COVID-19 Information for Oklahoma
The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.
State and Local Affiliates
Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.
State Legal and Regulatory Information
We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.
Oklahoma is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening plans. Under Phase 3, businesses will resume unrestricted staffing on worksites and open to full capacity, but are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.
Face Mask Mandate
Oklahoma has not mandated the wearing of face masks.
State of Emergency
Governor Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency on March 15, 2020.
Status: Local Court Discretion
- Action: The Supreme Court of Oklahoma order staying civil cases is ambiguous regarding its application to eviction cases. Many county-level district courts have stayed civil cases, but explicitly exempted forcible detainer and entry proceedings. The Supreme Court has closed all courts to public and extended court deadlines and statute of limitations through May 15, 2020 but has stated they will begin to run and courts will begin to schedule non-jury hearings on May 16, 2020. The court has also stated that orders issued from March 16 to May 15, 2020 are presumptively valid and enforceable, which means that the over 1,500 orders of eviction issued since the beginning of the pandemic will be enforceable once law enforcement personnel are available.
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
No statewide emergency rental assistance for Oklahoma.
No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Oklahoma Statutes Title 11. Cities and Towns § 11-14-101.1.
Price Gouging Law
Under Oklahoma Code § 15.777.4, it is unlawful to sell, rent, or lease any goods or services, including dwelling units, at a rate of 10 percent more than a good or services price immediately prior to the declaration of emergency. This statutory language holds for the duration of a declaration of emergency and for 30 days thereafter. Upon expiration of the state of emergency, no individual shall sell, rent, or lease any goods or services, including dwelling units, at a rate of 10 percent more than good or services price immediately prior to the declaration of emergency. This statutory language holds for 180 days proceeding the expiration of a state of emergency.
Business Liability Protections
On Thursday, May 21, 2020, Gov. Stitt enacted protections for businesses against civil liability. Under the rules, businesses are protected against civil liability claims resulting from customer or employee exposure to COVID-19 while on premises if the business follows applicable federal, state, and local safety guidelines.
Local Legal and Regulatory Information
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
Governor Kevin Stitt announced a new grant program to support Oklahomans impacted by the presence of COVID-19. Leveraging CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), the State is dedicating $10 million towards an Eviction Mitigation grant program in partnership with local non-profits.
The Eviction Mitigation program will provide reimbursements to organizations paying landlords for rental assistance to individuals or families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual and families will be capped at $3,600 in eviction mitigation. Administered through local non-profits, the State is partnering in Tulsa County with Restore Hope, Schusterman Family Foundation, Legal Aid and Community Action and in Oklahoma County with Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, Inasmuch Foundation, Legal Aid, Community Action Partnership and Upward Transitions. More information can be found here.