‘Your Safety Is Number One’: OKC Attorney Discusses Renters’ Rights During Cold Snap

Cold weather can cause problems for renters, but Oklahoma law protects people when living situations become unsafe.  

Friday, January 12th 2024, 10:47 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


Cold weather can spell problems for renters. Oklahoma law protects people when living situations become unsafe.  

The clock is ticking for one winter problem -- uncomfortable cold. Heat systems inside apartments and homes are a necessity when the air falls to dangerous levels.  

Landlords typically agree to supply heat, running hot and cold water, electricity, or other essential services. If something like heat fails, Oklahoma City attorney Ed Blau said you have a right to move out until the problem is fixed. “Your safety is number one,” Blau said. “There’s no contract that says you have to stay someplace that’s unhealthy or unsafe.” 

Renters who decide to move out must let their landlord know before they move out. 

“The landlord can either come in and fix the problem, or you can stay where you are and not be responsible for any rent,” Blau said. 

Tenants with apartment issues should take notes for evidence. “Document everything as well as you can," Blau said. 

Oklahoma state law allows renters to end their lease agreement if the landlord fails to fix the problem. “At no penalty to you,” Blau said. 

Blau said these situations can get complicated. “Eventually you might have to get an attorney to sort everything out,” Blau said. 

When problems arise during times like these – renters have a right to solutions.  OKlaw.org breaks down numerous rights for renters. The Metropolitan Fair Housing Council offers programs and services for people who need assistance with renting issues.

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