House of Representatives

Tenant Rights, Homeownership Addressed in Interim Study Requests


6/22/2022 11:23:00 AM

Tenant Rights, Homeownership Addressed in Interim Study Requests

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma state lawmaker filed two interim study requests Tuesday focused on addressing the housing needs of many Oklahomans. 

One of the studies requested by Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-OKC, would examine the impact of unsafe and unhealthy renter conditions across Oklahoma, while the second study would review legislative solutions to Oklahoma’s current housing crisis.  

One area of concern to Dollens is Oklahoma’s lack of landlord anti-retaliation laws and how that affects living conditions for renters. Anti-retaliation laws prevent landlords from retaliating against a tenant for exercising their rights. For instance, if a tenant called the health inspector for unaddressed, unhealthy living conditions, in Oklahoma, the landlord could retaliate by raising the tenant’s rent with little to no protection for the renter. 

“Oklahoma is one of six states that doesn’t have anti-retaliation laws to protect tenants from vindictive landlords,” Dollens said. “Weak tenant protection laws attract out-of-state corporate investors looking to prey on vulnerable Oklahomans.”

Issues like homeownership by corporations have the potential to impact the living conditions of Oklahomans. According to the National Real Estate Association, Oklahoma is third in the nation for corporations owning homes. Additionally, many of these corporations aren’t from Oklahoma.

“Oklahomans deserve a fair shot at homeownership – especially veterans and first-time home buyers,” Dollens said. “Out-of-state corporate investors are gobbling up the housing market, creating an unfair playing field for everyday hardworking people who deserve the opportunity to own the American Dream, not rent it.” 

Each interim study request is reviewed and considered by the Speaker of the House. Decisions on interim studies are expected no later than Friday, July 29, 2022.

If you would like to take part in one of the interim studies or would like more information, contact Rep. Mickey Dollens by phone at (405)557-7371 or email at mickey.dollens@okhouse.gov

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