Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Laws, Rights, & Regulations 
Oklahoma landlords and tenants grapple with a complex web of local and state rental laws that have a significant impact on their rights and responsibilities, as well as the dynamics of the landlord-tenant relationship. Navigating through these intricate laws can be quite a challenge, even for seasoned rental property owners and tenants.
To assist in tackling this challenge, we've created this comprehensive guide, covering essential rental aspects such as tenant screening, eviction procedures, rental agreements, and more. Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, this guide will provide you with a thorough understanding of Oklahoma's laws, as outlined in the Oklahoma Statutes Title 41.
Landlords will learn how to protect their rental properties and nurture positive relationships with tenants, while tenants will gain the valuable knowledge needed to assert their basic rights.
Let’s get started!
Oklahoma landlord tenant law fast facts
- Is a rental license required to be a residential landlord? No
- Are there any security deposit requirements? Yes
- Is there rent control? No
- Are there limits on late fees? No
- Are there rent payment grace period laws? No
- Are there notice of entry laws? Yes
Oklahoma landlord responsibilities and rights
Residential landlords in Oklahoma are provided rights that allow them to efficiently run their rental units protected from legal issues. Landlords' main rights include:
- Charging and collecting on-time rent payments
- Collecting security deposits to cover possible costs like unpaid rent and rental damage beyond normal wear and tear
- Pursuing formal evictions if the tenant breaches the lease agreement
On top of their rights, Oklahoma landlords also have a set of obligations to uphold that ensure a safe and smooth tenancy for renters. Their top duties include:
- Providing renters with a safe and habitable rental property free of housing discrimination
- Making repairs within 14 days after receiving written notice from a tenant
- Returning the tenant’s security deposit within 45 days of the lease ending
Oklahoma tenant responsibilities and rights
Like landlords, Oklahoma tenants have fundamental rights that protect their well-being and safety while residing in a rental property. Some of their main rights include:
- The right to habitability; living in a habitable rental property that meets local and state health and safety codes
- Having repairs made in 14 days after providing the landlord written notice
- Taking legal necessary action such as suing if the landlord violates the lease agreement
- The right to privacy and quiet enjoyment
Renters in Oklahoma also have obligations they must uphold while renting. Generally, these duties ensure the rental unit is maintained and the landlord goes financially unharmed. In Oklahoma, tenants must:
- Pay rent when due
- Keep the unit in safe and sanitary condition
- Maintain fixtures and appliances in working order
- Not disturb other renters or neighbors
- Inform the landlord of any property damage
Oklahoma landlord tenant laws through the rental cycle
Oklahoma tenant screening and rental application laws
Oklahoma has few statutes governing the rental application and tenant screening process. For instance, the state does not limit how much a landlord can charge for rental application fees or require them to be refundable, even if the prospective tenant is denied. Additionally, landlords are allowed to ask any questions on the rental application as long as the questions do not lead to any form of housing discrimination as outlined in the Federal Fair Housing Act.
Furthermore, Oklahoma does not limit what background checks a landlord can run, but they must obtain the potential tenant’s written consent first.
Oklahoma rental agreement and lease termination laws
Both oral and written rental agreements are accepted in Oklahoma. However, leases for a year or longer must be in writing. Landlords should always document the rental agreement as it grants important responsibilities to both parties.
Oklahoma residential landlords are required to include the following information in a lease: their name, address and phone number, rent amount and due date, and lease length, plus a description of the rental unit. Learn what other information you should include in your rental agreement today.
To terminate a lease, a landlord must provide a 30-day notice for month-to-month, and a 7-day notice is required for weekly leases. For year-to-year leases, no notice is required.
Tenants in Oklahoma can also terminate a rental agreement early for the following legal reasons:
- Active military duty
- Early termination clause
- Landlord harassment
- Uninhabitable unit
Oklahoma security deposit laws
Oklahoma law allows landlords to collect a security deposit at the start of the lease term to cover unforeseen costs. Unlike most other states, there is no limit on how much a landlord can collect for a security deposit.
In regards to the security deposit, Oklahoma rental owners must:
- Hold security deposits in a state escrow account within a federally insured financial institution or bank.
- Return the tenant’s security deposit within 45 days of the end of the lease period
In Oklahoma, landlords are allowed to make deductions from the security deposit for reasons including rental damage beyond normal wear and tear, any charges outlined in the lease, and unpaid rent, late fees, and utilities.
If the landlord fails to comply with the notice period or wrongfully withholds funds, tenants can sue for the amount wrongfully withheld plus attorney fees and court costs.
Oklahoma rent laws
Oklahoma state law does not have rent control laws and prohibits its cities and states from creating their own laws. This allows residential landlords to charge any amount of rent they wish and increase rent as often as they wish, as long as it’s not during the lease period unless the lease allows for it.
Oklahoma does not specify how much notice a landlord must give a tenant before raising rent. However, the landlord and tenant can agree on a minimum notice period for a rent increase in the lease.
If Oklahoma renters fail to pay rent on time, landlords are not required to provide a grace period before charging a late fee. The late fee must be reasonable and related to the actual financial cost the landlord incurred.
Oklahoma repair and maintenance laws
An Oklahoma landlord must make repairs within 14 days after receiving written notice from tenants.
If the landlord fails to make repairs within a timely manner, Oklahoma renters can take several legal actions: sue for a court order to force the landlord to make the repairs, cancel the rental agreement, and use the “repair and deduct” remedy in which they make minor repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.
Oklahoma notice of entry laws
In Oklahoma, landlords have the right to enter their rental units for maintenance, inspections, and property showings. Prior to entering, they must provide proper notice, which is at least 24 hours in Oklahoma. No notice period is required for emergencies.
Oklahoma eviction laws
Oklahoma state law allows landlords to evict tenants for several legal reasons. Each of the reasons requires a certain notice period before eviction proceedings can start. Here are the reasons and associated notice periods:
- Unpaid rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent when due, the landlord may issue a 5-day notice to pay for tenancies of less than 3 months, and for tenancies over 3 months, a 10-day notice to pay is required. If the tenant still does not pay rent, the landlord can move forward with the eviction process.
- Lease violation: If the tenant breaches the lease agreement, the landlord may issue a 15-day notice to comply. If the tenant does not correct the issue within 10 days or move out within 15 days, the landlord can continue with the eviction.
- Illegal acts: If the landlord has proof that a tenant has committed an illegal act that threatens the health, safety, or quiet enjoyment of others, they can begin the eviction process immediately and no eviction notice is required.
- No lease/end of lease: If the tenant holds over or stays past the end of the tenancy, the landlord can issue a notice to quit. The notice period depends on the type of tenancy. Less than a month-to-month lease requires a 7-day notice to quit and month-to-month leases require a 30-day notice to quit. For year-to-year leases, landlords are required to provide a 90-day notice to quit.
Additional Oklahoma landlord tenant laws
On top of covering rental aspects like evictions and repairs, Oklahoma state law also has statutes addressing housing discrimination, landlord retaliation, and more. Explore a few of these topics below.
Only federal law protects Oklahoma renters from housing discrimination. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against renters based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. However, this regulation does not apply to some religious organizations or rental units with a live-in landlord.
If a landlord violates housing discrimination laws, tenants can seek legal help and file a complaint with Oklahoma’s Human Rights Commission.
Unlike other U.S. states, there are no Oklahoma statutes that prevent landlords from retaliating against their tenants for taking actions like reporting landlords for health and safety violations. Meaning, that landlords may raise rent, threaten eviction, or reduce services even if there’s proof that the landlord is doing so in retaliation. Tenants should be aware that Oklahoma state law does not protect them from retaliatory actions.
Oklahoma residential landlords must provide tenants with specific disclosures at the start of a lease term. Those disclosures include:
- Lead-based paint: Landlords who own rental properties built before 1978 must provide information about lead-based paint concentrations.
- Authorized agent: Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.
- Flood zone: Landlords must disclose if their rental has been affected by flooding in the past 5 years.
- Methamphetamine: Landlords must disclose if they know or suspect that the property has been used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine drugs.
Summing up: Understanding Oklahoma landlord tenant laws
Oklahoma's rental laws have been designed to provide a clear framework that outlines the rights and duties of both landlords and tenants. These laws are primarily geared towards fostering a fair rental process, but they also work to create a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.
Through a comprehensive grasp and adherence to these laws, landlords can protect their property investments and cultivate positive relationships with their tenants. Likewise, tenants can assert their legal rights when needed. Now and into the future, landlords and renters should continue educating themselves about Oklahoma's rental laws as the rental landscape is constantly evolving.
Landlords, do you need help with rent collection or lease agreements? Tenants, are you looking for a credit boost or renter insurance? Whatever you need, Azibo’s got you covered. Learn more about our free rental software today!
Oklahoma landlord tenant law FAQ
Is Oklahoma considered a landlord-friendly state?
Yes, Oklahoma is generally considered a landlord-friendly state–evident in its 11th place on the list of landlord-friendly states. The state doesn’t have rent control and has a very straightforward eviction process. Additionally, Oklahoma is known for having a low cost of living, thanks to its low property taxes and low mortgage rates. Trying to find a state to invest in real estate? Learn how to pick a landlord-friendly state now!
What is the limit a landlord or tenant can sue for in Oklahoma Small Claims Court?
Oklahoma Small Claims Court handles disputes involving small amounts of money in a simplified and expedited manner. Small Claims Court in Oklahoma will hear rental cases for up to $10,000. The process takes between one to two months.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. This content may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. No reader, user, or browser of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking the advice of a legal professional.