This 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
- Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16 – Landlord and Tenant
- Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17 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 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. § 18-17-701, A.C.A. § 18-16-101, A.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:
- Arkansas Small Claims Court
- Statute of Limitations
- Written Contracts: 5 years (A.C.A. § 16-56-111)
- Arkansas Judiciary
- Arkansas Attorney General
- Arkansas Bar Association
- Legal Aid:
- Business License: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
- Report: Non-Legislative Commission on the Study of Landlord-Tenant Laws (pdf)
- Review: A Tenant’s Dilemma: The Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 2007 (pdf)
- Arkansas Fair Housing Commission
- Arkansas Department of Insurance
- Arkansas Consumer Protection Division
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Arkansas – Rental Help
- Arkansas Real Estate Commission
- Arkansas Health Department
- REALTORS® Associations
- Landlord Associations