The restrictions enacted in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic seam to be winding down in Oklahoma, and the local economy is making its recovery.

In Oklahoma City, the mask mandate has been lifted, and most businesses are making efforts to get back to operating at pre-pandemic activity levels, though this varies from business to business. Some businesses never made it through the pandemic and many are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels of revenue. But the effort is there to return to normal.

However, the effects of the pandemic are quite visible in both the housing market, and the job market.

In this article, we will touch on the first of those two topics: the housing market.

Effects of the Pandemic on the Housing Market in Oklahoma

What the pandemic has done is create a shortage of supply and a corresponding surge of demand in the housing market.

What has caused the shortage of supply? Several things.

New construction was slow and therefore supply of newly constructed homes and apartments was way down compared to usual. This means many would-be buyers and renters had less options in this department.

Even greater impact came from the moratorium placed on foreclosures, which has largely contributed to  shortage of housing. The various responses by state, federal, and local governments was to restrict operations of many types of business, which caused shortage of revenues to theses businesses, which caused layoffs and even closure of many businesses.

Overall, many people were making less money.

Lack of income caused many people to fall behind in their mortgage payments. However, other government intervention prevented the banks for initiating foreclosure process to seize those houses, which would have gone back on the market to be traded. So there were less listings on the market of houses for sell even though many people were in situations where they ordinarily would have listed their house for sale.

The same scenario has played out in the rental market. Landlords who would normally be evicting tenants for non-payment have been uable to do so. These landlords have fallen behind on their mortgages, but the banks cannot take action to seize the property.

So if you are a tenant looking for a place to rent, there are less options available, because of a lack of new construction, a lack of houses and apartments to rent (because the landlords cannot evict the tenants).

Oklahoma Landlords and Property Managers have stricter standards for tenant’s background history

There are so many tenants looking for a place to live, but fewer and fewer options available. This is not a soft “buyer’s market,” this is a hard market, a “seller’s market” to use the Wallstreet lingo.

So for the landlords who do have places to rent, they are able to charge a premium for rent, and they are able to have the strictest standards for who they will allow to live at their property.

A property manager has so many people applying to stay at their rental properties, that they can pick and choose who they rent to. They will look at credit reports, rental history, and of course, a person’s criminal record of arrest and prosecution.

The most common way to view this information is to run a criminal history report with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). It only costs $15, and they will usually make the prospective tenant pay for it.

This report will list all of the interactions the person has had with the police, and the court system. All arrests and prosecutions will be listed on the OSBI report.

In a normal market, a landlord may overlook something as petty as a misdemeanor marijuana charge. But in a super competitive, hard market, seller’s market? The landlord or property manager will have no incentive to overlook anything, because of the larger number of tenants and applicants.

So what can you do to gain the advantage in the Oklahoma housing market?

Expunge your Record and Oklahoma property managers will never know your true criminal history.

The best thing for any prospective tenant looking for a nice place to live is to make sure their past criminal record is expunged. Why?

If you expunge your record, no member of the public will be able to see it. When they perform an OSBI check, the resport will come back stating “No Record Found.” When you look on ODCR.net or OSCN.net, those court cases will no longer be there. The police report will not be available at the police station.

In addition, you receive the legal right to deny the existence of the arrest or the charge. When asked in person, or on an application or any type of legal document, you can legally state that you have never been arrested or charged with a crime.

If you Expunge your record, you will have an easier time renting an apartment in Oklahoma

If you have a clean criminal record, you will find that it will be much easier to find a suitable place to live. On the other hand, if you have a record that has drug charges, domestic violence charges, harassment, or theft charges, it will be almost impossible for you rent a nice place in a nice neighborhood. Like, it’s not even close. No real estate property manager in Oklahoma will lease a residential space to a tenant who has any of the above offenses on their record. They just don’t have to, because there are way too many other applicants to lease to.

Hire an Oklahoma Expungement attorney to expunge your record

Getting your record expunged in Oklahoma is actually very easy and convenient if you choose the right law office.

We expunge hundreds of records every year for our clients, and we make the process as convenient as possible. You simply contact us by whatever means you most prefer, whether by phone, email, or video conference, or in-person at our office. You choose.

Next, we will obtain the information we need to determine your expungement eligibility. We will then quote you a price. The next step is getting a down payment from you. Once we have verified your information and have your down payment, your job is done. And all of this can take place in a single phone call in less than five minutes, or it can take place over a series of 2 or 3 emails. You decide.

Afterwards, we will proceed with filing your petition for expungement in court. We will get a hearing date from the judge, and then we will work behind the scenes to get the District Attorney, the OSBI and whatever other police agencies are involved, to agree and sign off on the expungement.

You will not have to come to court or do anything at all. We will handle everything and we will usually have all of this accomplished in around 60 days or less.

To get started, send us an email or call 405-724-8112.

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