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Renters' Rights: What to do when a neighbor is arrested on drug charges and returns to the property

Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 13:24:26-04

TULSA, Okla. — Most residents want to live in communities safe and free from crime, but if you live in an apartment and the neighbor is arrested on drug charges, getting them to move isn’t easy.

Michael contacted the 2 Works for You Problem Solvers about a similar issue. He wanted to know when the landlord can evict criminals.

Tulsa Apartment Association Executive Director Keri Cooper said renters do have rights, and the landlords have responsibilities to keep residents safe.

In a scenario where your neighbor is taken away in handcuffs, and you hear it is due to a drug arrest, what can you do when the person taken into custody reappears and your landlord doesn’t make them move out?

Cooper said it’s a challenge.

“One of the things is if they know that this person has been arrested for drugs and they're concerned about it, talk to your property manager because the property manager doesn't necessarily know that this person, who has been arrested for drugs, they don't get reports from the police department,” Cooper said. “So, the only way they're going to know is if someone tells them, or they witness it or something like that occurs."

Cooper adds an arrest isn't the same as a conviction.

“Arrests don't necessarily mean that there's guilt,” she said. “The judicial process has to play out in that… many times they have to wait for the actual conviction, it can't just be an arrest."

Cooper said while the aim of the landlord is to provide a safe place to live, they also have to wait for the law to take its course.

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