Arkansas Landlord Tenant Laws

Arkansas Landlord Tenant Laws

Entering into a rental contract can be a process fraught with anxiety. This is true, especially, of those who know nothing about rental law. Knowing this information protects both the renter and the landlord. Before you “sign on the dotted line” you should understand important aspects of landlord-tenant law, so that you know your rights and responsibilities under Arkansas rental law. This guide will list and explain the most important aspects to consider when scrutinizing a rental agreement. All information is taken from the following sources:

It is an unavoidable necessity, for your own protection, to review Arkansas rental statutes before accepting any contract because rental laws change frequently and there is some variability between different counties’ statutes. Every occurrence is different, so exercise caution and verify how the statutes affect your particular circumstances.

In any case, if you’re not confident about the agreement, or have questions, it is highly advisable that you seek out the advice of an attorney, sanctioned by the Arkansas State Bar Association for any clarification on any issues you are unsure of.

Statutes Regarding Security Deposits

Security deposits are a part of most rental agreements. There are several statutes that govern these, and knowing them is to your advantage. Here are some examples:

In order for everything to go smoothly, and for you to receive your security deposit back at the end of the lease, the lessee and lessor should do a walk-through, before signing the lease, to document any damage that already exists at the time of the agreement. They must follow that up with a walk through at the conclusion of the lease, so any new damage can be assessed, or if none exists, so that the security deposit can be returned to the renter.

The security deposit protects the landlord should there be any undue damage to their property. Arkansas law does enforce requirements to spare tenants being taken advantage of as well. There are very limited circumstances under which the landlord may retain some or all of the deposit. There is also an inconvenient process that landlords must go through which, in itself, acts as a deterrent to potential abuses.

When a landlord is in violation of the security deposit-related statutes, the best recourse the tenant has is a suit to recover the lessee’s loss of the security deposit. The limit on the amount of these suits is $5,000.

Lease, Rent, and Fee Rules

The written agreement must be explicit, clearly laying out the terms of the agreement. Some of the “high-points” that must be hit are:

  • Rent amount
  • Due date of rent, and any grace periods to be allowed. Also, the contingency for the months when the due dates holiday and weekend must be stipulated.
  • To whom rent is to be remitted and what method of payment they accept.
  • How much notice a landlord must give before raising rent or changing other contractual elements

Arkansas state law doesn’t provide direction on whether landlords can charge a late fee, for every day that the payment is delinquent. Many landlords do, however. As long as it is in your rental contract, it is within his rights, This is the reason that it is so important to read the terms of your contract; so that you know exactly what you are getting.

There isn’t any rule on the amount of rent that can be charged. This is completely up to the landlord and what the area market will accept. Arkansas law does, however, does offer recourse for tenants who have been subjected to a rent increase out of a motive of retaliation. They also may not raise the rent on the basis of discrimination.

Rent increases, unless written differently in your rental contract, must be preceded by a 10-day notice. This provision does not affect long-term leases, as the landlord can’t change the amount of rent while a long-term lease is in effect.

There is a required five-day grace period on rent due. see (A.C.A. 5 18-17-701 (b)).

Notice and Entry Rules

There are several instances in which landlords are required to give their tenants notice of particular actions. Some of these required notices include:

Other types of notice required for landlords to submit to tenants regarding entry, include notices of entry for different reasons, such as:

  1. Maintenance and Repairs – The landlord may enter the residence for maintenance when repairs are not of an emergency nature. Since the statute only provides for the entry, but not the length of the notice, it is to the lessee’s benefit to insist that a reasonable period of notice should be implicitly stated in the contract, for your protection.  (A.C.A. § 18-17-602)
  2. Entry for showings – Landlords are allowed to enter the residence, for purposes of showing the unit to potential new occupants. Because there is no specific length of time required by the statute, it would behoove you to ensure that at least 24-hour notice is required, written into your rental contract. (A.C.A. § 18-17-602)
  3. Emergency entry – Landlords are within their rights to enter your residence, in the case that they have reason to believe that an emergency is in progress. There is no specific statute for this situation. This is necessary to protect landlords who act with the bravery to help in situations where occupants may be in danger.
  4. Pest Control Treatment – Landlords aren’t required, by statute, to give notice of entry for pest control purposes. This is another area where you can protect yourself by demanding a 24-hour notice before any agent of the landlord enters your apartment for any reason, besides possible emergency situations.
  5. Disposal of Property, Left Behind By Former Occupants – When tenants leave property upon vacating the premises, the property is considered to be abandoned. The landlord has the right, by statute, to dispose of the contents as he sees fit and without notice to the former occupant. The renter has no recourse in this matter.  (A.C.A. § 18-16-108)

Other Miscellaneous Information Regarding tenant and landlord obligations:

1. Tenant Requirements –     Tenants must abide by all responsibilities imposed upon them by the rental agreement. This includes:

Keep the unit clean and safe.

Remove all trash and waste from the unit to the designated trash receptacles in the rental complex. If none exists you must personally provide for removal.

You must keep all appliances in a well-maintained manner, leaving them as you found them, minus the inevitable wear-and-tear which occurs from frequent use.

NEVER destroy, deface or vandalize any part of the complex or the unit.This can and will open you up to civil and criminal action, It just isn’t worth it. If you have a grievance, follow the proper procedures to address it. Criminal activity is never the answer to a civil disagreement.

Live in a peaceful manner and don’t infringe on other tenants’ rights to do the same. Don’t disturb neighbors late at night, or early in the morning. In general, just be considerate of your neighbors and they are much more likely to be considerate of you.

