Monday, September 14, 2009

Help! My Landlord told me to get out by tomorrow!

“Help! My landlord has given me 48 hours to leave my apartment and I have no place to go!”

Unfortunately, this was a real life plea I received just the other day.

The man on the phone told me that he’d had a dispute with his landlord (who occupied the bottom floor of a two-story dwelling) that the tenant and his pregnant wife and baby had rented the upper floor.

“Is that legal”, he wondered?

No, it is not legal. Not under Oklahoma law.

In order for a landlord to evict someone, they must file a Forcible Entry and Detainer action with the Small Claims court. That means that must get a court order. And although that is an abbreviated process, it’s going to take more than 48 hours. They cannot just summarily throw you out, or lock you out. If they do, they’re liable for big punitive damages. Nor can they try to “smoke you out” by cutting off the electricity or other utilities.

Bottom line: hold your ground. They cannot throw you out or take any other action to force you out without a court order.

If you have a consumer law issue that you’re concerned about, give me a call. I’d be glad to talk to you without an initial charge.

You can reach me at or 918 409-2462.

Weasel Words (aka disclaimer): This is not legal advice. This is a general interest blog post. Unless we have a signed representation agreement, I am not your attorney and you are not my client.

Member, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys