Regardless of whether you are a landlord or a property manager, if you are reading this, you probably have a situation on hand that requires you to make an eviction decision pertinent to Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, under O.S. Title 41. My name is Vivid Niroula, and as an Oklahoma eviction lawyer based in Oklahoma City, I help Landlords and property managers just like you regain possession of your property, so you can get the property rent-ready and get back to generating cash flow.

How to evict someone in Oklahoma?

The residential eviction process in Oklahoma is covered under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act under Title 41 of Oklahoma Statutes, also called a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) action, which allows a Landlord or property owner to take possession of the rental property if the existing occupant refuses to leave after being given proper notice.

To evict an occupant in Oklahoma, first, the Landlord must make sure no valid rental agreement for a definite term exists or there isn’t a rental agreement that hasn’t reached an expiration date, then you must correctly serve a proper notice to the tenant, after which, you must file a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) petition with the county clerk, serve the petition and the summons on to the tenant, and lastly appear for a hearing before a judge, and after receiving the judgment file a writ of execution.

Things to consider before starting eviction proceedings in Oklahoma:

Before you start the eviction process it’s important to make sure that there isn’t a valid rental agreement for a definite term or that there isn’t a rental agreement that hasn’t expired yet. If there is a valid rental agreement for a definite term or the agreement has not reached its expiration, the Landlord must abide by the rental agreement, and therefore lacks legal grounds on which he or she may evict the tenant.

However, even if there is a valid rental agreement, Oklahoma law allows a Landlord to terminate a rental agreement for non-compliance with rental terms, by serving a written notice to the tenant specifying the violations and that the rental agreement will terminate in 15 days unless the noncompliance is remedied within 10 days. What are the types of eviction notices in Oklahoma has more information on this topic.

Landlord may terminated a tenancy by serving a 5-day notice to quit if the tenant is behind on payments and the rent past due. Unless the rent is paid in full within the 5-day period, the tenancy is deemed terminated. This gives the landlord legal right to pursue an eviction action.

If the tenant remains in possession of the property after the expiration of the rental agreement without a Landlord’s consent, the tenant turns into a holdover tenant, you the Landlord may immediately bring an action for damages or possession against a holdover tenant. However, if the tenant remains in possession of the property after the expiration of the rental agreement with the Landlord’s consent, please note that the consent to the tenant’s continued occupancy creates a month-to-month tenancy.

What is the eviction process in Oklahoma?

Under the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a Landlord must follow certain rules including proper notice requirements, filing of the Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) action, attending a court hearing to get the final judgment, and obtaining a writ of execution to successfully complete the eviction process. Oklahoma Landlords and property managers, I have broken down the process into three broad steps:

Step 1 in the eviction process in Oklahoma: A landlord must serve a Proper Notice to the tenant before commencing the eviction process.

The first step in the eviction process is to serve the tenant with proper notice, under Title 41 of Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant laws. When the rental agreement is a month-to-month tenancy or an at-will tenancy, the Landlord may terminate such a tenancy by serving a 30-day written notice on the tenant, called the 30-day notice to quit. Make sure that the notice to quit is served at least 30 days before the date termination is to be effective. But if the tenancy is for less than month-to-month, the Landlord may terminate such tenancy by serving a 7-day written notice on the tenant, but make sure that you serve the notice at least 7 days before the date termination is to be effective.

Please note that if there is a rental agreement for a definite term, the tenancy terminates on the date the term is set to expire, therefore, if the tenant continues possession without your consent, no written notice is required and you the Landlord may immediately bring an action for damages and possession.

If the tenant has failed to pay the rent after it is due, the Landlord may terminate the tenancy by serving a 5-day written notice on the tenant. Since this 5-day demand to pay notice is also considered to be a demand for possession, if the tenant fails to pay the amount due within five days of the notice the Landlord may then file an eviction action, without having to serve a 30-day notice to quit. The 5-day demand to pay notice and the subsequent eviction action applies to both the month-to-month and tenancy for definite term situations. (see Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41 § 131(B)).

Step 2 in the eviction process in Oklahoma: After serving proper notice to the tenant, the Landlord must file a Forcible Entry and Detainer Action (FED).

Now that you have served the proper notice appropriate to your situation on your tenant and waited for the requisite time period, it’s time to file the eviction action against the tenant, also called a Forcible Entry and Detainer Action (FED). You may file the petition at the county court clerk’s office of your county, in person, and by paying a $58 filing fee. During the filing of the petition, the court clerk will assign a judge to your case and set a hearing date. You must serve both the petition and summons on to the tenant, letting him know that an action has been filed against him and that he must appear for a hearing in front of a judge on the set date and time.

Step 3 in the eviction process in Oklahoma: Appearing at the Eviction Hearing and filing the Writ of Execution.

On the day of the hearing, you or your representative must appear in front of the judge and plead your case. After verifying the paperwork, if the judge rules in your favor he or she will grant you the possession of the residency and sign the journal entry to finalize your case – at this point, you are almost done with the process. You must then return to the court clerk and file a Writ of Execution by paying a fee, after which a deputy sheriff will be assigned to your case to post the eviction notice at the property. Under Oklahoma law, you must wait for 48 after posting the notice before the tenants can be removed from the property completing the eviction process.

How to properly serve a notice to quit, FED petition, or summons to a tenant in Oklahoma?

Landlords, whether you are serving a 30-day notice to quit, a 5-day demand for payment, or the petition and summons your eviction action may be thrown out for a lack of proper process if you do not follow the rules. Under the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, the written notices and the summons are to be served to the tenant personally. If the Landlord is unable to locate the tenant, he may serve a family member of the tenant who is older than 12 years old and residing with the tenant. However, if unable to personally serve the tenant or serve a family member, a landlord may satisfy the notice requirement by posting the notice at a conspicuous place somewhere on the property and mailing a copy to the tenant via certified mail.

In essence, there are three correct ways to serve a notice on the tenant – (1) in person, (2) to a tenant’s family member over the age of 12 and residing at the property, or (3) by conspicuously posting it on the property AND certified mailing it. However, it’s important to note that if you are seeking monetary damages (rent, late fees, etc.), in addition to the possession of the property, you must serve the notice in person, that’s the law.

Can a Landlord evict a person who is not on the lease in Oklahoma?

If an occupant of the property does not have the consent of or a rental agreement with the Landlord, or otherwise isn’t mentioned in the current lease, the Landlord is not required to go through eviction proceedings to force the person out. Put another way, a Landlord has the right to demand that such an occupant vacate the premise without having to serve a notice to quit on the occupant as required by the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Law. If the occupant wrongfully fails to vacate the premises, if convicted, he or she will be guilty of trespass and punished by a fine of up to $500. In short, as a Landlord. yes you may demand such an occupant vacate from the property, but without having to go through the eviction process. (see Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41 § 111(G)).

Eviction Lawyer Oklahoma City

As a real estate attorney and a Landlord lawyer in Oklahoma City, we work with Landlords of all sizes. Regardless of whether you manage one rental unit or hundreds, our goal is to help you handle the eviction process swiftly and efficiently, so you can focus on what matters the most, running a business and getting the property rent ready. Please feel free to reach out to us regarding your situation by calling our office at (405) 456-9250, emailing us at vivid@niroulalaw.com, or by filling out the Contact Us Form on this website.