Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Oklahoma and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for Oklahoma
- Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, violation of lease terms, remaining on property after end of lease, illegal activity
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit
- Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 7- & 30-Day Notice to Quit for weekly & monthly tenants, respectively
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 15-Day Notice to Quit
- Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: No notice required – landlord may terminate lease immediately
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Oklahoma?
The eviction process in the state of Oklahoma is a multi-step legal proceeding. As such, it is difficult to provide a simple answer to the question of the amount of time it will take to evict a tenant. The state of Oklahoma requires that a landlord begin the eviction process by providing his/her tenant with written notice of his/her intention to reclaim the property as well as the reason he/she is seeking to reclaim the property. The amount of time a tenant is provided to vacate the property depends on the reason the landlord is seeking to reclaim the property.
Once the original notice has expired, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process if the tenant continues on the property without remedying the reasons the landlord is seeking to reclaim the property. He/she may do this by filing a Forcible entry and detainer action with the court.
Ultimately, the amount of time one may expect to spend on the eviction process will depend upon the amount of time the landlord is required to provide the tenant to relocate and the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.
Reasons for Eviction in Oklahoma
The state of Oklahoma has established a set of reasons it feels may legitimately lead to the eviction of a tenant. These reasons include:
- Failure to pay rent (O.S.A. tit 41-131(B))
- Violation of the terms of the lease (O.S.A. tit 41-132(B))
- Remaining on the property after the lease or rental agreement has ended (O.S.A. tit 111 (D))
- Causing or threatening harm to the property or to others on the rental property (O.S.A. tit 41-132 (C))
- Committing any criminal activity that threatens the safety, health, or enjoyment of the rental property by other tenants (O.S.A.41-132 (D))
- Committing any activity related to illegal drugs on the rental property
When a landlord seeks to reclaim his/her rental property in the state of Oklahoma, he/she must first provide the tenant with written notice of his/her intention to reclaim the property. This notice may be provided to the tenant by personal delivery, by being left with any member of the household over the age of 12, or by posting at the dwelling.
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
If a tenant fails to pay his/her rent on time, the landlord may present the tenant with a written 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the tenant fails to pay the outstanding rent within the five days provided, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible entry and detainer action with the court (O.S.A. tit 41-131(B)).
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
In the state of Oklahoma, a landlord may evict an “at-will” tenant, a tenant renting without the benefit of a written lease, without cause. To do this, the landlord is required to make the tenant aware of his/her intention to reclaim the rental property with the appropriate notice unless the tenant is renting for a fixed-term. No notice is required for a fixed-term “at-will” tenant. However, the landlord must wait until the fixed-term has ended to evict such a tenant without cause.
Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
A landlord is required, in the state of Oklahoma, to provide his/her tenant with the time to attempt to remedy the violation of the terms of the lease if this is possible. The landlord is required to provide the tenant with a written 15-Day Notice to Quit. This notice informs the tenant of the violation for which the landlord is motivated to reclaim the rental property and informs the tenant that he/she has 15 days to remedy this situation, if this is an option. The same notice informs the tenant that he/she has until the end of 15 days to vacate the premises if the issue has not been remedied (O.S.A. tit 41-132(B)). If the tenant commits a second violation to the terms of the lease within the same section, it is sufficient reason for eviction, and the landlord may terminate the rental agreement immediately upon notice to the tenant. In this case the landlord is allowed to proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible entry and detainer action with the court once notice has been provided to the tenant.
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
When a tenant has committed a criminal activity that threatens the safety, health, or enjoyment of the rental property by other tenants or when the tenant has committed any activity related to illegal drugs on the rental property, the state of Oklahoma allows the landlord to terminate the lease immediately and proceed with the eviction process.
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Oklahoma When There is no Lease?
In the state of Oklahoma, a landlord is allowed to evict a tenant who is renting without the benefit of a written lease, otherwise known as an “at-will” tenant, without cause. The process a landlord must follow in order to evict an “at-will” tenant depends upon the rental arrangement with the tenant. When an “at-will” tenant is renting for a fixed-term, the landlord must wait until the term has ended before he/she may proceed with the eviction process (O.S.A. tit. 111(C)). If the landlord is renting to an “at-will” tenant in an ongoing fashion, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a written Notice to Quit before he/she may proceed with the eviction process. The landlord is required to provide a written 30-Day Notice to Quit when the tenant is renting on a month-to-month basis (O.S.A. tit. 111(A)) or a 7-Day Notice to Quit when the tenant is paying rent more frequently than on a monthly basis (O.S.A. tit. 111(B))
When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Oklahoma?
It is illegal in the state of Oklahoma for a landlord to seek to evict a tenant based on his/her race, age, gender, religion, nation or origin, familial status, or disability status. It is also illegal for a landlord to seek to evict a tenant in retaliation for joining a tenant group or informing the appropriate agency of issues regarding the health and safety of the rental property.
Once a Notice has Expired
The landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible entry and detainer action with the court.
The landlord may request damages such as past due rent, repair costs, attorney fees, and the costs of court filings in this action.
Copies of the court documents will be served on the tenant by the sheriff or a process server a minimum of three days before the hearing. The tenant may file any defenses or counterclaims in writing prior to the court date. Either party may request a jury trial.
If the tenant fails to attend the court date, the judge may issue a default judgement in favor of the landlord. It is the landlord’s burden to prove the breach which led him/her to seek the eviction of the tenant.
Once Eviction Occurs
If the court rules in the landlord’s favor, the tenant will have two days to vacate the rental property. If the tenant continues to remain on the property after the time provided, the landlord may ask for a Writ of Execution. The writ allows the sheriff to remove the tenant and his/her personal property from the rental property. The landlord may have a lien placed on the tenant’s property and may sell all such items if the tenant does not respond to a 10-Day Notice to reclaim his/her property.
Make sure to read the Oklahoma Statutes Title 41 §§ 111 & 131–132, before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.