In Oklahoma, there are certain laws and regulations regarding landlord/tenant agreements. Here are some basic things landlords need to understand to minimize liability and guard against costly disputes.
Landlords in Oklahoma are obligated to maintain their properties in such a way that provides for the personal safety of their tenants and all visitors to the properties. Specific details regarding such obligations vary by state. However, the following are typically included in retail and other commercial agreements:
- A main responsibility of a landlord is to make sure the building adheres to all construction codes.
- A landlord must provide a clean and appropriate water supply.
- Proper trash receptacles must be on-site as well.
- All necessary inspections regarding electrical wiring, asbestos, carbon monoxide detection, etc., must take place before finalizing an agreement.
- Landlords must make all necessary repairs to maintain habitability and use.
- A landlord must install adequate lighting and security to keep tenants and visitors as safe as possible.
Tenants, of course, are required to hold up their end of the bargain by paying regular rent to the landlord -- and by maintaining the property within reason and reporting any issues that could pose a liability to you.
For instance, the tenant should keep the property reasonably clean so as not to pose a safety or health risk to the extended community. There may also be regulations regarding noise levels or other situations that can be addressed in the contract. Landlords can file for eviction if tenants fail to adhere to the terms of their written agreements.
Resolving Landlord/Tenant Disputes
What happens if your tenant claims that you didn't respond properly to a repair request? What if someone breaks into the property and steals from you or the tenant and causes damage? What if someone files a premises liability claim seeking compensation for medical expenses and other costs?
These are all matters that you should address with the help of an experienced landlord rights attorney. For more on real estate law and protecting your investment, please see Teague & Wetsel's real estate overview.