In Oklahoma if rent is collected 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). Landlords obtain the right to receive rental payments and the right to deduct funds from the security deposit for costs of damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Tenants have rental rights to pursue housing without discrimination, take alternative action, and more.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Oklahoma
Landlords in Oklahoma are required to maintain a habitable property and complete requested repairs in a timely manner (within 14 days or sooner in the case of emergency). If they are not repaired, the tenants may take alternate action by making the repairs and deducting the cost from the following month’s rent.
Below is a list of items that landlords are or are not responsible in Oklahoma:
|Plumbing and sanitation||Yes|
|Heating and cooling||Yes|
|Garbage and waste||Yes, multi-family units|
|Water||Yes, multi-family units|
Landlords may not evict tenants in retaliation for reporting a violation of any item on this warranty of habitability.
Tenant Responsibilities in Oklahoma
Aside from paying rent on the agreed-upon timeframe, Oklahoma tenants must:
- Keep the premises safe, clean, and sanitary.
- Keep fixtures and appliances in working condition.
- Abide by cleanliness standards.
- Inform landlords of any damage on the property.
- Not disturb neighbors or other tenants.
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 for tenancies less than three months and a 10-Day Notice to Pay for tenancies more than three months. 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 Comply. If the problem is not fixed within 10 days and the tenants do not move out within the 15-day deadline, then landlords may proceed with the eviction.
- No Lease/ End of Lease – If a tenant stays in the rental unit longer than the rental term has allowed, a landlord may proceed with issuing a notice to quit. The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy.
- Less Than Month-to-Month – 7-Day Notice to Quit.
- Month-to-Month or At-Will Tenants– 30-Day Notice to Quit.
- Year-to-Year – 90-Day Notice to Quit.
- 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.
Landlords are prohibited from evicting a tenant as retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Oklahoma
- Standard limit/Maximum amount – None.
- Time Limit – 45 Days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – There are no specific rules for penalties for wrongfully withholding a security deposit.
- Allowable Deductions – In addition to anything outlined in the lease, allowable deductions can cover unpaid rent or repairs for damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Oklahoma
Notice Requirements. Tenants in Oklahoma who pat on a periodic basis must give the following notice before terminating the lease.
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
|Year-to-Year||No notice required|
Early termination. Oklahoma tenants may legally break a lease for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause in the lease
- Active military duty
- Uninhabitable property
- Landlord harassment
Tenants who legally break a lease may still be responsible for rental payments until the end of the agreement. This obligation passes on when the landlord finds a new tenant.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Oklahoma
- Rental control. Oklahoma law prohibits any municipal body from passing legislation that amounts to rent control. As such, landlords can charge as much as they want for rent.
- Rent increases. There are no rules limiting rent increases or requiring landlords to provide notice or justification before raising the rent. Oklahoma landlords can increase rent whenever they want for any reason.
- Additional fees. There are some statutes prohibiting excessively “punitive” late fees, but no max number is clearly specified. There are no limits to return check fees.
Housing Discrimination in Oklahoma
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on a tenant’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. This rule does not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations.
Oklahoma offers extra protections for one 1 class that is not covered in the Fair Housing Act. Oklahoma tenants cannot discriminate based on age. “Age” applies only to individuals who are 18 or older.
Discriminatory Acts & Penalties. Discrimination legislation in Oklahoma is enforced by the state’s Human Rights Commission. The following actions and behaviors might be interpreted as discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to buy or sell on a bona fide offer
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Advertisements encouraging or discouraging certain groups from applying
- Lying about unit availability for rent or inspection
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations for a disabled tenant
- Demanding additional, non-standard fees
The Oklahoma Human Rights Commission does not have a standardized procedure for reporting housing discrimination. So, tenants can file a complaint to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Oklahoma
Landlord Right to Entry in Oklahoma
Landlords are generally required to offer at least 1 day of advanced notice for non-emergencies. Landlords and tenants may agree on more specific entry notice policies in the lease agreement. Landlords are permitted to enter without permission in emergency situations.
Small Claims Court in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s small claims court allows rent-related cases that amount to up to $7,500, which includes eviction costs. The statute of limitations for rent-related cases is 5 years.
Mandatory Disclosure in Oklahoma
Oklahoma landlords must provide the following mandatory 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.
- Flooding – Landlords must notify tenants if the residence has been subjected to flooding in the past 5 years.
Changing the Locks in Oklahoma
There are no regulations regarding tenants changing locks, so tenants are generally assumed to have the right to change locks unless it is explicitly forbidden by the lease agreement. In contrast, landlords are not allowed to unilaterally change the locks on a tenant, as this constitutes a “lockout.”
Additional Resources for Oklahoma Renters
Check local county and municipality laws for additional rules and protections for both landlords and tenants. To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.