A holdover tenant is a tenant who refuses to leave after the lease term has expired and is in continued occupancy of the property without your permission. Such situations can be difficult for both the Landlords and the Tenants, therefore clear dialogue or communication is always the wise first step toward addressing such a situation. As a Landlord, it’s a good idea to communicate with the Tenant and ask for the reasons for his or her inability to move out before initiating eviction proceedings.

(1) Ask them to move: This may seem too obvious but it’s interesting to see that many holdover tenants’ situations immediately end up in eviction proceedings, where the Landlord could have saved a lot of time and money with a simple request to the Tenant asking them to move. If the lease has expired and the Tenant still lives in the property, start the dialogue and send a reminder that the lease has expired and the property must be returned to you. Such a request may be made verbally or in writing because it’s more of a common courtesy than a legal process at this point.

(2) Agree to a month-to-month tenancy while they look for a place: If the Tenant needs some additional time to find another place, or has unexpected life events preventing them from immediately moving out, you may create a tenancy at will, or a month to month tenancy – under such tenancies the Tenant pays rent each month at the current rate. Such an arrangement is the best course of action in many circumstances. It makes the whole process amicable, smoother, and less expensive. At-will tenancy is a tenancy where either the Landlord or the Tenant may terminate the relationship at any time, however, in Oklahoma you are required to give a 30-day written notice before you may terminate such a tenancy.

(3) Sue for possession and money damages: If the Tenant refuses to leave, and is in continued possession of the property without your permission, in Oklahoma, you may immediately bring an eviction action for possession and damages. Oklahoma law does not require a Landlord to serve a written notice to a holdover tenant before filing an eviction lawsuit. The rationale behind this is that the written lease agreement for a definite term clearly lays out the date of lease termination, and therefore the tenancy is over on that specific day. To start the eviction proceeding you must (1) file a forcible entry and detainer petition with the court, (2) serve the petition and summons on the tenant, (3) attend a court hearing, and (4) file a writ of execution.

OKC Eviction Lawyer serving Oklahoma County, Logan County, Cleveland County, and Grady County

If you are a Landlord who needs help in the eviction process, contact us immediately. Vivid Niroula is a real estate attorney based in Oklahoma City, with a solid understanding and experience of the Oklahoma eviction process. We move quickly and make sure the entire process is done correctly. You can contact us by calling the office number (405) 456-9250 or by filling out the Contact Us Form on this website.