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New Oklahoma law dumps annoyance of making home repairs onto renters…

9:26 AM EDT on May 11, 2022

Give credit to Oklahoma lawmakers. Even when they try to help renters, they find a way to screw them over.

Last week, Kevin Stitt signed HB 3409 into law. It's being pitched by our ruling class as a way to help renters who are stuck with cheap, lazy slumlords.

Because it appears to be a rare piece of sane Oklahoma legislation, it's not getting a bunch of media attention. The only write-up I could find was over at Channel 25:

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law that aims to help renters.

House Bill (HB) 3409 raises the cap for reimbursement if something in the apartment or rental home breaks and needs to be repaired.

The cap will raise from just $100 to one months rent reimbursement.

The new law will take effect on November 1.

On the surface, this new law – which was created by right-wing lawmakers and authorized by a former mortgage executive who was banned from banking in Georgia – seems like a good deal for renters.

We've all seen those infuriating news reports while watching TV news at our parents' house about those asshole slumlords who neglect their property and force tenants to live in squalor-like conditions. Now, if those landlords don't make needed and necessary property repairs, renters are empowered to find time between their two jobs to give their landlord a 14-day written notice, make the repairs themselves – and/or use their readily available credit or emergency savings to pay a contractor to do it – and then be reimbursed up to one month's rent, with a max of $1,000.

What a great deal, huh?!

In other news, I really wish this law was in effect when I was a landlord! Then I never would have needed to hire a property management company!

"Hey there. I'm calling to let you know our water heater is leaking all over the garage. It may need to be replaced." 

"Okay, well, why don't you guys just deal with that and I'll deduct the total from your rent."

Seriously, if you are a renter, what would you rather do? Just pay your normal month's rent and have the landlord replace the hot water heater like they're supposed to, or have them dump that responsibility and hassle onto you? It makes you wonder who this law really benefits.

Then again, maybe the positives outweigh the negatives here. As both a former landlord and a former rentee, I can say that the game is definitely stacked in the landlord's favor, and any law that helps renters who are stuck with a shitty landlord is a good thing, even if it can casually benefit property owners in the process. Plus, we can always trust Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma GOP lawmakers to do the right thing, and always have renters' best interests at heart.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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