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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73 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Robin

    How do we find out about special circumstances?

  • Samantha

    Have a bunch of questions

  • Nancy Lee Duquette

    I have tenants who have resided at my mobile home park for approximately 4 years. It was originally a one year lease, however, never renewed another lease. The mother, who always paid the rent and electricity moved into another mobile home because she was tired of supporting her son, his girlfriend and their two children, even though the son worked. She kept the electric on for them for two weeks and paid the rent for the two weeks, telling the son that the electric would be shut off on a certain date. He still refused to turn the electric on. The girlfriend moved out with the two children and he stayed with his mother for a few nights because of the cold weather. He has not been seen in two days. The rent is paid until 1/31/2015.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Nancy,

      Sorry to hear about the convoluted situation. I didn’t see a question in there though….

      • Nancy Lee

        On a month to month lease, where there are three on the lease, (Mother, Son and girlfriend)but only the mother pays all of the bills. The mother finally moves out because she can’t tolerate the girlfriend who is the mother of her two grandchildren. The son and his family continue to reside in the home and he finally gets a good job after four years, but he refuses to pay the electric or the rent. The electric gets turned off. He is not longer residing in the home, however, many of his belongings are still there. Am I required to give a Notice to Quit before removing the contents? Am I required to store them. I believe that the new Arkansas law is still pending. They spend their money on drugs every payday. Please advise.

  • kimberly curtis

    We are new to the rental scene and our first renter moved out this weekend. She’s wanting to do a walk-through, is it advised to do this with the renter or should I do this on my own. If I do the walkthrough and find something the next day what then. I have to admit I don’t like the pressure of finding what could be wrong in five minutes.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Kimberly

      I prefer to do walk-throughs on my own, but I always give the renter the option to attend if they want. They can show up when it’s convenient for me if they want to attend.

  • Freeman

    Why are there no laws on Rnetal Properties and pest? The rental property where my Daughter and her family have lived for years is now infested with Brown Recluse Spiders. She and her 10 year old Son now have bites. Hers is horrible and had to have surgery. Now her Son may have to go through the same horrible ordeal. Their Landlord stopped having the property sprayed and the Management Company says if you don’t like it, move!

  • Sandra

    I have a question is it true that in Washington County death in a one-bedroom apartment that only married couples can live in it? The reason I’m asking is because I asked if I can add my daughter on to the lease and she said absolutely not that the only way that anybody else could rent with me is if I was married I’m just curious if that is legal or not or if that is discrimination.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Sandra

      You’d have to contact your county code enforcement office to see what the occupancy rules are. They vary from county to county.

      With that said, I’ve never heard of a county enforcing “married-only” occupancy laws. That sounds like a clear case of discrimination. Typically occupancy laws only go by the number of people, and whether or not they are family or unrelated.

      I hope that helps. Please know that I’m not a lawyer nor is this legal advice.

  • Ms. M

    Hello,

    I am a tenant at an apartment I have lived at for 2 years. We have always paid our rent. My husband recently became unemployed. I contacted the landlord, and gave her notice that we would be moving out, because we could no longer afford the rent. She told me that we only have 1 month left on our lease and that she would give us the entire month to pay the rent since we have been faithful tenants, but to please stay for the last month. I agreed. We left home one day, and when we came back, there was a lock on our door! It took me almost 3 days to get in contact with the manager, but she said that corporate told her to lock it and there’s nothing she can do until i pay rent plus furniture storage fees. Im in Arkansas. Is this legal?

    • Mariah

      Yes.
      Completely.
      We Landlords have no right to make you move by denying you access or locking you out of the unit.
      We cannot deny you access either.
      The only way to have a tenant physically put out is to obtain a writ of possession by the sheriffs department.

  • Denise Caldwell

    3 bedroom 2 bath rental next door to me. How many people can rent home? Have 5 to 6 cars parked there ?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Denise,

      Occupancy rules are set at the county level. Contact your county code enforcement office and they should be able to answer that question.

  • Judy Reynolds

    My daughter and four kids live on a mobile home with central heat and air. The problem is the air isn’t working now and it is extremely hot. The landlord has been notified but still haven’t had any one fix the problem. Are they responsible for fixing (the landlords) ?

  • Dawn

    I have a tenant that was served with eviction papers on the first by the sheriff. She has not been seen since then. Her car has not been there either. Her utilities are off. However, her things are still in the house. After 10 days I obtained a court date but they have been unable to serve her with these papers. All phone numbers for her are disconnected. What happens now?

    • Mariah

      What I generally do is I leave a notice of abandonment and give it between 3 to seven days depending on law in your state. Depending on the quality of the belongings, I’ll toss them. Sometimes I’ll store them in another vacant unit or put a notice on the door giving them at least fifteen days to contact me and retrieve.

