Arkansas Rental Laws

Written on April 25, 2014 by , updated on November 1, 2017

Flag of ArkansasThis article summarizes some key Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county. You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by the Arkansas State Bar. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposit:

  • Exceptions: These security deposit statutes do not apply to landlords who own five (5) or fewer dwelling units, among other conditions. (A.C.A. § 18-16-303)
  • Security Deposit Maximum: Two (2) months rent (A.C.A. § 18-16-304)
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 60 days (A.C.A. § 18-16-305)
  • Nonrefundable Deposits: No Statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No Statute, but total deposit cannot exceed two (2) months rent (A.C.A. § 18-16-304)
  • Move-Out Checklist/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (A.C.A. § 18-16-305)
  • Advance Notice of Withholding: No Statute
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No Statute

Lease, Rent and Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless the tenant is otherwise notified in writing, rent is payable at the dwelling unit and 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 Increase Notice: No Statute
  • Rent Grace Period: 5 days (A.C.A. § 18-17-701(b))
  • Late Fees: No Statute
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: Not to exceed $10-$50 depending on the reason. (A.C.A. § 5-37-307 and A.C.A. § 5-37-304)
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No Statute
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No Statute
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (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

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No Statute. Typically no notice is needed as the lease simply expires.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days (A.C.A. § 18-17-704)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: 7 days (A.C.A. § 18-17-704)
  • Termination for Nonpayment: 5 days unconditional quit notice, and must wait the full 5 days to start the eviction process. (A.C.A. § 18-17-701A.C.A. § 18-16-101A.C.A. § 18-17-901(b))
  • Termination for Lease Violation: Landlord may terminate the agreement immediately under a variety of conditions (A.C.A. § 18-60-304)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No Statute
  • 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, but these are never allowed.
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No Statute, but these are never allowed.
  • Consequences for Self-Help Eviction: The courts will decide damages on a case-by-case basis.
  • Abandonment of Personal Property: Upon the voluntary or involuntary termination of any lease agreement, all personal property left left behind by the tenant can be disposed of by the landlord without recourse by the lessee. (A.C.A. § 18-16-108)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Tenant’s Duties: (A.C.A. § 18-17-601)
    • Compliance: Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
    • Cleanliness: Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;
    • Trash: Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
    • Plumbing: Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
    • Appliances: Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;
    • Lawful Activity: Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so; and
    • Quite Enjoyment: Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Domestic Violence Situations:
    • Proof of Status: Landlord is entitled to verify claim of Domestic Violence status. (A.C.A. § 18-16-112(d))
    • Protection from Termination: Landlord cannot terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement with a victim of domestic violence. (A.C.A. § 18-16-112(b))
    • Locks: Upon request, the landlord must change or re-key the locks at the tenant’s expense. (A.C.A. § 18-16-112(b))
  • Retaliation: After receiving notice of the presence of lead hazards, no owner of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall engage in retaliatory action against an occupant of the affected dwelling or dwelling unit especially as pertains to eviction or threat of eviction because of the presence of lead hazards. (A.C.A. § 20-27-608)
  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

Court and Legal Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
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65 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Patrice

    Im having a bug problem with my apartment in Conway Arkansas for months and they are not gone. I am wanting to break my lease and not be penalized for unsuitable living conditions. Is that a thing I can do? I keep sending requests in for the problem. They are working on it but nothing has changed and its actually getting worse.

  • Sarah Angel

    Our apartment is very cold. The heat is turned up, but it feels like outside. What can we do?

  • Francis Milholland

    We let a guy park his camper on our property and he has started drinking alcohol tools and other things are coming up missing. He has started bringing other people on the property all different hours of the night.There is no rental agreement. He doesn’t pay for the use of electric anymore. What can we do to have him removed from property. We put no trespassing signs and he continues to unlock the gate and let people in.