2.     Landlord Requirements: –  Landlords must abide by the restrictions imposed upon them by the rental agreement. The restrictions and rights vary from contract to contract. The following lists some of the more frequently seen restrictions and provisions for landlords:

Landlords are entitled to verify an incidence of domestic violence.

(A.C.A. § 18-16-112(d))

Landlords cannot deny a tenant renewal of the lease, or evict a tenant because of a domestic violence incident.

(A.C.A. § 18-16-112(b))

Landlords must change, or re-key locks at the tenant’s request. The tenant is responsible for the charges associated with this.

(A.C.A. § 18-16-112(b))

Landlords may not evict a tenant as retaliation and may not threaten eviction as a result of a tenant’s claim of health hazards in the unit.

(A.C.A. § 20-27-608)

Landlords must provide disclosure, in writing, of lead paint hazard, attached to the rental contract. Included with this must be a pamphlet which describes the effects of lead poisoning on health and childhood development. The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act or (URLTA) provides remedies for situations when the proper protocol for notification of lead paint use is not followed.

URLTA provides remedies for situations when not following proper protocol for health-related measures to bring them back into conformity with the related standards.

It is so pertinent to read the contract every time you rent a property. Always insist upon the inclusion of provisions that you deem to be important. Object when you find clauses missing that protect you, or if you find clauses that could possibly harm you. This is the only way that you can be certain you are getting a lease that you can live with. Once you sign on that line, the deal is done and you are stuck. Be prepared and ensure that you are stuck with a deal that you can live with.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 11 comments
Bill McCormick - May 17, 2016

Is arkansas landlords of residential rental property liable for acts of vandalism to nieghbors property .

    rentapplication - May 18, 2016

    Bill – Good question. You’d have to ask a local lawyer, but on the face of it, the person who did the vandalism is the person responsible, no?

case - September 6, 2016

Here lies my problem.
We had agreed july 29 2016, we could move in. When we arrived our living room floor was incomplete. So we had to stay in a hotel. The nezt day the floor still waant done and my firniture was to be deliveres. But I had to turn them around. So we helped finish the floor.
We agreed on $1100.00 a month including all utilities.
We paid rent on 7-29-16. Lease was not available till 7-30-16.
We lived there gor 2 weeks and the 2 landlords got into a dissagrrement between the 2.
Then we got disconnect notices from all the bills
On august 26,2016. I found out o was subleasing from landlord #2. And it was not disclosed in my lease
Also there was nothing anout what our $1100 was going to.
So i asked landlord 1 the owner of house if we could discuss our lease
When we met to discuss he informed me that landlord 2 was wanting to move back in and we needed to vavate asap.
Land lord 1 gave me a copy of landlord2 lease agreement.
I still have copy. It stated that he could mot sublease
And i also was told that $400.00 was the rent agreement with LL2. So the rest was going to his past die bills. I told LL1 that I wanted to stay and we agreed on $650.00 a month and all utilities be changed into my name.
Here it is 9-5-16 and i still have no new lease stating that.
I have not pd sept rent yet due to the gact that i have no lease and because all utilities are past due i have to wait for tbem to be disvonnected before i can turn them on in my name.
What should i do
Thank you

Pam - September 26, 2016

What if the landlord refuses to do a lease? I have been living on a farm for 3 years and everything was fine until a couple of months ago. Now I am scarred my daughter and I will be told we have to move out and we not only have no place to go but we have farm animals of our own we risk loosing because the landlady wants us out. Truly we have done nothing wrong other than document her animal abuse and she is afraid we will turn her in. Do we have any recourse for protection? Oh and of coyrse up until last month I paid rent with cash this month a money order and they had a fit and said I have to pay in cash. He is on disability don’t know if that is why. My daughter and I are a nervous wreck and stressed beyond belief. Any advice is appreciated

Kevin quick - November 1, 2016

Does the current landlord have to notify me if there is a new owner also am I entitled to my security deposit even though the new owner is evicting me ?

ulrich - November 2, 2016

I have questions, My landlord insists that I report and issues within the apartment, she also says, she will then decide if she will make the repairs. I reported the toilet flusher lever had broken, she did call in later that evening to take a look nine days ago but its clear she is not going to repair it. Also she has made 4 appointments to make a quarterly inspection and failed to keep any of them. One other thing, she came here uninvited/unannounced and put a ladder to our kitchen window to look in on us, pretending to work on the window. Are these things not illegal in a civilized society ? Where can I get answers ?

sheri - November 30, 2016

What is the one sign that a apartment has been abandoned even though they have paid their rent but have not been there in about a month.

Belinda Fulton - March 19, 2017

My sister and I own a house in Arkansas. We have a lease with a couple (rent to own )and since them moving in their rent has not been paid on time their checks have bounced and they will not provide us with proof of insurance. What rights do we have?

Laura Hregg - May 5, 2017

What are the occupancy laws on number of tenants in a rental property? Is it two per bedroom? We have an over occupancy situation that has set up in our rental property

Carter - August 13, 2017

So by law they are required to give us a 5 day grace period on rent?

Tony - September 14, 2017

I signed a lease on 09/01/17 and the landlord agreed to remove trash, paint, and fix whatever needed to be fixed. I was scheduled to move in on 09/09/17, but I was unable to because of those things that he said he would take care of, had not completely been taken care of. I have turned the lights and water on and as of right now, I don’t think the house will be ready by the 16th. It has a rat/mice problem and he has to call for an exterminator tomorrow, the 14th. I have paid a full months rent and deposit and I haven’t spent not one day or night in the house, because it’s not ready to be habitable. What are my rights or am I stuck for trusting someone to have the place ready?


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