Arkansas Landlord Tenant Laws
January 31, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: Permitted
Rent Control: N/A
Late Fee Limit: N/A
Grace Period Minimum: N/A
Amount Limit: 2 months’ rent
Return Within: 60 days
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
|Fair Housing Protections |
Rent Demand Notice: 3-day notice to quit for civil evictions; 10-day notice to quit for criminal evictions
Notice for Lease Violation: 14-day notice to cure-or-quit
Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate notice to quit
Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Law
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Unless otherwise specified in the rental agreement, rent in Arkansas is due at the dwelling unit at the beginning of each month (ACA § 18-17-401(b)).
- Application Fees: Are application fees legal in Arkansas? Rental application fees are not regulated in this state.
- Rent Increases: There is no statewide rent control in Arkansas.
- Late Fees: There are no statutory late fees in Arkansas.
- Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in Arkansas. This means landlords can charge a late fee as soon as rent is late. However, unless otherwise stated in the lease, landlords must wait five days after rent is late before beginning eviction proceedings (ACA § 18-17-901).
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee of $30 per check plus any fees charged by a financial institution (ACA § 5-37-307(c)(2)(B)).
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: By Arkansas state law, tenants are not permitted to withhold rent or use the repair and deduct remedy when the landlord fails to make necessary repairs (ACA § 18-17-502(d)(3)). If the landlord fails to fulfill their obligations by law and the rental agreement, the tenant should go to small claims court and seek the advice of an attorney.
- Deposit Limit: 2 months’ rent, for landlords who own six or more dwellings and manage their properties without paid third party assistance (ACA § 18-16-303; ACA § 18-16-304).
- Interest: Arkansas landlords are not required to pay interest on security deposits.
- Return Within: 60 days (ACA § 18-16-305(a)(1)).
- Deposit Location: Landlords are not required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account.
- Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent and damages due to noncompliance with the rental agreement. All withholdings must be itemized and sent in a written notice to the tenant together with the remainder of the security deposit (ACA § 18-16-305(a)(2)).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Arkansas state law reaffirms these protections (ACA § 16-123-204).
- Arkansas landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Arkansas.
- Arkansas landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: There is no state law in Arkansas requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering the property.
- Permitted Times: Arkansas state law does not designate any time-of-day entry restrictions. Landlords may enter for inspections, repairs, decorations, alterations, improvements, and showings. Landlords may also enter to provide necessary or agreed-on services or to investigate potential lease violations or criminal activity (ACA § 18-17-602(a)).
- Emergency Entry: There are no laws in Arkansas regarding emergency entry without notice. However, landlords are generally permitted to enter during emergencies.
Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in Arkansas, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the Arkansas eviction process in more detail.
- Rent Demand Notice: 3 days to quit (for civil evictions) or 10 days to quit (for criminal evictions). Unless the lease agreement says otherwise, rent is considered late after a five-day grace period, after which the landlord may officially begin eviction proceedings (ACA § 18-17-901; 18-17-902).
- Notice for Lease Violation: 14 days to cure or quit. This notice also applies if there is a noncompliance by the tenant materially affecting health and safety (ACA § 18-17-701(a)(1); 18-17-701).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate. According to Arkansas eviction laws, this notice applies when a tenant commits certain criminal acts at the property, including illegal gambling, prostitution, or the unlawful sale of alcohol (ACA § 18-16-502; 18-16-503).
Other Laws and Facts About Arkansas
- The Arkansas average rent is $1,235.
- The median rent rate in Little Rock is $1,145.
- Arkansas is the only state that allows criminal evictions in addition to civil evictions.