Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Rights

Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Rights

Last Updated: May 30, 2023

Under Oklahoma law, if a written or oral rental agreement exists, or if payment is accepted as rent, landlords and tenants have automatic rights and responsibilities under Oklahoma Statutes Title 41, such as the right to timely rent payments and a livable dwelling.

Note: These rights exist regardless of what the rental agreement says.

Landlord Responsibilities in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, landlords legally can’t rent property out unless it meets basic health and safety requirements. Here is a list of amenities and how they relate to Oklahoma’s habitability requirements:

Item Has to Provide? Has to Fix/Replace?
Heating/AC Usually Heating Only If Provided
Hot Water Usually Usually
Kitchen Appliances No Only If Provided
Garbage Containers/Removal Usually Usually
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors Yes Yes
Mold N/A Yes
Pest Control N/A Yes

If a property doesn’t provide the legally required amenities for habitable housing, a tenant can usually report the landlord to government authorities for unsafe living conditions. However, unlike in most states, an Oklahoma landlord is legally allowed to retaliate against a tenant who reports unsafe housing.

Read more

Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Oklahoma

Landlords must perform necessary repairs in a timely manner. In Oklahoma, landlords must make repairs within 14 days after getting written notice from tenants.

If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, Oklahoma tenants can sue for a court order to force the landlord to make repairs. They can also cancel the rental agreement, or make minor repairs and deduct from the rent. Unlike many states, they generally can’t sue just for monetary damages unless the landlord has deliberately or negligently cut off an essential service like basic utilities.

Read more

Tenant Responsibilities in Oklahoma

Aside from paying rent on time, 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 to 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 to 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.

Read more

Landlord Retaliation in Oklahoma

Unlike most states, Oklahoma landlords can generally retaliate against tenants who take actions like reporting health and safety violations to the relevant government authorities. Landlords are free to take most legal measures against tenants, such as raising the rent or evicting, even if there’s proof they are doing so with a retaliatory motive.

Security Deposits in Oklahoma

Collections & Holdings: The following laws apply to the collection and holding of security deposits:

  • Maximum: None.
  • Inventory Requirement: Landlords are not required to document the condition of the rental unit at the start of the lease term in order to collect security deposits.
  • Holding Requirement: Landlords must hold security deposits in an escrow account maintained within the state in a federally-insured financial institution.
  • Interest Requirement: None.

Read more

Returns & Deductions: The following laws apply to the return of security deposits:

  • Allowable Deductions: Unpaid rent, utilities, late fees, damage excluding normal wear and tear, and other charges listed in the lease agreement.
  • Time Limit for Return: 45 days.
  • Max. Penalty for Late Return: Tenants can sue for the amount wrongfully withheld plus court costs and attorneys’ fees.

Read more

Lease Termination in Oklahoma

Notice Requirements: Tenants in Oklahoma who pay on a periodic basis must give the following notice before terminating the lease:

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Needed
Week-to-Week 7 Days
Month-to-Month 30 Days
Quarter-to-Quarter No statute
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.

Read more

Cost of Breaking a Lease in Oklahoma

If an Oklahoma tenant breaks their lease early, they are still liable for the rent for the remaining lease period. Landlords are legally required to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the unit, and if they find a new tenant, the original tenant is then no longer liable to pay all remaining rent.

Landlords cannot keep the full security deposit because a tenant broke their lease. The landlord can make deductions for damages or unpaid rent, but the rest must be returned to the tenant.

Read More

Rent Increases in Oklahoma

Oklahoma does not have rent control and state law prohibits cities and towns from creating their own rent control laws.

Because Oklahoma does not have rent control, landlords can raise the rent by any amount, as often as they choose, but they cannot increase the rent during the lease term unless the lease agreement allows for it. Additionally, landlords cannot increase the rent out of discrimination of state or federally-protected classes or in retaliation.

Oklahoma state law does not specify how much notice landlords must give before raising the rent. Landlords and tenants can agree on a minimum notice period for a rent increase in the lease agreement.

Read more

Housing Discrimination in Oklahoma

Protected Groups: The Federal 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 some owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations.

Oklahoma offers extra protections for one class that is not covered in the Federal 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.
  • Falsely claiming a unit is unavailable to rent or inspect.
  • 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. Tenants can file a complaint to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Oklahoma

In addition to having laws that address general issues like repairs and security deposits, most states, including Oklahoma, grant rights and responsibilities about things like lock changes and a landlord’s right to entry. See the topics below for more information.

Landlord Right to Entry in Oklahoma

Oklahoma landlords have the right to enter rental property for maintenance, inspections, and property showings. They generally must provide at least one day of advance notice before any entry, except when there’s an emergency.

Read more

Rent Collection & Related Fees in Oklahoma

The following laws apply to the collection of rent and related fees:

  • Grace Period: Landlords are not required to provide a grace period for the payment of rent before charging a late fee.
  • Maximum Late Fee: No limit, except it must be reasonable and related to the actual cost to the landlord.
  • Rent Payment Methods: There is no state law governing which payment methods landlords may or may not accept for the payment of rent.
  • Rent Receipt: Not required.

Small Claims Court in Oklahoma

Most disputes between landlords and tenants are handled in Small Claims Court, which is an informal process designed to be quicker and simpler than higher courts. For example, disputes regarding the return of security deposits are typically handled in Small Claims Court.

Landlords and tenants can file cases in Small Claims Court to settle minor disputes without hiring an attorney if the amount claimed is less than $10,000. Oklahoma Small Claims Court is a division of District Court. The process takes approximately one to two months.

Read more

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.

Read more

Changing the Locks in Oklahoma

Oklahoma tenants have no regulations preventing them from changing their locks at will, as long as the rental agreement doesn’t say otherwise and they provide copies of any new keys to the landlord. By contrast, landlords are not allowed to unilaterally change the locks on a tenant, as this constitutes a form of illegal “self help” eviction.

Additional Resources for Oklahoma Renters

Many cities in Oklahoma have their own landlord-tenant laws in addition to the state requirements. Check your local county and municipality for additional regulations, and see also the resources below for general information.

Should You Go to Small Claims Court?

What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?