Looking for clear and concise information on Arkansas landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Arkansas Landlord Tenant Act.
AR Landlord Tenant Law
The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging around $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.
A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.
Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks. Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)
The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap. 42 U.S.C. § 3604
*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.
In addition, Arkansas landlord tenant law disallows landlords from discriminating against someone as a renter because he or she is a victim of domestic abuse. Ark. Code § 18-16-112.(b)(1)
However if the dwelling has four or less rental units and the landlord lives in one of them, then he or she won't have to follow the above Fair Housing laws. 42 U.S.C. § 3603(b)
(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.
To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.
Unless the tenancy agreement specifies a fixed term lease, the landlord
and tenant will enter into a month to month tenancy by default. If the
tenant is paying rent weekly (instead of monthly), then the tenancy will
be week to week. Ark. Code § 18-17-401.(c)
Arkansas landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
In addition, the Arkansas Landlord Tenant Act does recommend that rental agreements include the following: rent details, tenancy type and duration, landlord's rights (and responsibilities), tenant's rights (and responsibilities). Ark. Code § 18-17-401
According to Arkansas landlord tenant law, your lease agreement CANNOT:
Arkansas landlord tenant law allows the landlord to ask for up to two month's rent as security deposit. Ark. Code § 18-16-304
If the landlord owns five or less dwelling units, then there is no maximum limit to the amount of security deposit he or she can ask for. Ark. Code § 18-16-303.(a)
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Arkansas landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 60 days - This list and remaining deposit have to be sent together by first class mail. The list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing. Ark. Code § 18-16-305.(a)
If the landlord fails to follow Arkansas landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover up to two times the amount of security deposit. Ark. Code § 18-16-306.(b)
If the remaining security deposit is returned to the landlord (undeliverable) AND the landlord is unable to locate the tenant after making a reasonable effort, the landlord may keep the deposit after 180 days (from the mailing date of the deposit). Ark. Code § 18-16-305.(b)(2)
Little Rock, Arkansas AR
The tenant has to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment.
By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid on the same day of every month. Rent is to be collected at the rental property. Ark. Code § 18-17-401.(b)(1),(2)
The Arkansas landlord tenant handbook recommends tenants to pay their rent by check and state what they are paying for (e.g. which month's rent) on the check itself. Paying by check is preferred because there will be an automatic receipt when the landlord cashes it and the tenant can also cancel a check it if gets lost in the mail.
If the tenant paying rent by cash or money order, he or she should ask the landlord for a receipt.
There are no Arizona landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments.
If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement. While there are no state laws on late fees, landlords cannot overcharge or impose unfair terms. Otherwise the tenant can refuse to pay and challenge the late fees in court.
Most states consider reasonable late fees to be around 3 to 5% of the rent amount. In addition, landlords should wait until rent payment is at least three days late before charging late fees.
There are no specific Arizona landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
The Arkansas Landlord Tenant Act does NOT require the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition UNLESS it is stated in the tenancy agreement that the landlord has to maintain the property. Ark. Code § 18-16-110
Arkansas landlord tenant law Ark. Code 18-17-601 requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition:
Photo by Nicholas Henderson
According to Arkansas landlord tenant law Ark. Code § 18-17-602.(a), the landlord is allowed to enter the property for the following reasons:
The landlord has to inform the tenant in advance before entering the property. While the Arkansas Landlord Tenant Act doesn't spell out how long, most U.S. states require the landlord to inform the tenant at least 24 to 48 hours in advance. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours.
Arkansas landlord tenant law does NOT state when landlords are able to enter the property without permission.
Most other U.S. states allow the landlord to enter the property without the tenant's consent in the following situations:
We recommend including this section in your rental agreement to grant the landlord property access in the above situations.
The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. The tenant cannot change the locks on the property without the landlord's permission as well. Ark. Code § 18-17-602
Otherwise the landlord can EITHER
In addition, the landlord may also sue the tenant for actual damages plus attorney fees. Ark. Code § 18-17-705
There are no specific Arkansas landlord tenant laws on subletting.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Arkansas landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy. This applies for both written and verbal leases.
