Safeguard Your Lease Agreement
Video Transcribed: Using cease and desist letters to enforce landlord obligations in Oklahoma. I’m Tulsa Attorney James Wirth doing a series of videos regarding cease and desist letters and how they can be utilized in Oklahoma.
This one deals with the landlord and tenant issues. So if you are renting, there are certain obligations both in your lease agreement and as well under Oklahoma law, that a landlord must meet up to. If they promise to do something in the lease, they need to do so. There are minimum requirements in Oklahoma statutes that they need to meet. If your landlord is not meeting those, there are certain things that you can do, but maybe one of the first things you want to do is a cease and desist letter. So a cease and desist letter is a formal letter written up. It is not a court filing. It does not have court oversight.
It is not pursuant to a state statute, but it is more of a notice. But you want to make it formal, generally by having an attorney or a law office do it, putting it on that law office letterhead, having the lawyer sign off on it, serving it by certified mail, both to show that it’s serious and to have proof that they received it. Or, go a step further, serve it by a process server so that you have proof of it and it also sends a more impactful message.
That’s going to line out what they’re doing, what the law requires them to do, either based on the lease agreement or based on Oklahoma statute, and demanding that they comply with the statute, that they stop doing what they shouldn’t be, or that they do what they are required to do so they can get back into compliance. And then noting what the potential consequences are of not doing so, whether that is a civil lawsuit for breach of contract or something along those lines. Or in some cases, it could be a referral for criminal prosecution. Generally, with landlords, that’s not the case.
Then hopefully, that gets it resolved. They note that you’re being serious about this, that you have retained an attorney, and that they know what they need to do and they need to do it in order to avoid a potential civil lawsuit. So it can be effective. Even if it’s not effective though, it is nice to have that documentation that they were given notice opportunity to cure, and they refuse to do so. That can help lay the groundwork for the lawsuit that you may file later.
So if you’re dealing with the circumstances with the landlord, tenant dispute is a cease and assist letter, the right thing for you to do? It might be, but you’re going to want to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially to see if it fits right for your scenario. To get something scheduled with a cease and desist lawyer in Tulsa at my office, you go online to makelaweasy.com.