This article is a brief summary of the Oklahoma eviction process In Oklahoma city where I share with you how to evict a tenant in by following proper Oklahoma eviction laws. Much has changed about the eviction process since then due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  This article tells you what you need to know based on how the process has changed.  

Here is the list of Eviction Process in Oklahoma

Step 1:  Send Notice of Eviction to Tenants

Step 2:  Filing for Eviction

Step 3: Get a Judgement from the Court Possession

Step 4: Changing Locks

Let me start to tell you that I am not an attorney.  This is not legal advice.  My advice is that if you need an eviction done, seek out an expert.  That’s especially true during the Coronavirus pandemic.  

If you are a landlord and want to file the eviction yourself, think twice.  Legal aid will be at court assisting the tenant – looking for any technicality to get your case thrown out of court.  

My property management company used to do the OKC evictions process on behalf of our clients.  That’s changed since the beginning of the pandemic.  I’m just going to give you a rundown of the process that we and the attorney go through when we are doing an eviction.  

For starters, I get quite a few questions from out-of-state real estate investors about evictions in Oklahoma.  I think they are familiar with some jurisdictions, like in Southern California, the evictions process can be a complete nightmare.  Rent control.  Ridiculous squatter’s rights.  Ridiculous time frames.

It’s gotten more difficult in Oklahoma since the beginning of the pandemic, but it doesn’t rise to that level. 

What Owners & Tenants Should Know About Eviction Process

Step 1: Send Eviction Notice to Tenants: 

Just because you don’t like them, you can’t evict anyone. You need to ensure that you have a legal and compelling justification for the eviction before you start the eviction process, otherwise, you will find that the judge may not rule in your favor. 

Here are common 6 reasons you can evict a tenant.

  1. Not paying rent on time at all
  2. Violating lease terms such as getting unapproved animals
  3. Causing damage to the rental property
  4. Doing illegal things on the property

The first thing you’ll have to do so is to send notice to the tenants. Let them know how they have violated the lease. For example, if they have not paid the rent, you should provide them with a 5-day notice to quit.

Termination notice for tenant

If you want to give your tenant the eviction form you can create an Oklahoma eviction notice form from here 

Tenant Violates the Lease: the Oklahoma Eviction Laws for No Lease Payment

Lease Violations

1. Not Paying Lease/Rents

Failure to pay rent is by the far the most common reason that Oklahoma City tenants are evicted.  The lease provides for the amount of rent that the tenant is to pay the owner.  And, the rules around when and how the rent is to be paid.

Evicting a tenant due to failure to pay rent is the easiest way to evict a tenant because it is easy to prove one way or the other.  You can also evict an OKC tenant for other lease violations.  

Evicting an Oklahoma tenant due to other lease violations can be very difficult because it’s not always easy to prove.  For example, suppose your lease doesn’t allow for pets.  You can file on the tenant for having a dog on the property.  You even have a photograph of the dog on the property. 

 You get to court, and when the judge asks the tenant if they have a dog, the tenant says that the dog was just there for a few days and is now gone.  The judge continues the case.  You do a walk-through inspection and sure enough, the dog is no longer at the property.  You show back up to court and the case is dismissed.  The dog reappears at the property the very next day once the heat is off. 

2. Criminal Activity

 A landlord can terminate the lease if a tenant does anything unlawful on the premises. 

Many states also allow a landlord to evict a tenant as early as 24 hours after committing a drug-related or criminal offense.

Needless to say, if you can evict a tenant from residential property for trying to run a legitimate business, you can evict a tenant for attempting to operate an illegal activity.   It is possible to evict tenants who try to sell some form of narcotics, prescription medication, or other illegal substances from the house.

You must serve the tenant a notice to quit, advising them that you will be filing for eviction due to criminal activity.

3. Holdover: Eviction Process for Without Lease

Understand and go through the state law about the eviction and hire a lawyer for the further process. Provide a 30-day “Notice to Quit” to the tenant and file for a petition. The final step is to remove the tenant following the premises and change the locks.

You can file for an eviction if the tenant refuses to move out after their lease has expired and you have provided them with a 30-day notice to quit.

What’s the Next Step?

Eviction Notice

1. Oklahoma 10/15 Day Notice to Quit

This notice is given to the tenant if the tenant has in some way materially violated the lease. For example, a landlord could serve this notice on a tenant for failure to pay rent. In this case, the tenant would have 10 days to pay rent. If the landlord accepts any money from the tenant, the notice is canceled, and the landlord would have to serve another notice for the remaining balance of the rent. 

