Oklahoma’s housing disaster focus of Okla Legislative interim examine

OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The litany of housing points that now we have examined in our multi-part collection ranges from the dwindling variety of native landlords accepting “vouchered” low-income tenants to the convoluted paperwork inflicting complications and competitors for the builders of low-income housing themselves. 

Clearly, there is no such thing as a one drawback, however many that each one have a big impact on folks in search of inexpensive housing.

One state consultant who desires to handle the housing challenge going through our state is Consultant Mickey Dollens, HD-93 in southside OKC. He has acquired official approval for a day of interim examine aimed toward what he says is his prime precedence heading into the following legislative session: serving to defend Oklahoma tenants from a predatory, corporate-controlled housing market.

“I made a decision to take this on first due to only a private feeling or what is true and incorrect,” Dollens mentioned, “but in addition simply from seeing how a lot Oklahomans help having a stage taking part in subject in the case of homeownership.”

HD-93 Consultant Mickey Dollens at an occasion selling Max’s Legislation that may set new requirements in state buildings for lodging to assist folks with disabilities. (file, BRETT DICKERSON/Okla Metropolis Free Press)

Two Research

Although they’re scheduled to happen on the identical date, September twelfth, the day will truly embody two separate-but-connected examine periods, one specializing in the more and more seen and problematic observe of out-of-state company landlords shopping for up housing in Oklahoma, and a separate examine to debate the necessity for stronger tenant safety legal guidelines.

Dollens has begun gathering a various committee of visitors and audio system with the hope of discovering actionable concepts that may result in formally proposed laws within the Home’s subsequent session.

“We’re going to debate the problems at hand and what others states and municipalities have accomplished to deliver forth some options,” Dollens mentioned. “There’s a bunch out of New York known as Cease Company Landlords, and so they’ve accomplished plenty of analysis and have discovered some precedent in different states that folks have tried. They’re going to be part of the examine.”

Moreover, Dollens is hoping to incorporate Mike Technique of the Oklahoma Dwelling Builders Affiliation, Will Roberts of the Oklahoma Affiliation of Realtors, and representatives from the Oklahoma Coverage Institute, however he additionally desires to listen to from the landlords themselves.

Company Landlords and Administration

As OKC has continued seeing main constructing and growth, with sprawling new residence complexes and single-family house neighborhoods bobbing up citywide, the creeping affect of company housing possession is turning into unavoidable. In some instances, native builders are finishing development on new neighborhoods and promoting on to out-of-state company pursuits, bypassing any native presumptive householders fully.

Dollens desires to listen to from the folks behind these practices as effectively.

“I additionally wish to usher in a few of these folks which have been labeled because the wrongdoer and listen to their facet,” he mentioned. “I’m going to search out the highest 5 greatest company landlords in the US and I’m going to ship them a proper letter from my workplace inviting them to be part of this examine to share their facet of the story.”

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Houses within the southeastern a part of Oklahoma Metropolis (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla Metropolis Free Press)

One in every of his chief pursuits in getting enter immediately from landlords within the examine is the doubtless massive variety of property administration corporations preying on out-of-state landlords that may in any other case not be related to company or non-public fairness pursuits.

“There are plenty of landlords who is probably not as nefarious,” Dollens defined, “but when they’re not inside visiting distance of Oklahoma, they may rent property administration corporations which can be predatory in nature. They’re overcharging the owner for providers and components, and consequently, in an effort to proceed their enterprise, the landlords haven’t any different possibility than to lift hire to have the ability to pay the property administration corporations, which causes these steep will increase and hikes that we’ve been noticing.”

Tenant Protections

Along with exploring legislative choices for regulating the way in which that out-of-state non-public fairness interacts with our state’s housing market, Dollens additionally desires to debate strengthening the power of tenants to guard themselves in opposition to predatory and retaliatory landlords.

Beneath present Oklahoma regulation, there are nearly no protections in opposition to landlords elevating hire costs in clear retaliation for a tenant reporting unhealthy or unsafe situations in a property to the Well being Inspector or Code Enforcement. 

It wasn’t till Governor Stitt signed HB 3409 into regulation in Might of this yr {that a} tenant might demand reimbursement for making vital repairs to a property if the owner had refused or ignored requests.

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Houses within the Historic Capitol Hill part of OKC simply south throughout the river from downtown. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla Metropolis Free Press)

“Oklahoma is certainly one of six states that doesn’t have anti-retaliation legal guidelines to guard tenants from vindictive landlords,” Dollens mentioned in a press assertion launched to announce the interim research. “Weak tenant safety legal guidelines appeal to out-of-state company buyers seeking to prey on susceptible Oklahomans.”

Each of those research inspecting the correlation between weak tenant safety legal guidelines and out-of-state company housing possession will happen September twelfth on the Oklahoma Capitol.

For extra info, or so as to add your individual experiences with company or retaliatory landlords to the dialog, you may attain Consultant Dollens at [email protected], or on Twitter and Instagram with the deal with @MickeyDollens.

Final Up to date July 23, 2022, 9:32 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor