Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law

Looking for clear and concise information on Oklahoma landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Act.

OK Landlord Tenant Law:

  • Oklahoma Statutes Title 41 - Landlord and Tenant (41-1 to 41-135)

Tenant Application

Application Fees

The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging around $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.

Background and Credit Check

You can screen tenant applicants with a background check or full credit report from RentPrep.

A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.

Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks.  Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)

Avoiding Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap.  42 U.S.C. § 3604

*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.

In addition, Oklahoma landlord tenant law disallows landlords from discriminating someone as a renter because of his or her age.

The landlord is also not allowed to reject physically handicapped people as renters or terminate their lease because of their service dogs (unless the rental agreement prohibits such dogs)  41 O.S. § 113.1

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Tenancy Agreement

(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)

Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.

To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.

In the absence of a rental agreement, the tenancy shall be month to month by default. If the tenant pays rent every week, then the tenancy shall be week to week.  41 O.S. § 110

What Landlord Must Disclose

Before entering into a rental agreement, Oklahoma landlord tenant law requires the landlord to disclose the following to the tenant:

  • Lead Paint: If the property was built before 1978, the landlord must inform the tenant if the property contains lead-based paint.
  • Flooding: The landlord must inform prospective tenants if the property had been flooded within the past five years.  41 O.S. § 113a.(A)
  • Methamphetamine (Meth) Manufacture: The landlord must inform prospective tenants if the property was used for manufacture of methamphetamine in the past.  41 O.S. § 118.(C)

Required for Tenancy Agreement

Oklahoma landlord tenant law 41 O.S. § 116.(A) requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:

  • Name and address of person authorized to manage the property
  • Name and address or property owner or owner's agent (person authorized to act on behalf of owner)
  • Disclosure of flooding if the property had been flooded in the past five years  41 O.S. § 113a.(A)

Recommended for Tenancy Agreement

  • Name and address of tenant(s)
  • Number of people (occupants) staying on the property
  • Type of tenancy: month to month tenancy or fixed term lease
  • How much is the rent
  • When, how and where the rent is to be paid
  • When is rent is considered late and the penalties for late rent payment
  • How much is the security deposit and pet deposit (if any)
  • Who holds the deposit(s) and where will it be held
  • What utilities and services are provided and who pays for them
  • What are the landlord's and tenant's duties for property maintenance
  • Can the tenant sublet the property or assign the lease
  • When to inform the landlord if tenant will be away for a long time
  • Prohibited activities and items

Disallowed for Tenancy Agreement

According to Oklahoma landlord tenant law 41 O.S. § 113.(A)(1), your lease agreement CANNOT:

  •  make the landlord or tenant give up any legal rights or remedies under the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Act
  • permit the landlord or tenant get a confession against the other party
  • make the landlord or tenant pay for the other party's attorney fees (unless ordered by the courts)
  • limit the landlord or tenant's liability when they have failed in their duties
  • allow the landlord or tenant to file a lien on the other party's property/possessions

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Security Deposit

As long as the tenant is agreeable, Oklahoma landlord tenant law doesn't limit the maximum amount of security deposit the landlord can ask for.

Oklahoma landlord tenant law requires the landlord to hold security deposits in an escrow account of federally insured financial institution in Oklahoma.  41 O.S. § 115.(A)

The landlord does not have to pay the tenant any interest on the security deposit.  41 O.S. § 115.(B)

Deductions and Returns

Oklahoma landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
  
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions under Oklahoma landlord tenant law 41 O.S. § 115.(B) include:

  • Rent owed
  • Property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by tenant, occupants or tenant's guests
  • Costs and losses incurred by landlord due to the tenant's violation of the lease agreement or failure in duties

The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.

Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 30 days. This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing.

After the tenancy is terminated, the tenant has to demand for the return of security deposit in writing within six months. If the tenant fails to do so, the landlord gets to keep the deposit.

If the landlord intentionally misuses or steals the security deposit, he or she may be fined up to two times the amount that was misused or stolen AND jailed up to six months.  41 O.S. § 115.(A)

Change of Property Owner

If the landlord transfers his or her ownership of the property to another person (by sale, assignment, appointment, death or other means), the landlord and landlord's agent won't be responsible for the deposit once they do the following:

  • Transfer the security deposit (after any deductions) to the new owner and inform the tenant of the new owner's name and address OR
  • Return the security deposit (after any deductions) to the tenant.  41 O.S. § 115.(C)

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma OK

Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law

Rent

The tenant has to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment.  41 O.S. § 109.(B)

Late Rent

There are no Oklahoma landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments.

