State Rules and Regulations for Arkansas Rental Properties and Landlords

Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17) provides certain rights for tenants wherever there is a valid written or oral lease. Renters have the right to not be discriminated against in housing and have the right to report health and safety violations to authorities.

Arkansas landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to collect rent and pursue eviction when lease terms are violated.

Arkansas Official Rules and Regulations

Landlord Responsibilities in Arkansas

Landlords in Arkansas are only required to give a unit “as-is” and are not generally responsible for making repairs. Landlords are only required to make repairs if they are specified in the lease agreement. Tenants also are not allowed to take any form of alternative action if repair requests are not honored.

Arkansas is one of the few states in the union that does not have either an explicit or implicit warranty of habitability. As such, there are no minimum standards of habitability that landlords must provide. There are minimum federal standards for public and Section 8 housing in Arkansas, but these standards do not apply to private rental residences.

Arkansas law also makes landlords essentially immune from almost all liability to tenants.

Tenant Responsibilities in Arkansas

  • Compliance: Obey all building and housing codes that affect health and safety
  • Cleanliness: Keep the property clean and safe (as far as conditions will allow)
  • Waste Disposal: Dispose all waste from the property in a clean and safe manner
  • Proper Usage: Use all facilities and appliances properly. This includes all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen and common area facilities (e.g. elevators)
  • Property Damage: Avoid property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by the tenant, occupants or tenant’s guests
  • Neighbors: Avoid disturbing neighbors and also disallow others from disturbing neighbors

Security Deposits and Arkansas Regulations

  • Exceptions: These security deposit statutes do not apply to landlords who own five (5) or fewer dwelling units, among other exceptions. (A.C.A. § 18-16-303)
  • Security Deposit Maximum: Two (2) months rent (A.C.A. § 18-16-304)
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Nonrefundable Deposits: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No statute, but the total deposit cannot exceed two (2) months rent (A.C.A. § 18-16-304)
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 60 days (A.C.A. § 18-16-305)
  • Permitted Uses of the Security Deposit: Landlords can deduct portions, or all, of the security deposit to pay unpaid rent or for any damages, beyond normal wear and tear, due to the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement. (A.C.A §18-16-305(2))
  • Security Deposit Can Be Withheld: Yes. (A.C.A. § 18-16-305)
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (A.C.A. § 18-16-305)
  • Receipt of Security Deposit: No Statute
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Failure to Comply: If the landlord fails to return the security deposit within the statutory window, the tenant can recover any property and money due to him/her, damages up to twice the amount owed, attorney’s fees, and other reasonable costs. (A.C.A. §18-16-306)

Arkansas Rents and Fees

  • Rent Is Due: Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise specified in writing, rent is payable at the dwelling unit. Periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one (1) month or less, and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. (A.C.A. § 18-17-401)
  • Rent control. Arkansas does not have any form of rent control so landlords can set rental prices to whatever they want.
  • Rent increases. Arkansas landlords are not limited in how much they can raise rental prices, but they are prohibited from raising rent for discriminatory reasons or as retaliation.
  • Rent-related fees. Late fee charges are not regulated by Arkansas law although landlords have to wait at least 5 days before applying them. Returned check fees have a limit between $10-$16, depending on the reason it bounced.
  • 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

Arkansas Regulations Governing Notice of Entry

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No statute. Typically, no notice is needed since the lease simply expires.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: Written notice of 30 days from either the landlord or the tenant (A.C.A. § 18-17-704(b))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: 7 days written notice from either the landlord or the tenant (A.C.A. § 18-17-704(a))
  • Termination for Nonpayment of Rent: Five days unconditional quit notice, and the landlord must wait the full five days to start the eviction process. (A.C.A. § 18-17-701(b), A.C.A. § 18-16-101, A.C.A. § 18-17-901(b))
  • Termination for Lease Violation: The landlord must deliver a written notice specifying the violations. If the tenant does not remedy the violations, the lease agreement terminates within 14 days of the notice’s delivery. (A.C.A. § 18-60-701(a)(1)) Landlord may terminate the agreement immediately under a variety of conditions (A.C.A. § 18-60-304)
  • Required Notice before Entry: State law states that tenants cannot “unreasonably withhold consent” of the landlord entering the rental unit. (A.C.A. § 18-17-602)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (A.C.A. § 18-17-602)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (A.C.A. § 18-17-602)
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute.
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute.
  • Notice of Extended Absence: No statute.
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute.
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No statute.
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No statute, but these are never allowed.
  • Abandonment of Personal Property: Upon the voluntary or involuntary termination of any lease agreement, all personal property left behind by the tenant can be disposed of by the landlord without recourse by the tenant. (A.C.A. § 18-16-108)

Housing Discrimination and Arkansas Law

Protected Groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. This law does not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Arkansas does not extend extra protections to any groups not outlined in the Fair Housing Act.

Discriminatory Acts & Penalties. Arkansas’ Attorney General is responsible for enforcing housing discrimination law. The following actions may be considered discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class.

  • Advertisements encouraging or discouraging certain groups of people from applying
  • Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
  • Assigning renters to a particular section of a complex

Arkansas does not define standard penalties for discrimination.

Arkansas Business Licenses

  • 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.

Arkansas Helpful Links

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Housing Authorities

Realtor, Landlord, and Tenant Associations

These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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