The landlord could not terminate the lease within the 10 day period. If the breach of the lease were not cured within the 10 day period, the lease could be terminated on the 15th day.

2. Oklahoma 5 Day Eviction Notice to Quit

The 5-day notice to quit is most commonly used in Oklahoma. Once a lease violation occurs or a tenant is late with their rent, you must provide the tenant with a 5-day notice to quit.  That notice must be posted on the door of the property or handed to the tenant.  And one copy must be sent to the tenant at their property certified mail.

 Eviction Notice Without Cause

termination without cause

To terminate the tenancy of month-to-month leases or a lease agreement that has been in effect for less than one year, a 30-day notice to leave is used.

Notice of eviction without a cause could include:

1. Month to Month Tenancy [30-day Eviction Notice ]

At the termination of the lease, the landlord regains the property’s ownership rights. 

A month-to-month tenancy is a periodic tenancy created when control of the property without a definite expiry date is given to the renter and the landlord is paid on a monthly basis.

For a landlord, it’s easy to end a month-to-month tenancy. You do not need to offer a reason (though acting on discriminatory or retaliatory motives is illegal).

2. Fixed-Term Lease

A fixed-term rental, or term lease, refers to a rental lease with a start date and end date designated. Lease agreement Terms vary from 6 to 24 months.

The tenant will either move out on a designated date at the end of the contract, or the term lease will change to a month-to-month lease or The lease term will be extended by mutual consent. Explicit information about what happens at the end of the term lease should in the lease.

Step 2: Filing for Eviction Process

If the tenant doesn’t correct the issue within the five-day period, you or your attorney can file for eviction at the county clerk’s office.  The court date for the eviction is usually seven calendar days from the date of the filing.

The eviction process server must serve the court papers to the tenant once the filing has been done.  If the process server serves the tenant personally, that is, hands the tenant the court papers, the landlord may be eligible for a money judgment.  If the process server cannot catch the tenant at home to serve them, they must post the papers on the door and send them certified mail.If you don’t get personal service, you are not entitled to a money judgment unless the tenant shows up in court.

When you go to court, you must go “loaded for bear”.  If you aren’t familiar with that expression, it means that we bring everything.  Your attorney will know what these items consist of and include copies of the lease, the ledger, copies of items associated with the eviction (summons, petition, proof of service, 5-day notice, military affidavit, and entry of appearance), and anything that might come as a bone of contention.

Cost To file for an Eviction process in Oklahoma

The cost to file for an Eviction Process varies, but every state charges the filing fees. Here is the list of  the cost to file for an Eviction process in Oklahoma:

Type of Eviction Claim

Filing Fee

“Forcible Entry and Detainer” for less than $5,000

$58 plus service charge

“Forcible Entry and Detainer” above than $5,000

 $144.14 plus service charge

Illegal Activity

$85 plus service charge

Obligation for  less than $5000

$58 plus service charge

Obligation of more than $5000

$209.14 plus service charge

Uncontested Residential eviction

$247.85 plus service charge

Step 3: Get a Judgement from the Court Possession

Things to keep in mind while going court

These tips are mostly for those who are brave enough to file and represent themselves in court. 

If the 5-day notice is not valid, you can’t get possession of the property.  That means it has to be properly served to the tenant (see the rules on that above).  The court will ask to see a copy of the 5-day notice to quit to verify the details are correct.

The Sailors and Soldiers Relief Act require that you show evidence to the court that you are not evicting a member of the military who is deployed.  For that, you do a search of the Department of Defense database using the name, social security number, and/or date of birth of the tenants. 

 You fill in an affidavit showing that we have done this search and the tenant who is being evicted is not on that list. If you don’t get personal service and the tenant doesn’t show up for court, the best you can hope for is the possession of the property.  

You will NOT get a money judgment.  The terms of the judgment are spelled out in the journal entry.  The judge signs the journal entry and one files the journal entry with the court clerk.

It’s better to leave the courtroom work to an attorney who specializes in doing evictions. Especially in the time of covid. There are so many changes in eviction procedures. It’s tough even for the attorney to keep track. And if your case gets dismissed, you will have to start your eviction all over from square one.

