

In addition, tenants may be evicted for any of the following felony convictions:

  • Possession of drug or chemicals.
  • Possession of drug or chemicals with intent to manufacture or distribute.
  • Sex offenses including but not limited to any form of indecent exposure, sexual assault or sexually related offenses.
  • Assault or battery.
  • Any felony that involves violence against someone else.
  • Any felony specifically included in the written lease or rental agreement.

Once an illegal activity is committed, the landlord can begin the eviction process by filing an eviction lawsuit.


Illegal Evictions in Oklahoma

Certain actions by a landlord are illegal.

“Self-Help” Evictions

In Oklahoma, self-help evictions are illegal. If a landlord is found liable, they could be required to pay the tenant twice the actual damages sustained, or twice the average monthly rent, whichever is greater. No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:

  • Changing the locks.
  • Shutting off utilities.
  • Removing tenant belongings.

A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

Retaliatory Evictions

While in most states it is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right, there are no anti-retaliation statutes in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has no statutes prohibiting landlord retaliation when a tenant exercises a legal right (i.e., joining a tenant’s union or making a complaint to a governmental official regarding a habitability issue).

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Oklahoma by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

  • Giving it to the tenant in person;
  • Leaving a copy with a family member over the age of 12 who resides with the tenant; or
  • Posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental unit AND mailing a copy via certified mail.

The notice may only be posted if neither the tenant nor a family member can be found at the rental unit.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice.

5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Oklahoma, the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This notice gives the tenant 5 days to pay the entire remaining balance or vacate the premises.

30-Day Notice to Quit

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Oklahoma, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out.

However, for tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Amount
Week-to-Week 7 Days
Month-to-Month 30 Days
Year-to-Year 90 Days

15-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate

In Oklahoma, if a tenant commits a violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities as a tenant, the landlord can serve them a 15-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 days to correct the issue, or they will need to move out within the 15-day deadline on the notice.

Questions? To chat with an Oklahoma eviction attorney, click here

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court

As the next step in the eviction process, Oklahoma landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate district court. In Oklahoma, this costs $85 in filing fees.

The summons and complaint may be served on the tenant by the sheriff’s office or anyone else allowed to serve process at least three days prior to the hearing through one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Leaving a copy with someone over the age of 15 residing on the rental property;
  3. Mailing a copy via certified mail with a return receipt;
  4. Posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the rental unit (only if all other methods are unsuccessful) and mailing a copy via certified mail.

If the summons and complaint are posted on the rental unit, it must be done at least five days prior to the eviction hearing.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com3 to 5 days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant at least three to five days prior to the eviction hearing, depending on the service method chosen.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment

The eviction hearing will be held 5-10 days after the date the summons was issued by the court.

Tenants may file a formal, written answer with the court if they wish, but it is not required for tenants to attend the eviction hearing.

If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judicial officer may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move out.

However, if either the landlord or tenant requests a jury trial, this will add more time to the process.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of execution will be issued, and the eviction process will continue.

Tenants may request a new trial within three days of the date the ruling was issued in favor of the landlord, but it will not stop the eviction process.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com5-10 days. The hearing must be held at least five days, but no more than 10 days, after the date the summons is issued by the court.

Eviction Writ of Execution on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 4: Writ of Execution is Issued

The writ of execution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before law enforcement officials return to forcibly remove them.

If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the court will issue a writ of execution. This can be done at the hearing or at a later date.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comA few hours to a few days. The landlord must request the writ of execution, but it may be issued the same day as the hearing, depending on what time of day the hearing was held.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

The tenant will have 48 hours to move out once the writ has been posted on the rental unit or delivered to the tenant in person.

If the tenant remains in the rental unit once the deadline has passed, law enforcement officials will return to forcibly remove them from the premises. The tenant is now considered to be a trespasser and may be punished by a fine up to $500 and/or the tenant may be taken to county jail for not more than 30 days.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com48 hours. The tenant will have 48 hours to move out once the writ has been delivered.

Questions? To chat with an Oklahoma eviction attorney, click here

Oklahoma Eviction Process Timeline

In Oklahoma, an eviction can be completed in 2 to 7 weeks but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

Below are the parts of the Oklahoma eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

Step Estimated Time
Initial Notice Period 5-30 Calendar Days
Court Issuing/Serving Summons 3-5 Business Days
Court Ruling 5-10 Business Days
Court Serving Writ of Execution 10 Business Days
Final Notice Period 48 Hours

Flowchart of Oklahoma Eviction Process

Oklahoma Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Oklahoma, please refer to the official legislation, Oklahoma Statutes §41 and §12, for more information.