All landlords and tenants in Oklahoma are governed by the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. As a landlord or resident in Oklahoma, it’s important that you understand what your rights and obligations are under this act. Here’s a brief overview of Oklahoma tenant and landlord laws.
Note: This is not an all-inclusive account of this law, nor is it intended to be legal advice. As a tenant or a landlord in Oklahoma, it is in your best interest to refer to a more in-depth copy of this law for a complete account of this act, or contact an attorney.
The lease agreement
Unlike many other states, Oklahoma does not honor verbal lease agreements. Any agreement that is for 30 days or longer must be in writing in order for the agreement to be legal and binding.
A lease agreement may not contain any language with which either party gives up their rights under the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or under any other local, state or federal laws.
The security deposit
A landlord may collect a security deposit from a tenant when the tenant first takes up occupancy of the rental property. He or she is obligated to keep the deposit in an escrow account in a federally insured institution in the state of Oklahoma. When the lease is up, or if the tenant leaves prior to the end of the lease, the landlord must return the security deposit to the vacating tenant within 30 days.
A landlord may keep some of the security deposit to pay for any damages to the rental property that were caused by the vacating tenant or the tenant’s guests, for cleaning or for reimbursement of back rent. The landlord is required to provide an itemized list of the deductions to the vacating tenant.
Landlord responsibilities and obligations
Under Oklahoma tenant-landlord laws, a landlord is obligated to maintain the rental property in a habitable condition that meets all local, state and federal housing laws. In the event that the property becomes uninhabitable, or there are repairs required, he or she is responsible for making such repairs in a timely fashion.
Tenant responsibilities and obligations
A tenant has an obligation to maintain the rental property in a clean manner. He or she may not knowingly or willingly destroy, damage or render useless any part of the rental property.
A tenant is responsible for providing the landlord with a security deposit if he or she requires it, and paying his or her rent on time each period as set forth in the lease agreement.
Either party may terminate the lease agreement, provided that the terminating party provides written notification to the other party 30 days before the date when the termination is to become effective. Your written lease agreement may provide for a different notification period.
Depending on the reason and timing of the termination, the tenant may be liable for any remaining financial obligation as it pertains to the lease agreement.