Do you have rental properties in Tulsa and find yourself asking: How do I evict my tenant? Are your tenants not paying their rent? Are your tenants doing drugs or committing other crimes? If so, it is time to retain a skilled and talented Oklahoma eviction lawyer to get those troublesome tenants out of your property. The sooner you file, the faster your rental properties will be back to generating rent.
Tulsa eviction cases are civil matters heard in the Oklahoma district courts. The district courts are the trial courts and the courts of general jurisdiction in Oklahoma. There is a district court in each of the state's 77 counties which are then grouped into 26 judicial district. Being located in Tulsa County, Tulsa evictions are heard by judges in the Tulsa County District Court.
To evict a residential tenant, you must follow these steps:
1. Give Notice to tenant (unless crimes are being committed, then no notice is required)
2. File an forcible entry and detainer lawsuit
3. Serve summons of lawsuit on tenant
4. Go to court
5. If tenant does not move out, have the Tulsa County Sheriff execute a Writ of Restitution also called a Writ of Assistance
The type of notice that a landlord in Tulsa, OK must give depends on the reason for evicting the tenant. The various types and reasons are governed by the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act ("ORLTA"), codified at 41 Okla. Stat. §§101-136.
For non-payment of rent, a five-day notice or demand is required under 41 Okla. Stat. § 131(B).
Under §§ 126 and 127 of the ORLTA, landlords can impose reasonable rules and regulations. Likewise, tenants have certain obligations like the duty to keep the premises clean and not be too noisy. If an Oklahoma tenant is violating the rules and regulations and/or violating their duties under the ORLTA, then a ten-day notice is required. 41 Okla. Stat. § 132(B).
If the tenant does not cure the violations, there is a five-day waiting period before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
Any subsequent breach of the lease or noncompliance allows the landlord to immediately terminate the lease and begin eviction proceedings. A No-Day-No-Cure Notice must be given to the tenant. 41 Okla. Stat. § 132(B).
Section 132(C) of the ORLTA allows a landlord to immediately file an eviction lawsuit if the tenant is violating the lease in such a manner as to cause or threaten to cause imminent and irremediable harm to the premises or to any person. Notice is required and tenant must correct the violations "as promptly as conditions require."
If you need an eviction of this sort, it is essential to retain a qualified eviction attorney.
Section 132(D) of the ORLTA allows a landlord to immediately file an eviction lawsuit if there is:
On its face, §132(D) does not require notice. But, If you need an eviction of this sort, it is essential to retain qualified legal counsel.
Month-to-month leases require a 30-day Notice To Quit and a week-to-week rental requires a 7-day Notice To Quit.
If your tenant is holding over and remains in possession after the lease expires, you can begin a lawsuit for possession immediately without notice. But self-help is not allowed.
Personal delivery is best, but there are posting options if the notice is also mailed by certified mail. 41 Okla. Stat. § 111(E).
In Tulsa, evictions are handled as small claims cases. As such, no formal complaint is needed. Eviction lawsuits are called a "Forcible Entry And Detainer Action" often abbreviated as "FED". Okla. Stat. tit. 12 § 1148.1
To file the lawsuit, a landlord or the landlord’s attorney must go to the Tulsa County courthouse and file the following documents:
The filing fee is somewhere between $60 and $135 for the landlord depending on how much back rent is being claimed.
Eviction complaints must be served on your tenant in person. The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office can attempt personal service or you can hire a private licensed special process server.
If you need help evicting your tenant, contact an experienced Tulsa eviction lawyer with the skills and experience to get your tenants evicted. Renting property is a business. Well-run businesses use professionals to make sure the tasks are done properly. Every landlord needs a skilled eviction attorney.