(The Center Square) – State Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, has requested an interim study so the Oklahoma House of Representatives can consider reforms to the Oklahoma Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
The study is being considered as remaining eviction moratoriums from the COVID-19 pandemic come to an end and both landlords and tenants find themselves in difficult situations. The hope is that the review and subsequent changes will help strengthen the rental market for landlords and provide fair policies for renters aimed at preventing homelessness.
"The operational and financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of proactive communication for all rental housing stakeholders – we all operate under the common goal of keeping people housed," Keri Cooper, executive director of the Tulsa Apartment Association, and Karey Landers, executive director of the Apartment Association of Central Oklahoma, told The Center Square in a joint statement. "To ensure the needs of renters and rental housing providers are represented in the law, it is critical that all stakeholders have a seat at the table for the interim study and that rental housing providers continue to have the ability to efficiently manage their communities."
Changes to the 1978 law over the years have included adding protections against discrimination for having a guide dog, extending that protection to all assistance animals, adding mobile homes, and requiring landlords to disclose past methamphetamine manufacturing.
"Anytime the Oklahoma Residential Landlord Tenant Act is examined it is an opportunity to benefit our state’s renters and rental housing providers, and we look forward to House Speaker Charles McCall’s decision on an interim study examining the law later this month," Cooper and Landers said. "We look forward to participating in an exchange of ideas to help Oklahoma’s rental housing providers and renters alike."