  • Laura

    I live in Arkansas and took my lease out with one property management group and now it’s been moved to a different property management group. Is my lease still valid with this new group

    • LIsa Campbell

      Yes. Your lease stays valid until it expires even if your management company changes.
      Lisa.homesforsaleinarkansas.net

  • Gabriela

    MY BOYFRIEND RENTS AT LINDSEY AND LATELY HIS DRYER HAS BEEN LEAVING BLACK STAINS AND BURNING AND RIPPING CLOTHES UP WHAT CAN WE DO WE HAVE TOLD THE MANGER MANY TIMES AND WONT DO NOTHING ABOUT it what layer can we get or find

  • Liz

    I live in Pine Bluff Arkansas. I traveled to Fayetteville today to care for my mother for 2 days after she has major and risky surgery tomorrow. When I arrived, she told me that her landlord doesn’t want me on the property due to a felony conviction 3 years ago. LL also banned my girlfriend, who has no criminal record and was a corrections sergeant for 17 years, as well as “anyone from Pine Bluff”. She threatened to call the sheriff if she sees us here. Lease states nothing applicable to this situation. I am in good standing on parole, all fees current and no positive drug tests. Can you ban an entire city from a rental? Do AR tenant rights protect my mother from this as a violation of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment? Next steps?

  • Darlene Skogen

    I live in Pulaski county and started renting a home in October of 2016. The septic tank has been leaking into the front yard since we moved in. Is there anything I can do?

    • Jennifer

      What did you find out about this issue? I only rent a private lot but own my mobile home and am having trouble finding right that pertain to renters of land not homes. My septic hasnt been emptied in at least 15 yrs or more. My family has lived in the area and have known past tenants. I was told I had to pay to empty the tank or landlord could but would raise my rent. Im now having more “property” issues but cant find answers.

    • larry weisman

      I rent my home and the 65 acre farm land that home is on from my son for $300/mo. Five years ago he told me I no longer had to pay him rent but like the original contract signed by my son the owner and his wife I could stay on the farm now rent free until I die. I gave them the farm and house with this contract agreement 22 years ago. Now he wants to sell the farm and my rental home and have me removed. I have not paid him rent for the five years like he and wife agreed to. It was an oral contract. Now he says that since I have not paid him rent for the last five years he has the right to have me removed. Does the statue of limitations come into effect? Is the oral contract legal. Larry Weisman, Mt. Judea, Ar. 72655

      • Lb

        Did you GIVE it to him legally? As in you signed and filed papers with court? Notarized?

        Not for nothing but ANYONE ever trusting family / kids to honor a promise needs a contract and needs it in writing. Technically you could have added him to your deed as “joint tenant with right of survivorship.” That way if anyone died property doesn’t hit probate and no one can sell it without everyone agreeing.

        If he has used YOUR age as a homestead exemption to NOT pay property taxes and you met the criteria of ownership for THAT then it follows it is still yours regardless of personal promises.

        Kind of ballsy for you to give a kid the property completely (IF that infact legally transpired) and he LeTS you stay there rent free..((?!)) Nice kid

  • Mike

    Live in a small, 2 bedroom apartment. Every summer the A/C goes out multiple times and when the landlord finally does get around to fixing it, they claim there’s a leak and only put more freon or whatever in it. I’ve asked for them to replace the a/c unit but no such luck. I’m hot and sweaty all day from my job and then come home to a hot house. I’m constantly exhausted by the heat. I have no other living options because the electric bill takes any money I can put towards a house. What can I do?

  • Brenda K Osborn

    i have a small house next door that my mother lived in before she passed. i hadnt rented it out because honestly didn’t want to deal with being landlord however a girl with small children talked me into allowing her to move in without a deposit ……she was there for appx six weeks and then paid the first months rent for july two days before verbal rent was due however that is the only time she paid a full months rent now its past time for oct rent to be paid so she is three months of non pay i posted 72 hour notice to vacate due to non payment of rent and today is the day the 72 hrs notice is set to lock down the home. she has made no attempt to get out has taken roomates how am i to get her to allow me to lock up help me~!

