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Bullets rip through Tulsa apartment: What are tenant rights?

Posted at 3:18 PM, May 21, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Billy Allen asked his landlord to move his family to another unit in his apartment complex after bullets fired by someone outside ripped through his bathroom wall.

"They said it wasn't a good enough reason for me to get a transfer," Allen said. "I didn't understand that."

2 News asked Eric Hallett, coordinator of Housing Advocacy for Legal Aid of Oklahoma, what state law says about this type of situation.

"Crime happens," Hallett said. "It's not the landlord's fault any more than it's the tenant's fault. The landlord is required to provide a habitable unit, but they don't have to protect you from outside forces that could come in and disturb your peace."

He cautioned renters who break a lease because they feel unsafe could be required by their landlord to pay a penalty when they leave. But there is an exception.

"If the bullets were coming through your window because a former love interest was harassing you or if you were targeted for crime by someone that you were formally in a relationship with," Hallett said. "You can seek a protective order from the district court. If you get a protective order, you can present that to your landlord, and the landlord has to let you leave without penalty."

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