If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement. While there are no state laws on late fees, landlords cannot overcharge or impose unfair terms. Otherwise the tenant can refuse to pay and challenge the late fees in court.

Most states consider reasonable late fees to be around 3 to 5% of the rent amount. In addition, landlords should wait until rent payment is at least three days late before charging late fees.

Raising Rent

There are no specific Oklahoma landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When can the landlord raise the rent?
  • How many days notice does the landlord have to give before raising the rent?
  • How many days notice does the tenant have to give if he or she is moving out due to the rent increase?
  • Maximum amount or percentage of rent increase (optional)

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Property Maintenance

Landlord Duties and Responsibilities

The Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Act 41 O.S. § 118.(A) requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition:

  • Common Areas: Keep all common areas clean and safe (except for one family residences)
  • Repairs: Make all repairs to keep the property safe and habitable
  • Maintenance: Maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen facilities in safe working condition
  • Waste Disposal: Provide outlets for waste disposal and arrange for waste removal (except for one or two family residences or waste disposal is provided by the government)
  • Heating: Supply running water, hot water and heating as far as conditions allow (except for one family residences)

Landlord Duties and Responsibilities

  • Defects: Report all property defects and problems to the landlord as soon as possible  41 O.S. § 125

The tenant can be responsible for specific repair, maintenance or alteration tasks if both the landlord and tenant agree to it. These specific tasks and responsibilities have to be stated in writing (separately from the rental agreement).  41 O.S. § 118.(B)

If Landlord Fails to Maintain Property

Oklahoma requires the tenant to inform the landlord of any property defect or problem as soon as possible.  41 O.S. § 125

If the landlord fails in his or her responsibilities and this affects health and safety, the tenant can give the landlord a written notice stating the problem and giving the landlord 14 days to fix it... or else the lease shall terminate in 30 days. If the problem is fixed within 14 days (of the landlord receiving this notice), the tenancy shall continue.  41 O.S. § 121.(A)

If landlord fails to fix the problem within 14 days and the defect can be repaired for less than $100, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from rent. After repairs are made, the tenant has to submit an itemized statement to the landlord.  41 O.S. § 121.(B)

If Landlord Fails to Provide Essential Services

If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant may give the landlord a written notice stating the problem and do ONE of the following:

  1. Terminate the rental agreement immediately.
  2.  Obtain the essential service and deduct the cost from rent.
  3. Sue the landlord for damages (based on the property's decline in rental value).
  4. Move to substitute housing and stop paying rent until the essential service is restored.  41 O.S. § 121.(C)

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Property Access

When Tenant's Permission is Required

According to Oklahoma landlord tenant law 41 O.S. § 128.(A), the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons:

  • Performing property maintenance or repairs
  • Supplying essential (or mutually agreed) services and utilities
  • Inspecting for damages
  • Showing the property to prospective buyers, lenders, tenants or contractors

In the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant at least 1 day in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours.

When Tenant's Permission is NOT Required

According to Oklahoma landlord tenant law, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:

  • Emergencies such as smoke, fire, flooding or explosion  41 O.S. § 128.(B)
  • Tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises  41 O.S. § 128.(D)

If Tenant Refuses Landlord's Valid Request to Enter Property

The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. Otherwise the landlord can EITHER

  1. obtain a court order that requires the tenant to let the landlord in OR
  2. terminate the lease agreement.  41 O.S. § 128.(E)

If Landlord Enters Property Illegally

The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required) to enter the property.  41 O.S. § 124.(A)

If the landlord fails to do so or harasses the tenant, the tenant can EITHER

  1. obtain a court order that stops the landlord from entering the property illegally or harassing the tenant OR
  2. terminate the lease agreement by giving the landlord a written notice in advance.

In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for actual damages.

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Subletting

There are no specific Oklahoma landlord tenant laws on subletting.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • Is the tenant allowed to sublet the property? If yes, is the landlord's written consent required before the tenant can sublet?
  • Is the landlord allowed to screen and reject every prospective subtenant?
  • Can the landlord ask for additional rent and security deposit if the tenant sublets?

