Arkansas Landlord Tenant Rights
When renting a home or apartment, understanding the complexities of state landlord/tenant laws can be difficult. In this article, we break down the major points related to landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in Arkansas.
Under most circumstances, landlords in Arkansas are not responsible for making repairs and maintaining rental properties. Two key points to keep in mind are:
- Landlords must only make repairs that are specifically outlined in the lease agreement
- Tenants have no legal recourse to take any action if other repair requests are denied
Contrary to laws in many other states, Arkansas does not hold landlords to any minimum standard for habitability and landlords are legally immune from bearing liability.
Unlike in other states, tenants in Arkansas have few legal rights. Tenants are:
- Refrain from disturbing fellow tenants
- Required to maintain a standard of cleanliness
- Responsible for making repairs to the property
- Not allowed to withhold rent or subtract the cost of repairs from their rent payment
Tenants in Arkansas are also expected to pay their rent in full and on time.
Regarding security deposits, landlords in Arkansas are to meet the following requirements:
- Maximum Amount — Two months’ rent
- Return Time — Within 60 days
- Penalties for Not Returning — Up to double the security deposit amount
- Deductions — Missed rent payments and/or damages outlined in the lease agreement
It is important to note that these requirements only apply to Arkansas landlords who own or manage five or more rental properties. Landlords who oversee fewer than five properties are exempt from these requirements.
Rent and Fees
If you are a tenant in Arkansas, it is important to be aware of the following regarding your rent:
- Landlords have no limit on the amount of rent increase they impose, as long as it is not done for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons
- Since Arkansas has no rules regarding rent control, landlords may set the rental price at whatever amount they choose
- While not regulated by state law, there are rules for rent-related fees, including:
- Bounced check fees are limited to $10-$16, depending on the circumstances
- Fees for late rent payments may only be applied five days after the due date
As with other aspects of landlord/tenant law in Arkansas, rules regarding evictions are heavily slanted toward landlords. While landlords are legally prohibited from evicting tenants for discriminatory reasons, some of the more common reasons landlords evict tenants are:
- Failure to pay rent
- Expiration of lease agreement
- Lease agreement violations
- Criminal behavior
If a tenant fails to obey an eviction notice, it can result in criminal charges.
Lease Termination Notice
Tenants in Arkansas may break their lease agreement legally for the following reasons:
- The tenant is called up to active military service
- The landlord violates the terms of the lease agreement
- The lease agreement features an early termination clause
In order to break a lease agreement, a tenant is required to provide the following amount of written notice:
- 7 days for week-to-week rental payment properties
- 30 days for month-to-month rental payment properties
For properties for which rent is paid on a quarterly or annual basis, there is no rule regarding the amount of notice that is to be given.