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.

Landlord Responsibilities

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.

Tenant Responsibilities

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.

Security Deposit

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

Evictions

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.

Relevant State Agencies

Arkansas Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

Fayetteville:

Fayetteville Housing Authority

Water

Electric & Gas

Little Rock:

Metropolitan Housing Alliance

Little Rock Buildings & Building Regulations

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

Arkansas Code, Title 18, Chapter 17