Arkansas Landlord Tenant Law
No part of this information is a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions or believe you have a legal case under Arkansas Residential Landlord Tenant Law, you should contact an attorney.
Official Rules and Regulations
- Landlord and Tenant – Ark. Code Ann. §18-16
- Arkansas Residential Landlord Tenant Act of 2007
- The Arkansas Landlord/Tenant Handbook (PDF)
- Guide: What You Should Know About Landlord and Tenant Rights
- Exceptions: These particular security deposits do not apply to landlords that own five or fewer dwelling units, among other conditions pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-16–303.
- Security Deposit Maximum: Landlords can charge no more than two months’ rent as a security deposit, pursuant to §18-16-304.
- Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: The landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit with 60 days of the termination of the lease, minus any monies owed for back rent or damages to the unit pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-16-305.
- Nonrefundable Deposits: No statute given
- Security Deposit Interest: No statute given
- Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute available
- Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No statute given, but each apartment complex may include this type of deposit within the lease agreement as long as it does not exceed two months’ rent, pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-16-304.
- Move-Out Checklist/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: The landlord must provide the tenant with an itemized list of any damages and charges that were deducted from their security deposit, pursuant to A.C. A. § 18-16-305.
- Advance Notice of Withholding: No statute given
- Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute given
- Receipt of Deposit: No statute given
Lease, Rent and Fees
- Rent Is Due: In most cases, rent is due on the first of the month, unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement, pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-17-401.
- Rent Increase Notice: No statute available
- Rent Grace Period: 5 days pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-17-701(b).
- Late Fees: No statute available
- Prepaid Rent: No statute available
- Returned Check Fees: The normal returned check fee in Arkansas is $25 per check. It is possible that other fees may be included in this amount, pursuant to A.C.A. § 5-37-307 and A.C.A. § 5-37-304.
- Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Electric, Heat, Water, etc.): No statute available. It is advisable, however, that tenants should continue to pay their rent on time and in full. If this type of situation does arise, tenants are urged to contact local housing authorities and health officials in an attempt to remedy the situation.
- Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No statute available
- Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-17-701(2) and A.C.A. § 18-17-704.
- Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages, including an Attempt to Rerent: No statute available
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date Lease: No notice is necessary as the lease will end on the date determined within the agreement.
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month to Month Lease: Both the landlord and tenant must give one rental period’s notice prior to the termination date. In a month to month lease, 30 days written notice must be given, pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-17-704.
- Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week to Week Lease: Both the landlord and tenant must give one rental period’s notice prior to the termination date. In a week to week lease, 7 days written notice must be given, pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-17-704.
- Termination for Nonpayment: The landlord, agent, or attorney must first provide a 10 day written notice and if the tenant does not vacate they will be guilty of a misdemeanor and the eviction process can be started pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-17-701, A.C.A. § 18-16-101 and A.C.A. § 18-17-901(b).
- Termination for Lease Violation: If the landlord chooses to use the “unlawful detainer” method of eviction, they only need to provide three days written notice. This is considered a civil eviction. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord can file suit against them and force them to appear in court, pursuant to A.C.A. §18-60-304.
- Required Notice Before Entry: No statute available
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes, in accordance with A.C.A. § 18-17-602.
- Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes, in accordance with A.C.A. § 18-17-602. Most lease agreements will include a written Notice for Showings as a courtesy to tenants.
- Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute available
- Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute available, however, this is often included within the rental agreement as a courtesy to the tenant.
- Notice of Extended Absence: No statute available. Individual lease agreements may include this entry to allow landlords to perform periodic inspections in an attempt to keep financial loss to a minimum if there is ever a leak or any other type of damage caused by other rental units (water leaks, etc.) or natural disasters.
- Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute available. Individual lease agreements may include this type of entry to protect the landlords’ financial interest in the property and to prevent damage from occurring in the tenant’s absence.
- Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute available. Landlords will often notify residents when pesticides are to be used as a courtesy. Although they are not required
- Lockouts Allowed: No statute, but lockouts are never permitted.
- Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No statute available, but shut-offs are not permitted
- Consequences for Self-Help Eviction: Damages are considered by the court on an individual, case by case basis.
- Abandonment of Personal Property: When a lease is terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, any personal property that is abandoned by the tenant can be disposed of by the landlord without fear of retaliation, pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-16-108.
- Landlord Responsibilities:
- Compliance: The apartment complex as well as all units contained therein must be maintained pursuant to any and all housing and buildings codes in an attempt to maintain a safe and healthy environment for residents.
- Cleanliness: All common areas such as hallways, entryways and courtyards must be kept free of trash and debris.
- Utilities: All utilities must be maintained and appliances kept in good repair according to local building and housing codes.
- Repairs: Repairs are to be made in a timely manner once they have been reported by the tenant or noticed during regularly timed inspection.
- Tenant’s Duties A.C.A. § 18-17-601
- Compliance: Must comply with all provisions included within building and housing codes that affect health and safety;
- Cleanliness: Keep their portion of the premises clean and habitable at all times as permitted by the conditions of the unit;
- Trash: Dispose of all trash, garbage, ashes and any other waste and maintain a clean and safe environment;
- Plumbing: Maintain all plumbing fixtures and make sure they remain in good working order;
- Appliances: Appliances should be used in a reasonable manner and adequately maintained;
- Lawful Activity: The tenant must not engage in any illegal or destructive activity with the intent to damage, deface or destroy any part of the dwelling, nor allow any visitor to do so; and
- Quiet Enjoyment: Conduct themselves in a respectful fashion and not hinder their neighbors from quiet enjoyment of their residences.
- Domestic Violence Situations
- Proof of Status: The landlord has the right to verify claim of Domestic Violence status pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-16-112(d).
- Protection from Termination: Landlords cannot terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a lease agreement or refuse to enter into a rental agreement with a victim of domestic violence, pursuant to A.C.A. § 18-16-112(b).
- Locks: The landlord must change or re-key the locks at the tenant’s expense, if requested, in accordance with A.C.A. § 18-16-112(b).
- Retaliation: Landlords cannot retaliate against an occupant of any dwelling that has been determined to have lead paint or other hazards as it pertains to eviction or the threat of an eviction because of the presence of these hazards, pursuant to A.C.A. § 20-27-608.
- Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all possible lead hazards to their tenants. As part of the lease agreement, landlords must also include an information pamphlet on the hazards of lead paint and other lead based materials.
- Arkansas Small Claims Court:
- Limits: $5,000.
- Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims: No. Small claims court does not have jurisdiction over evictions. Evictions are covered under circuit court.
- Guide to Small Claims Court in Arkansas
- Arkansas District Courts
- Statute of Limitations:
- Written Contracts: 5 years in accordance with A.C.A. § 16-56-111.
- Arkansas Judiciary
- Arkansas Attorney General
- Arkansas Bar Association
- Legal Aid:
- Business License: No statewide statute exists, but cities and counties may have specific regulations and requirements for landlords. Call the local governing authority for details. Individuals that own less than five rentals may be excluded from this. However, certain areas may require the landlord to report the number of properties to public housing and health departments. Each area is different when it comes to specific building codes. Landlords who are uncertain as to whether or not they need to contact housing authorities should do so in a timely fashion.
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Arkansas Tenant Screening Background Checks
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Arkansas Landlord Forms
All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and Arkansas is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s Arkansas Landlord Forms now.
Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws
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Reminder: This information is a general explanation and summary of Arkansas Landlord Tenant Law but is in no way meant to substitute for legal advice, nor does it list all the statutes under the Arkansas Residential Landlord Tenant Act.