The goal of a lease is to put all parties at ease by knowing exactly what their respective obligations are under the agreement. Leases help prevent problems that could arise in the future. Leases are proactive, as opposed to reactive, measures.
The Benefits of a written lease in Oklahoma
The first and primary benefit is that each party has a clear, written explanation of their rights and responsibilities.
A written lease benefits a tenant by locking in their rental rate, explaining in advance whether the rent will be increased in the future. The lease will also states how long the rental term will be, and how to properly cancel it if necessary.
Landlords benefit from having leases, again, because it sets out a clear explanation of the expectations of the parties. Landlords are most successful when their tenants are on the same page as them. In this regard, leases improve tenant compliance.
Does the landlord care if rent is paid on the 3rd or the 6th? Is there is a late fee or penalty? What if the tenant gets paid on the 15th of the month? These are reasonable questions that deserve answers in advance of the tenant moving in.
If the tenant defaults on paying the rent, the lease can explain to the tenant exactly what the landlord will do. This can reinforce the important of complying with the responsibilities of paying rent, or rules concerning pets, or use of the property in general.
Written Leases are easier to enforce in Court
Landlords with written leases have an easier time in court than Landlords who do not. Written leases enable the Landlord to more clearly and definitely make a claim for eviction to the judge. With a written lease, a landlord has captured all of the detailed aspects of the terms of the tenancy, such as returning the deposit, specifics of how pet fees apply, and how to handle damage to the property. This makes taking the case to court an easier process, with a better chance of success.
Also, Judges love and prefer cases with written leases. It makes their job easier. It cuts down on the amount of “he said, she said” disputes that they would have to decide. Judges would much rather look at a copy of the lease and then make a cut and dry decision.
Problems that arise when Landlord does not have a lease
Many problems can arise for the landlord that does not have a lease. The simplest type of problem is a tenant paying the rent late because he doesn’t any better. This can range from an annoying problem for the landlord to a serious interruption on cash flow. Late tenant payments can interfere with the landlord’s other obligations, like the mortgage.
Other problems that arise without a clearly written lease are things like enforcing rules, such as pet restrictions. When the case comes to court, the judge will have two versions of the story, from the landlord and from the tenant. Having a lease prevents this situation from happening, as the terms are in writing.
Without a written lease, how do you know when the lease term or tenancy ends?
The biggest problem with not having a written lease is not having a clear ending date for the lease term or tenancy. Was the tenancy for one year or six months? These details affect the procedure of the eviction process.
Oklahoma law requires a Landlord to give 30 days notice to a tenant who is on a mont-to-month lease. A month-to-month lease means that either party — the landlord or the tenant — can cancel the lease at any time as long as they give 30 days notice. So if a Landlord decides to evict a tenant on a month to month lease in order to end the tenancy, the landlord must serve written notice 30 days in advance.
However, if there is a written lease, the law says that the Landlord does not have to provide notice to vacate. The lease itself is written notice of when the tenancy ends and when the tenant is required to vacate. But if there is no written lease, now a judge has to decide when exactly the lease ended. Many questions will arise as to how long the original term was to be, and whether it was ever converted to a month-to-month, thereby requiring 30 days written notice.
Hire Oklahoma Landlord Lawyer, call or text 405-701-6016
The Solution is to have a written lease. If you do not have a reliable form, you can contact our office to prepare one for you. If you need a lawyer to handle your eviction for you, then contact our office. You can complete this form and we will contact you. Or you can call or text our office at 405-701-6016.
We are a law office that represents Landlords in Oklahoma. We handle evictions as well as drafting leases, notices, and other documents that Landlords need to be successful in their rental property business.