Thursday 24th April 2014
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How to Evict an Oklahoma City tenant

`One question I got recently from a friend of mine is what to do about a tenant who had not paid rent.  In fact, they were approximately 30 days late. My first question was why he’d waited this long without taking action.  He told me they had strung him along, making promise after promise which they had not kept.

Their are a number of ways your OKC property management company should handle collection of late rents.  In this article, I’m going to just go over what we do to handle the eviction of an Oklahoma City metro area tenant.  First of all, we don’t start with eviction as the answer the first day tenant is late.

The first step is for the property management company to give the tenant a five-day notice to quit.  This notice will state the balance you believe the tenant actually owes for rent and any other charges you believe they owe.  You should give them this notice the first day they are late.

In addition, your property management company should make an attempt to contact that tenant by phone, text, and/or email to find out what they plan to do.  Be careful to only make one attempt to contact them per day as to not violate collections laws.  If the tenant answers the phone, your property management company should pin them down on when they will bring you money.  They should not let me go for more than a few days without paying something.  What OKC Home Realty Services, LLC requires is at least 50% of the rental payment by the 10th, or we’ll take them to court.  We may not extend this courtesy (and are not required to) if circumstances dictate we should do otherwise.  If they don’t answer the phone, text, and/or email, we will attempt to see if they may have moved out of the property.  If they have moved out under cover of night, we will move for eviction right away to get legal possession of the property.

We ready to file for eviction, we prepare the documents to filed with the court house, and file them with the county court clerk.  A process server must serve the court papers to the tenant.  You can get the Sheriff to this, but it’s better to have a private process server take care of it.

If the process server is able to deliver the papers in hand to the tenant, you may be entitled to a money judgment if the judge finds for you in court.  If the process server is not able to give personal serve to the tenant, he must post it on the property and must send by certified mail copies to the tenant.  In this case, you may only be entitled to possession of the property if the judge finds for you.

When you appear in court, you’ll need to have all the right paperwork.  That’s going to include a copy of your lease, the five day notice, proof of service, and any other evidence you wish to present.  In addition, you must provide to the judge a statement as to whether or not the tenant is in the military.

Once the judge finds for you, the tenant must move from the property.  If they refuse to move, you may have to get a writ of assistance from the judge to have a Sheriff lock them out of the property.

On the other hand, you can hire an attorney to handle this whole process for you.

We provide this service for our property management clients at no additional cost except for court filing fees and the fee for the process server.

By the way, the day after my friend went to court and got possession of his property, the tenants filed bankruptcy.  But that’s another story.

I am not an attorney.  This is not legal advice.  For legal advice, contact an attorney.
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