Guide to Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law
If you are a renter or a landlord in Oklahoma, you need to have an understanding of OK landlord tenant law in order to ensure that your rights are respected. Oklahoma landlord tenant law can be somewhat complicated, but gives a variety of protections to both tenants and landlords. This guide will explain some aspects of OK landlord tenant law so that you can understand if your rights have been violated. If you believe your landlord or tenant has violated OK landlord tenant law, you may wish to consult with a landlord tenant law attorney.
Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law and Security Deposits
While in many states, a landlord must always return a security deposit promptly, Oklahoma landlord tenant law only requires a landlord to give back a security deposit after a written request from a tenant. If you do not make this request within six months, OK landlord tenant law allows your landlord to keep the deposit. According to Oklahoma landlord tenant law, landlords must maintain your security deposit separately from their own funds and must return it within 30 days of your request or give you an itemized list of damages.
Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law and Evictions
OK landlord tenant law forbids “self help” evictions, in which a landlord personally evicts a tenant. Some of the methods banned by state law include turning off utilities, changing a tenant's locks, or removing a tenant's belongings from their unit. OK landlord tenant law only allows a landlord to evict a tenant by going through the legal eviction process in civil court. If your landlord is attempting to remove you in any other way, you should contact a landlord tenant lawyer immediately.
Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law and Habitability
OK landlord tenant law requires that all landlords maintain units at standards suitable for human habitation. This means that your unit is required to have functional heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, and that you must have access to safe hot and cold drinking water. All of a unit's appliances, including air conditioning units, must be maintained in good condition according to OK landlord tenant law, and your landlord must also provide trash removal.
Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law and Lease Breaches
If your landlord does not maintain habitability standards or otherwise breaches your lease, you have several options. OK landlord tenant law allows a tenant to give a landlord 14 days of notice to fix a problem, and if the problem is not fixed, the tenant may leave 30 days after giving the original notice. You may also spend money yourself to fix the problem and withhold it from rent, if the cost of the repair is no more than $100.
Any problems that cause safety hazards or an imminent threat to your health allow you to terminate your lease immediately upon written notice, according to OK landlord tenant law. Unsafe conditions caused by an emergency (like a fire) require a week of written notice before your tenancy can come to an end.