The first oklahoma city eviction I ever did was terrifying.
I was lucky to have a friend who was lawyer and a landlord to help me with the paperwork.
The scary part to me was they had gotten a lawyer from Legal Aid of Oklahoma.
I worried about what would happen in court in the days leading up.
The day in court was only the second time I’d ever been in a courtroom.
But my friend had prepared me.
You see, he’d done dozens of evictions.
He knew what he was doing.
As a result, all my paperwork was in order.
The legal aid lawyer turned out to be no big deal.
That was more than 20-years ago.
Oklahoma City eviction procedures haven’t really changed in the last 20 years.
In that time, I’ve done more than 100 oklahoma city evictions.
I’ve learned a thing or two about oklahoma city evictions along the way.
In this article, I go over some of what I’ve picked up, but here is another article that tells the bottom line of what owners should know about Oklahoma City evictions.
#1. Don’t allow tenants to string you along.
In my company, we go to eviction court at least once each month.
We push the late tenants to get their rents paid in by the 10th of the month.
We are very skeptical of excuses for rent not getting paid. We’ve heard them all.
But the bottom line is that owners hire us to get their rent collected, not take excuses.
#2. Don’t start with eviction as the answer to a tenant who is late on their rent.
The first step in an oklahoma city eviction is to give the tenant a five-day notice to quit. This notice needs to state the balance the tenant owes for rent and any other charges they owe. Give them this notice the first day they are late.
Before you file for eviction, you need to contact the tenant. Use whatever mean you have available to contact them. Try via by phone, text, and/or email to find out what they plan to do. Only make one attempt to contact them per day as to not violate collections laws.
#3. Get a Commitment or go home.
If the tenant answers the phone, pin them down. When is the soonest they can bring you money?
You should not let me go for more than a few days without paying something.
Give them an amount they absolutely must have in to your office they the 10th of the month, or you’ll take them to court.
We may not extend this courtesy (and are not required to) if circumstances dictate we should do otherwise.
#4. What if they have move out in the middle of the night?
If they don’t answer the phone, text, and/or email, we will attempt to see if they may have moved out of the property. If they have moved out under cover of night, we will move for eviction right away to get legal possession of the property.
This is an important point. You are taking a risk if you just take over the unit without going through the eviction process. Once you enter into a rental agreement, you must go through eviction if they stop paying unless they turn in the keys to you. Or, if they tell you verbally or in writing they are out of the property.
#5. You don’t have to take their money.
If the tenant comes to you with their rent money before or during court, you don’t have to take the money.
Particularly if they don’t have the full balance.
Don’t take a personal check. You should 0nly take cash or money orders.
#6. When you are ready to file for eviction, prepare the documents to be filed at the court house.
Next, file the petition at the county court clerk.
A process server must serve the summons to the tenant which tell them the court date. You can get the Sheriff to this, but it’s better to have a private process server take care of it.
If the process server delivers the papers in hand to the tenant, you may be entitled to a money judgment. If the process server is not able to give personal serve to the tenant, he must post it on the property and must send by certified mail copies to the tenant. In this case, you may only be entitled to possession of the property if the judge finds for you.
#7. Make sure you have the right paperwork in court.
When you appear in court for your oklahoma city eviction, you’ll need to have all the right paperwork.
That’s going to include a copy of your lease, the five day notice, proof of service, and any other evidence you wish to present.
In addition, you must provide to the judge a statement as to whether or not the tenant is in the military. The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act requires that you determine if they are an active service member. If they are deployed and you are doing an eviction, that is a special case. To learn more about this special case, Click Here.
#8. Get your judgment.
Once the judge finds for you, the tenant must move from the property. If they refuse to move, you may have to get a writ of assistance from the judge to have a Sheriff lock them out of the property.
On the other hand, you can hire an attorney to handle this whole process for you.
My company evicts tenants for our property management clients at no additional cost except for court filing fees and the fee for the process server.
I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. For legal advice, contact an attorney.
Click here if you are interested in hearing more about our OKC property management company.