Bill passes allowing tenants to make repairs up to the cost of one-month’s rent

OKLAHOMA CITY – Reps. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, today passed a bill that would modify the repair and deduct portion of the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

House Bill 3409 would allow a tenant to correct a condition that materially affects health and is remediable by repairs if the cost is equal to or less than one month’s rent and if the landlord has not made the repairs. The tenant could deduct the cost from rent owned. Previously, the cost could not exceed $100. 

“Our landlord tenant laws are sorely outdated,” Bush said. “This cap has been in place since 1978, and we all know that $100 would not go very far in today’s economy to make necessary repairs.”

Bush said based on inflation, the $100 cap would equal $478 today. Instead of correcting this act each time inflation rises, however, she reached an agreement with landlords and tenants to set the cap at equal to or less than one month’s rent.

Bush said changes to the bill made before it was heard on the House floor reflect agreed-upon language from the Tulsa nonprofit Housing Solutions, Tulsa Apartment Association, Apartment Association of Central Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Association of Realtors.

The measure came together after an interim study Bush held last fall before the House Judiciary-Civil Committee. The study revealed some startling gaps in the state’s landlord-tenant laws. This is the first of the changes recommended for tenants who are struggling and whose landlords have been unresponsive in making timely repairs.

HB3409 will next be considered in the State Senate where Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, is the author.


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