As a landlord, navigating eviction proceedings can be complex and confusing. Failure to follow the law as outlined under the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act will result in the judge throwing out your case, costing you needless time and money. This is why we wrote this article explaining the major issues involved in an eviction action, to help you understand the process and follow the law.

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Issue #1 as You Navigate Oklahoma Eviction Laws: Termination of Tenancy

You cannot file an eviction action just because you want a tenant gone from your rental property. The tenancy must be first terminated. Of course, this is pretty straightforward if the tenancy is for a definite term, and it has come to an end. In such a situation the tenancy has passed its expiration date, and therefore the tenancy has expired.

However, if the tenancy is for a definite term where the term hasn’t ended, or if it is a month-to-month tenancy, you must first terminate the tenancy. You can do so by serving an appropriate written notice under the circumstances.

For example, if the tenant fails to pay rent when due, you may terminate the tenancy by serving a 5-day written notice to pay. This gives the tenant a 5-day opportunity to cure the issue. If the tenant fails to pay the rent owed by the 5-day period, the tenancy has been terminated and you may file an eviction action.

You may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by serving a 30-day written notice to quit. At the end of the 30-day period, the tenancy terminates under the law. You may initiate an eviction action after the 30-day period is over.

Similarly, if the tenant violates a lease term, you may terminate the tenancy by serving a 15-day written notice to comply. If the tenant fails to comply within 10 days of the notice, the tenancy will terminate 15 days from the day of notice. At this point, you may file an eviction action.

Issue #2 as You Navigate Oklahoma Eviction Laws: Proper Written Notice

As discussed in the above section, in most cases a proper written notice is required before you can even start the eviction process. The most common notices used in an eviction action are a 5-day notice to pay, a 30-day notice to quit, and a 15-day notice to comply. As a property manager, make sure a proper notice was served before you file the eviction action with the court.

Issue #3 as You Navigate Oklahoma Eviction Laws: Proper Service of Notice

A lot of landlords and property managers get this part wrong, causing them to redo the entire process. Just posting a notice is not sufficient. Under the law, the notice must be served on the tenant as prescribed by Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. You can do so in one of the three ways: (1) in-person service on the tenant, (2) in-person service on a relative over the age of 12 who lives with the tenant, or (3) posting in a conspicuous place at the tenant’s place of residence.

Important reminder: If you serve the notice via the third option, which is by posting it on the tenant’s place of residence, you must also send the notice via certified mail. If you don’t, the judge will throw out your case due to a defective notice.

Issue #4 as You Navigate Oklahoma Eviction Laws: Gather Proper Documents

Your eviction case is only as strong as the evidence you present. Therefore, it’s important to gather relevant documents such as lease agreements, rent account ledgers, correspondence, and payment instructions, among other things. You will likely have to attend a hearing in front of a judge during the course of the eviction process. Having the proper documents handy will not only build your credibility in front of the judge but also helps you argue your case effectively.

Issue #5 as You Navigate Oklahoma Eviction Laws: Attending a Hearing

At the time you file the eviction lawsuit, the court clerk will provide you with the information on the assigned judge, date, time, and location of the hearing. You must arrive at the hearing and check in with the bailiff to let them know you are there. At the least, make sure you are present when the judge calls the name from the docket list. When your turn comes, the judge will ask both parties to come forward and ask you questions. If the judge rules in your favor, he or she will sign an order granting the eviction.

Issue #6 as You Navigate Oklahoma Eviction Laws: Follow the Proper Steps

Failure to follow proper steps in the eviction proceedings will result in an unnecessary delay or even a dismissal of your case. It’s important to carry out the steps to successfully execute the eviction process and request a Sheriff’s Writ to forcibly evict the tenants, if necessary.

General steps in an Oklahoma Eviction Action include:

  • Service of the 5-day, 30-day, or a 15-day written notice,
  • Service of the Petition and Summons,
  • Eviction hearing attendance,
  • Filing of the eviction order,
  • Filing of the Sheriff’s Writ of Assistance.

Eviction Attorney OKC: Eviction lawyer in Oklahoma City

If you are a landlord or a property manager who needs help with an eviction proceeding, we are happy to help. Vivid Niroula is a landlord-tenant attorney based in Oklahoma City, with experience in Oklahoma eviction laws, in Oklahoma County, Cleveland County, and Grady County. We take care of the entire process for you from start to finish, including, service of notice, petition, filing of the action, attending the hearing, and filing of the writ. You can reach us by calling our office at (405) 456-9250, or by filling out the Contact Us Form.