Bill modernizing Oklahoma’s eviction process clears committee

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 16:46

Bill modernizing Oklahoma’s eviction process clears committee Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Julia Kirt has won committee passage for her legislation to create a more balanced eviction timeline in Oklahoma. Senate Bill 1575 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“SB 1575 puts in statute what responsible, fair landlords already do when tenants can’t pay,” said Kirt, D-Oklahoma City. “The bill will still enable landlords to move quickly when they have tenants that have damaged their property or are using it for criminal activities. For other cases, we’ve simply added 5 days between filing and the earliest possible court date.”

Kirt said SB 1575 would extend the window for an eviction trial from a minimum of five days to 10 days and increase the summons timeline, the notification a tenant receives before they’re due in court, from at least three days to seven days. The legislation keeps the expedited trial timeline for cases with property damage or illegal activity.

“People who have been evicted are less likely to find future housing and employment,” Kirt said. “We need our system to encourage resolution before eviction whenever possible.”

Amanda Ewing is the executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies, representing 17 community action agencies across the state. Ewing said most community action agencies own or manage housing for low-income Oklahomans in communities throughout the state.

“We support modernizing Oklahoma’s eviction statutes because this five-day extension can give renters the time they need to get another paycheck or make other arrangements to pay their rent, something that shorter notice periods can often prevent,” Ewing said. “It’s better for Oklahoma families and communities.”

SB 1575 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

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