  • Alli Sweiinig

    Faulkner Co . Renting trailer on private land . Ll sold land . Said it would take 3 days to move trailer across field . Tipped trailer over . Incorrect moving . When moving to its new space , hit tree, damaged wall, tore off trailer skirt . We’ve had to be out of our home for 1 mo . Ll promises it will be done and hooked up by Nov. 7 th at 6:30 pm . We have not been charged for the month rent but it has been very inconvenient (50 mi. round trip to work every day vs. 10 mi.) and stressful for us . Also , we have always paid our rent on time – in full . Recommendations , please ? Thank you .

  • John

    Am I allowed to take pictures of the inside of my tenets place so I can put it on Zillow to rent it again their lease is about to expire

  • Jayden and james

    We live in saline county Arkansas. We live in a bldg that has holes every where they had started to fix things but lost interest. We are looking for a new place (no luck yet) but landlords have disabled heat and air from their cells. We are cold at night and hot during day. Twice they have turned water off at the street. We turned back on last time. Anyways it’s been hell and I pray something comes soon. We have two kids still living at home 13 and 15. This bldg is zoned commercial and half is rented as commercial and the other half they were renting Toby’s as residential. Isn’t this illegal? I know the way they added walls and there is only 6 small windows makes it a fire hazard defiantly not up to code. Who do I report to about zoning

  • Eduardo solis

    I leave on some aptartment unit for 20 years know they send me a letter that there going to charge me the trash i used per month per itch autal that leave on itch apartment and i leve in springdale ar and the company thats billing me is from texas is this wrigth for them to do that do me its a ripoff from the owener to do that espacially when the trash goes to the landfills here in ar and the billing comes

  • Eduardo solis

    I leave on some aptartment unit for 20 years know they send me a letter that there going to charge me the trash i used per month per itch autal that leave on itch apartment and i leve in springdale ar and the company thats billing me is from texas is this wrigth for them to do that do me its a ripoff from the owener to do that espacially when the trash goes to the landfills here in ar and the billing comes from texas

  • Jeri

    My lease is up gave my landlord verbal notice april 15 2018. He was fine with that until I said I needed to prorate 2 weeks in May . He said no have to pay the whole month or forfeit my deposit rent and be sued.. Can he do this?

  • Jeri

    Any information would help

  • Lynn Beck

    How much notice of eviction does the law allow? My understanding is 30 days. Is this right or is it another amount of time?

    • Elizabeth

      It can be as little as 3 days depending what the eviction is for if you are in AR that is….. search AR tenants rights handbook it explains things there….tenants have almost no rights in AR so landlords can evict easily.

  • Amanda Sousa

    My friend (JG) rents a mobile home and property from an individual (GC). The landlord (GC) had water in their name and would verbally tell JG the amount to pay. During the cold months GC failed to inform JG of an outside water source to be insulated. This resulted in a busted pipe that went unnoticed for a while causing a large bill. Because of items coming up missing JG has not had steady work and has fallen behind on rent. GC turned water off at the meter for late rent. JG paid deposit and had water turned on in their name and also took on amount due from leak. GC told water dept he refused to let any water be turned on on that property. Is this legal and is there anything he can do? There is 10 dogs, 7 cats, & 6 people on the property. ?

  • Em

    I just moved into an apartment in Arkansas and the air is not working. It’s 80 degrees when the sun is out and the only time we’re not sweating is if it’s overcast. We’ve contacted the office and landlord multiple times and they have excuses for everything and refuse to help us. What can we do?

  • Lisa

    My adult son lives with us. He does not pay rent or utilities. He has not obeyed the household drug use and possession policy. He even becomes belligerent when it comes to requiring a drug screen or trying to put any other requirement on him. The police were called on one occasion and we were told that we could not kick him out. We had to go through the eviction process. How do we get that started since he doesn’t pay rent?

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