Arkansas Landlord Tenant Law: FAQs
Let’s understand Arkansas landlord tenant law and regulations through the following –
Are there rent control/rent stabilization policies or laws in Arkansas?
The state of Arkansas has not established rent control or stabilization practices.
What is the limit Arkansas law will allow me to charge for a security deposit?
Arkansas regulates the security deposit when:
(1) A landlord/Owner owns partially or totally, at least five dwelling units which are rented to members of the public, OR
(2) The rental unit is managed by someone else other than the owner, (the number of units does not come into question here) then Arkansas law regulations of the security deposit are followed.
In such conditions, the security deposit may not exceed an amount in excess of 2 month’s rent or 2 times the periodic rent.
**For landlords that do not meet the conditions specified above, the security deposit would be regulated by the written lease. It is fair to say that all landlords should try and be reasonable so to stay out of court.
What do I do with the security deposit at the end of the tenancy?
Arkansas law regarding security deposits are effective for landlord/owners of 6 units or more or agents or representatives of the owner (no matter how many units may be involved). In these cases, an itemized list of any charges withheld must be provided to the tenant within sixty (60) days of the time the tenant moves out of the rental unit. However, the deposit may be applied toward the payment of unpaid rent, damages suffered by reason of the tenant’s noncompliance, or physical damages to the premises. All deductions must be itemized by the landlord in a written notice and delivered to the tenant’s last known address, along with the remainder, if any of the deposit.
What is a common issue regarding security deposits?
In Arkansas there are no stated regulations for landlords or owners with less than 6 rental units. In these cases the lease will set the tone of how a security deposit is collected and returned. It is important for landlords to be fair and reasonable in these circumstances.
May I charge an application fee, late rent charge or a returned payment fee?
Reasonable cost should always be kept in mind when initiating any charges. There are no restrictions or limits placed on the collection of a late charge or application fee. However, a service charge for a returned payment is permitted. The maker of the bad check must pay the amount of the check plus a service charge not to exceed $20.00 within 10 days after receiving written notice of dishonor.
How can I end an Arkansas lease agreement?
In regards to a fixed term rental agreement, notice would apply to the terms specified within the lease. With regards to a month to month tenancy written notice must be given at least 30 days; a week to week tenancy, written notice must be given to the tenant at least 10 days. These notices are sent prior to the termination date specified in the notice and prior to the periodic rental date specified in the rental agreement.
Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
In circumstances where the tenant must report to active military duty, or the rental property is destroyed or damaged by a fire, not cause by the tenant, may the landlord be forced to release the tenant from the lease agreement.
How much notice must I give to evict a tenant who has not paid rent?
Arkansas requires a landlord to give 5 days notice to vacate evict a tenant.The notice must be given to the tenant or posted on the door of the rental unit. The 5 days does not include the day of posting, holidays or weekends.
What steps must be taken to remove the tenant from the rental unit after the landlord is given possession in court?
Once possession is granted by the court, then the landlord must obtain a Writ of Eviction issued by the court clerk. The Writ is served by the Sheriff by posting it on the door of the premises. The Writ can give the tenant as little as 24 hours to vacate.
What is the typical timeframe for an eviction?
May I make it a requirement in the lease for the tenant to purchase a renter’s insurance policy?
A landlord has the right to require tenants to purchase renter’s insurance. The landlord may also breach the lease agreement if the tenant fails to obtain renters insurance.
What are the landlord’s legal rights in the event of the death of a tenant?
In the event of the death of a tenant, the lease is automatically terminated. However, if the lease agreement specifies terms in regards to this situation, then the lease prevails. If there is no lease agreement, then the landlord must obtain an order from a probate court authorizing removal of the contents of the apartment.
What are ways to determine if the tenant has abandoned the rental property?
When determining whether a tenant has abandoned the premises or not, it is best to look at key points such as the removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has returned to the rental unit in a one week period, or simply there being no food in the refrigerator. It is extremely important and highly recommended to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. The landlord may always file for eviction is rent payment has not been made.
What can I do if my tenant files for bankruptcy?
The bankruptcy court laws will determine the procedures a landlord should take. A landlord usually will proceed with a relief from the “stay” deeming the tenant responsible for rent incurred during the pendency of bankruptcy proceedings. This procedure is very complicated and demands at least a consultation with an attorney.
Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may implement a “No Smoking” policy in the lease.
Must I give the tenant notice before entering the rented premises?
There are no statutory regulations regarding a landlords right to enter the leased premises. However, landlords should exercise caution and use reasonable judgment.
What a landlord cannot do in Arkansas?
A landlord in Arkansas cannot evict a tenant for not paying rent unless the landlord has first given the tenant a written notice specifying the amount of rent that is due and the date by which it must be paid. The notice must also state that, if the rent is not paid within five days after the date specified in the notice, the landlord will commence proceedings to evict the tenant.
A landlord also cannot terminate a lease without good cause. “Good cause” generally means that either the tenant has failed to pay rent, the tenant has violated a material term of the lease, or the property has been damaged so as to render it uninhabitable.
Do renters have any rights in Arkansas?
Yes. Arkansas tenants have the right to receive a written lease, the right to quiet enjoyment of their rented property, and the right to proper notice before their landlord enters the property.
Tenants should familiarize themselves with their state’s tenant laws, as these vary from state to state. It’s also important for renters in Arkansas (and in any other state) to know that they can’t be discriminated against based on their race, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. For renters with disabilities, landlords must make a reasonable accommodations. For example, if a tenant needs a wheelchair ramp or special wiring for a hearing aid, the landlord is obligated to provide it.
How much time must a landlord offer you to leave in Arkansas?
A landlord may evict you using either the “failure to vacate” (criminal eviction) or the “unlawful detainer” process (civil eviction).
The landlord provides you with 10 days’ written notice to depart under “failure to vacate.” Only nonpayment of rent, including unpaid late fees, is grounds for eviction using this procedure.
The landlord provides you written notice to vacate for three calendar days under the legal term “unlawful detainer.” If you refuse to leave, the landlord may file a lawsuit against you by complaining in court. Following that, you ought to get a summons to court. You have five days to submit a written objection to the eviction, not including Sundays or legal holidays, but including Saturdays. If you don’t object in writing, the sheriff has the right to kick you out of the house. A hearing will be set up to decide if you have the right to keep living in the house if you object.
At this time, can landlords in Arkansas evict tenants?
Without having a good reason, a landlord in Arkansas cannot evict a tenant or order them to leave the premises. As long as they don’t breach any restrictions, the tenant is allowed to stay until the end of the rental time.
In Arkansas, how much does it cost to evict a tenant?
Evicting a tenant in Arkansas typically costs $165; however, this might vary depending on the court’s location and whether the landlord decides to file a civil eviction action or a criminal eviction case against a renter who hasn’t paid rent on time.
Can a landlord enter without permission in Arkansas?
Yes, landlords may be permitted entry without a key in Arkansas. Entry notification rules can be negotiated between tenants and landlords and included in the lease.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.