Step 4: Changing the Locks

If you think the tenant has already moved out of the property, once you get legal possession you can change the locks once you verify the property is vacant.  Thus, you can save the cost of meeting a deputy sheriff at the property to change the locks.

If you think the tenant or other people might still be in the property, you need to get the judge to sign on a writ of assistance.  You pay for the writ, get it signed, and file it with the court clerk.  A deputy sheriff will post a 48-hour notice on the property.  You meet the deputy sheriff at the property and change the locks.

The only appeal is to the State Supreme Court within 30 days.  I’ve never heard of anyone making such an appeal, but I’m certain it has happened.

If you are in a situation in which you think you’ll need to evict a tenant and would like our opinion or assistance, fill in the contact form below, give us a call, or get more information about our Oklahoma City property management services.

Squatters Right in Oklahoma City, Ok

In order to claim legal property title under the Oklahoma Squatters Law, an individual must occupy the property at least for the time period of 15 years, while the rightful owner has the time period of two years to recover possession of their property from unauthorized processors through legal action. Additional Squatters law in the Oklahoma City, Ok are listed below:

I have already written another blog post about Squatters’ rights in Oklahoma which includes a lot of data and statistics about the rights they hold.

What law regulates Oklahoma Evictions?

The Eviction Process in Oklahoma is regulated by the Landlord-Tenant Act (Oklahoma Statue Title 41) which must be followed by the landlord as well as the tenant. The landlord can only change the lock after receiving a court order.

If the tenant doesn’t leave even after providing the notice within certain days, the landlord can file against the tenant as the “ Forcible and Entry Detainer” in the court of Oklahoma.

Does the CARES act still halt all evictions?

The CARES Act was enacted by congress on March 27, 2020.  It placed a 120-day moratorium on evictions due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  That restriction was lifted on July 25, 2020. 

It also placed special restrictions on properties in which the tenant receive government assistance (Section 8), or the financing on the property was backed by a government loan program, such as Fannie Mae.  Those restrictions are in place until December 31, 2020.  

How did September 4, 2020, Executive Order affect evictions?

An Executive Order pertaining to rental housing was put in place on September 4, 2020.  It provides limited protection to tenants from eviction.  In order for a tenant to be protected from eviction, they must prove the following:

  • The individual either:
    1. Expects to earn less than $99,000 for the calendar year 2020,
    2. Was not required by IRS to file in 2019, or
    3. Received an economic impact payment (stimulus check) pursuant to the CARES Act.  
  • The individual is unable to pay full rent due to loss of income.
  • Eviction would render the person homeless.  

Should these all be the case, the tenant must prepare a declaration and provide it to the landlord or property management company.  Statements on the declaration must be true, under penalty of perjury.  If you receive one of these declarations, you must cease the eviction process immediately, and get your legal counsel involved.  

FAQs:

How Do I Evict Someone from My Home in Oklahoma?

The Landlords should go through an eviction lawsuit in the court following all of the rules that are set by Oklahoma Law. Even if the landlord is successful, he cannot attempt to force the tenant to move out of the rental unit until the officer with a court order comes for an eviction.

How Long Does it Take to Evict Someone in Oklahoma?

It depends. The tenant may be protected from eviction if the property owner has received government assistance as in the form of section 8 rents. If not, plan on about a 30 day process.

How Much Does it Cost to File an Eviction in Oklahoma?

Eviction is relatively inexpensive.
The process server will run you for less than $50. At least it costs $58 to file for eviction. Once you get the judgment from the court, you may have to pay for the Sheriff to meet you at the property to change the locks. At the time of this writing, the sheriff’s writ will cost you $115 in Oklahoma County.

Can You Evict a Tenant Without a Lease in Oklahoma?

In the state of Oklahoma, a landlord is allowed to evict a tenant who is renting without the benefit of a written lease, otherwise known as an “at-will” tenant, without cause. The process a landlord must follow to evict an “at-will” tenant depends upon the rental arrangement with the tenant.

Can the landlord change the lock for failure to pay rent?

NO, You must do a legal eviction to do so.

Can the Tenant change the Lock?

Generally, most lease agreements don’t allow the tenant to change the lock without the permission of the landlord. The lease can prevent tenants from changing the locks without notifying landlords and giving them a copy of the key immediately in states where the laws surrounding this are more restrictive.

How long after the eviction court date does the tenant have to move out?

The tenant has 48 hours to move

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