Oklahoma Habitability Laws

QUICK FACTS
  • Landlord Responsibilities. Working plumbing, electrical, sanitation facilities and smoke detectors. Air conditioning is optional, but if provided, must be kept in good repair (read more).
  • Making Repairs. Landlords are required to make and pay for repairs for items under their responsibility. They must do so within a “reasonable time” after receiving a written request from tenants (read more).
  • Tenant Options. If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, tenants can’t withhold rent, but does have right to repair and deduct, report the issue to a public official or file a lawsuit (read more).
  • Retaliation. There are no statutes regarding landlord retaliation in Oklahoma (read more).

The implied warranty of habitability in Oklahoma does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are & aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs No
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Yes
Condos Only if person in condo is renter, not owner
Hotels/Motels No

Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.

Landlord Responsibilities

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Oklahoma, as indicated below.

Note: some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Multi-family units
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Multi-family units
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Not addressed
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. No
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. No

Meth Production

If a landlord is aware that the rental unit was used in the production of methamphetamines, the landlord is required to disclose this information to potential tenants.

The only exception to this rule is if the rental unit has been tested for contamination and is found to be within the allowable limits.

Flooding

If a rental unit has been flooded within the past five years, this information must be included in the written rental agreement.

Making Repairs

Landlords are required to make and pay for any repairs to make the unit livable that are not caused by the tenant.

  • Sending notice. It is recommended that tenants send the dated, written notice with proof that it was received by the landlord, and keep a copy for their records. The landlord is given 14 days to make any necessary repairs after receiving written notice.
  • Landlord access. Tenants are required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs. However, a landlord must give tenants 24 hours’ notice unless it’s an emergency or the tenant no longer occupies the rental unit.

Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made

If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.

  1. Withhold rent – Oklahoma landlord tenant law does not allow tenants to withhold rent in response to habitability issues.
  2. Repair and deduct – Tenants have the right to repair the issue themselves and deduct a reasonable amount for the repair from the following month’s rent if the total costs for repair is less than $100.
  3. Lawsuit – Tenants do have the right to sue the landlord for damages based on the difference between what the apartment or house is worth without the essential service

Landlord Retaliation

There are no statutes regarding landlord retaliation in Oklahoma.

Sources