According to Rent.com, many are seeing an increase in rent prices. Meaning every dollar is being stretched further.
With the new bill House Bill 3409, renters will be able to withhold more money up to the amount of their monthly rent. They can use that money to make repairs.
From 1978 until now, renters were only able to deduct up to $100 worth of repairs from their rent payment. And only when landlords would not act on an issue of health or safety.
House author of the bill, Tulsa Rep. Carol Bush, said several groups came together to find a way to update the decades-old Landlord-Tenant Act.
Bush told News 9 landlords came seeking relief from issues caused by COVID cash-flow problems,
“They were still having to make their mortgage payment, they were still having to pay the utilities, and they were not getting any relief,” Rep. Bush said.
Oklahoma City Rep. Forrest Bennett worked on the interim study.
“Oftentimes, we’re talking about folks who are living paycheck to paycheck, and every dollar has a job, and every time you have an unexpected repair, it's not like it is for a lot of folks in Oklahoma, this can really upend your life, and your families’ life,” Rep. Bennett said.
Last year, an entire apartment complex in Tulsa closed due to health risks to tenants.
The measure had bipartisan support amongst legislators.
The Oklahoma Association of Realtors also approved the bill.
Next session, we could see another update to make changes to the bill's anti-retaliation clause.