For a week to week tenancy, you must give this notice at least 7 days before the termination date. Ark. Code § 18-17-704.(a)
For a month to month tenancy, you have to give this notice at least 30 days in advance. Ark. Code § 18-17-704.(b)
If the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse, the landlord CANNOT terminate (or refuse to renew) the tenancy agreement because of domestic abuse.
If the tenant is able to obtain the landlord's permission, he or she can change the locks to the property and give the landlord a copy of the new keys (as soon as possible). The landlord can also agree to change the locks himself and give the tenant a copy of the new keys. In both cases, the tenant will have to pay for the costs of changing locks. Ark. Code § 18-16-112.(b)(2)
According to Arkansas landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.
If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord may terminate the tenancy after five days. If the rent is paid within five days, the tenant may stay. Ark. Code § 18-17-701.(b)
If the tenant did not pay rent because he or she had the intention to deceive, then the landlord may also sue the tenant for attorney fees (if any).
We would like to thank Ernest B. Cates, Springdale City Attorney for the following contribution:
"I noticed that you listed 'fail to pay rent or vacate (Ark. Code Ann. 18-16-101)' as an 'eviction method' in your materials. We are very intentional in making landlords aware that this particular statute is not an eviction statute. I believe my office is only one of a few City Attorney's Offices in the entire state that will even file 'fail to pay rent or vacate' cases, as the legislature has taken the teeth out of this statute, so to speak, as the only possible penalty is a small fine."
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement, the landlord can send the tenant a 14 day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within 14 days, the tenant may stay. Ark. Code § 18-17-701.(a)
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement on purpose, then the landlord may also sue the tenant for attorney fees (if any).
If the tenant is an offender of domestic abuse under court orders to stay away from a co-tenant staying in the rental property, the landlord can terminate the tenancy agreement of the tenant (who is the domestic abuser).
In addition, the landlord may also sue the tenant for any unpaid rent and damages. Ark. Code § 18-17-701.(c)
If the tenant continues staying on the property (without the landlord's consent) after the rental agreement expires or is terminated, the landlord can sue to evict the tenant.
If the tenant overstayed on purpose with the intention to deceive, the landlord can also sue the tenant for three month's rent or two times the amount of actual damages (whichever is more) PLUS attorney fees. Ark. Code § 18-17-704.(c)
According to Arkansas landlord tenant law Ark. Code § 18-17-902, there are three methods of evicting a tenant: Unlawful Detainer, Municipal Court, Civil Eviction
Unlawful Detainer: The landlord can file an unlawful detainer action if the tenant has violated the terms of the lease agreement or failed to pay rent. If the tenant doesn't vacate the property within three days, the landlord can proceed to obtain an eviction order and sue the tenant for damages.
Municipal Court: This simpler eviction method can be only used if the tenant failed to pay rent AND refuse to vacate the property within ten days (after being informed to vacate). The landlord shall go to the legal authorities to report it as a misdemeanor - The tenant will be issued a citation and has to appear before a judge at a hearing.
Civil Eviction: If the tenant is more than five days late in paying OR the tenant fails to fix his or her lease agreement violations within 14 days, the landlord can file a complaint and supporting *affidavit with the District Court to being the eviction process. In this case, *affidavit is a written statement that the landlord swears to be true and it is signed in front of an authorized witness (notary public).
For more details on the above eviction methods, we recommend that you see pages 6 to 11 of the Arkansas Landlord Tenant Handbook.
According to Arkansas landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing.
According to the Arizona landlord tenant handbook, there are two scenarios where (it can be assumed that) the tenant has abandoned the property:
Scenario One: ALL three conditions are met
Scenario Two: ALL four conditions are met
Once the property is abandoned, the landlord may retake it and re-rent it. As long as the landlord makes a proper effort to re-rent the property at a fair rate, the abandoning tenant will be responsible for paying rent until the tenancy ends.
According to AK landlord tenant law, all belongings left on a rental property are considered abandoned once the lease agreement expires or is terminated for any reason (including eviction and abandonment).
The landlord can dispose the belongings (left behind by the tenant) in any manner he or she wants. The landlord does NOT have to inform the tenant or give the tenant a chance to recover the belongings. Ark. Code § 18-16-108
Arkansas Landlord Tenant Handbook: The Arkansas Landlord/Tenant Handbook
Arkansas Landlord Tenant Rights: Arkansas Landlord and Tenant Rights
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.