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Tulsa homeowner locked out of own home by tenant

Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 07:39:12-04

A Tulsa homeowner is upset that a tenant has locked him out of his house and refuses to leave.

"This man was invited to my house by my daughter, and he won't leave," says Roger Cook. He adds that the man was homeless at the time of the invitation.

He stands in front of his home that he's owned for 22 years on South Detroit Avenue feeling helpless. He's knocked on his front door repeatedly for the past three days to no avail.

The man on the other side doesn't open.

"I have a key to the deadbolt, but the doorknob is really old. Of course, I didn't know this was going to happen," says Cook.

It may seem like a squatter situation at first glance, but it goes beyond that.

Cook wrote a lease agreement, which the man signed on August 10. It states that he would rent the home for no longer than three months and pay $300, in addition to yard work.

However, Cook says the tenant didn't fulfill his duties and wants him out.

"He's brought drugs into the house," says Cook, who's now concerned about safety.

According to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, this is a civil matter between Cook and the tenant.

"Whether you're renting a property or a room or renting a storefront, that is your tenant. And if something happens and you want to change your mind, there are protections for tenants for various reasons," explains Deputy Justin Green.

When it comes to suspecting criminal activity inside a landlord's property, he clarifies the homeowner has every right to contact the authorities to investigate further.

Under Oklahoma's Landlord and Tenant Acts, a tenant shall "not engage in any drug-related criminal activity on or near the premises either personally or by any member of the tenant's household or any guest or another person under the tenant's control."

"Be cautious of who you're going to invite into your home. That's the number one thing I would tell you. If you make an agreement to allow someone to live in that home, that's something you'll have to think about the consequences to that," says Deputy Green.

Now, it's up to Cook to start an eviction notice, which he says he has begun.

"I've done everything I can do," says Cook.

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