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Tulsa, Oklahoma OK

Tulsa, Oklahoma OK

Termination of Tenancy

Number of Days for Notice to Quit

Before terminating a tenancy, Oklahoma landlord tenant law 41 O.S. § 111 requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit in advance:

Week to week tenancy

7 days

Month to month tenancy

30 days

TENANT

If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:

Landlord entered property illegally

Immediate

Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident

Immediate

Property Damage Due to Fire, Disaster or Unavoidable Accident

If the property is badly damaged by fire, disasters or unavoidable accidents (that are no fault of the tenant or related people), the tenant can immediately move out and stop paying rent. The tenancy shall terminate once the tenant moves out. After moving out, the tenant must inform the landlord that he or she intends to terminate the tenancy within one week.  41 O.S. § 122

After the tenant moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit (after any deductions) to the tenant. The tenant won't have to pay rent starting from the date of the fire or disaster, so the landlord must also return any prepaid rent to the tenant.

If only part of the property is damaged, the tenant should move out of the damaged area. The rent amount will be lowered based on how much of the property is still livable.

Giving Notice to Quit

Oklahoma landlord tenant law requires the landlord and tenant to deliver a notice (to quit) to the other party in person whenever possible.  41 O.S. § 111.(E)

If the tenant can't deliver the notice to the landlord in person, he or she can send it to the landlord by certified mail.

If the landlord can't deliver the notice to the tenant in person, he or she can deliver it to a family member (who is over 12 years old and staying with the tenant). If the landlord cannot find the tenant or a family member, the landlord can post the notice at a highly visible location at the property AND send a copy of it to the tenant by certified mail.

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Eviction

According to Oklahoma landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:

Tenant did not pay rent

5 days

Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties

15 days

Tenant or related person was involved in illegal activities on property

Immediate

Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.

If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.

Tenant Did Not Pay Rent

If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a five day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This notice must state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out.  41 O.S. § 131

If the rent is paid within five days, the tenant may stay. If the tenant tries to pay rent after five days, the landlord may refuse the rent and continue with eviction.

Tenant Violated Tenancy Agreement or Didn't Perform Duties

If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement or fails to perform his or her duties (as required by Oklahoma landlord tenant law), the landlord can send the tenant a written notice stating the following:

  • Tenant's lease violation or failure in duty
  • Tenant has to correct the violation or fix the problem within 10 days
  • If tenant fails to correct the violation, the tenancy shall terminate in 15 days  41 O.S. § 132.(A),(B)

However if the tenant violates the tenancy agreement (or fails in his or her duty) in a similar manner AGAIN, the landlord can evict the tenant immediately. In this case, the tenant must move out.  41 O.S. § 132.(C)

Tenant or Related Person was Involved in Illegal Activities on Property

If the tenant (or tenant's household or tenant's guest) was involved in illegal activities on the property that threatens the health, safety or peace of other tenants on the property, the landlord can send the tenant a written notice to terminate the tenancy immediately.  41 O.S. § 132.(D)

The landlord can also terminate the tenancy immediately if the tenant (or tenant's household or tenant's guest) was involved in drug-related criminal activities on or near the property.

Unlawful Eviction

According to Oklahoma landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing.

If the landlord forces the tenant to move out with unlawful methods, the tenant can EITHER

  1. regain possession of the property OR
  2. terminate the tenancy agreement

In addition, the tenant can also sue the landlord for up to two times the amount of actual damages or two month's rent (depending on which is more).  41 O.S. § 123

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Abandonment

When is it Abandonment?

There are no specific Oklahoma landlord tenant laws on when the property is considered abandoned by the tenant.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When is the property considered abandoned by the tenant? - Tenant hasn't paid rent for X days, Tenant has been absent from the property for X days (without informing the landlord)
  • After the property is abandoned, does the tenant have to continue paying rent until the landlord finds a new tenant?

Dealing with Abandoned Belongings

If the tenant's abandoned belongings have no value, the landlord can dispose them directly.  41 O.S. § 130.(A)

If the tenant's abandoned belongings are of value, the landlord must inform the tenant in writing that if the belongings will be considered abandoned if the tenant doesn't recover them within 30 days. If the tenant doesn't recover the belongings, the landlord can choose to destroy, dispose or sell the belongings.

If the tenant recovers the belongings within 30 days, he or she will have pay the landlord for their storage costs plus any amount owed to the landlord (after deducting from the security deposit first).

If the landlord deliberately violates or neglects Oklahoma landlord tenant law on abandonment, the tenant can sue the landlord for actual damages.  41 O.S. § 130.(E)

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Resources

Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law: Oklahoma Statutes Title 41 - Landlord and Tenant

Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Handbook: What are Your Rights and Duties as a Tenant?

If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.

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