  • Tamara

    My family rents on a week to week basis, and no pymt missed even since my husband got sick from heat exhaustion we have paid. Is a mgr allowed to change the time of day rent due because the tenants aren’t currently working. Took payment in 1 hr early and mgr responded with that then refused payment when explaining our financial situation even though rent was being paid in full. Then she threw the money at me called cops wanting them to remove my family but they couldn’t by law. The mgr refused the payment, spoke her opinion on our family situation making me feel like dirt, won’t let us laundry room, has used profanity in front of my 9 yr old. Cops told us 30 days it will be sooner what rights do we have for judgemental views. And harassm

  • Taylor

    Hi,
    I am from Arkansas. I had lived in the same apartment for 5 years. I paid the initial deposit and a pet(nonrefunable) deposit later on. When we first moved in there were some mild dark spots on the carpet and it was already coming lose but if we fixed it the bump would add around $100 to our monthly rent so we left the bump. I moved out and a few months later I got a letter stating I owed $600 for money owed over the $500 initial deposit. They said $500 went to just paint. Then “pro-rated” the carpet. We called more than once about the carpet getting dark even after steam cleaning and having a large, expensive rug on it. Is there a statute for when a tenant is there and never had anything touched up by the owner?

    • Mariah

      What you should do is dispute it in court. Generally if you plead your case, in Arkansas the judge favors the tenants.

  • Kevin

    Robin,

    I have been doing maintenance in the apartment community for almost thirty years in Florida and Alabama. I have always had a master key to the units. Makes it easier to change locks, and gain access on an emergency basis. I moved to Arkansas and was told mixed answers about master keys. Some say master keys are okay, some tell me masters are illegal in Arkansas. I cannot find a statute in the landlord/tenant laws that define clearly one way or the other. What is the TRUE answer?

    • Mariah

      I’ve recently had to go under renovations, I checked with code enforcement and they told me that it was alright.
      Every door I have is compatible with the master key.

  • Ryan Bilaos

    Hi,
    Where can I file a complaint against the manager of the Bentonville apartment complex I used to rent for refusing to issue a receipt that I’m cleared after moving out from that apartment? My situation is: my family has moved out from that Bentonville apartment last May 28, 2016 and transferred to California, I also paid around ~$1100 and requested for a receipt or any document that will serve as my proof that I’m cleared but the manager refuses to issue that. I tried to file a complaint in the Bentonville Police but they won’t be able to help me on this situation. Hope you could direct me to the right office where I can file a complaint. Thank you!

  • Grant

    I moved into a house. The owner also lives here. I signed a month to month lease. I moved in on the fifth of this month. I paid 150 deposit that is nonrefundable according to the lease and also rent. On the 15th I apparently slep walked and urinated in his room. We have hard wood floors so no damage was done. He immediately said I must move at the end of the month. The lease states either party must give 30 day written notice. What should I do?

  • Jill

    Our son Ty has lived at a property that we own for approximately 8 years. Cumulatively, Ty has paid us around $1500 rent during the 8 yrs. We have paid all utilities on that property as well. He has been asked a couple of times to move out of our house but hasn’t. April 2016 Ty ‘s girlfriend moved some of her belongings in our property without our permission.
    June 2016 Ty told us he had rented a house with his girlfriend & would be moving & have all items out of our house by July 1, 2016. Later the date changed to Sept 1, 2016 that he was to have everything out but still hasn’t. To try & shorten this scenario, there was an argument about 3 weeks ago between Ty & us. How do we get Ty & his girlfriend to move all their things out?

  • Jill

    We all live in Arkansas.
    Thanks,

  • Michelle

    Hi,
    Thanks for all the great information but a lot of the links take me to http://www.lexisnexis.com?
    i dont have a account so I cant see the information? Do you have any other links you can provide for me to reference? I appreciate all you r time and knowledge!
    Thanks

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Michelle,

      LexisNexis is a company that has been around for decades. They have exclusive contracts with a few state governments to host their statutes online. But the website is often broken, or doesn’t work with modern browsers. I’ve noticed that the links don’t work in Chrome, but they do work in Safari, but not always. They have contracts with all the public libraries, so you could access it there. It’s pretty ridiculous that they make you go through such trouble in order to view the laws.

      • Michelle

        Thanks so much for the reply!!
        I appreciate the info..never thought about trying with different browser or library.
        Thanks again!!
        :)

  • Tom

    Why is nothing in here about no contracts or oral agreement.

  • Krystal

    I just moved into a duplex on September 1st. The property manager assured me that the unit was ready. The AC unit does not work. The temperature all day ranges between 84 and 89 degrees. I have called at least 10 times since 9/4, but the PM keeps telling me he has to wait on the owners warranty company to agree to repair the unit. The previous tenant also had a insect problem that was not properly treated. What can I do as a tenant to hold the realty company responsible for these issues?

  • Karin E. Sims

    My mother has a house at 3001 Ohio Street, Pine Bluff Arkansas and she no longer lives there, however the house sat vacate for over 5 months, therefore my sister whom my mother has been living with for the past two years, decided to lease the house out to another relative, but my older sister whom lives in Pine Bluff has went to court and requested that the judge evict my relative despite the fact the we have given her a year lease and in the house right now, but the judge in Arkansas is stating that he wants my mother home vacate which would allow trespassers to vandalize and destroy my mother’ home.

    Please advise me on what to do

  • Arron Thorn

    The last few years have seen many changes in rental laws. Its become difficult to understand and keep up with what is still acceptable and legal, and what is not. My main area of concern is the eviction process. Is the criminal eviction method still legal to use? Also, if a civil eviction is used, does the tenant have to put up a deposit equal to the amount they owe in rent with the court if they decide to contest it? Thanks in advance for your time

  • Lynn

    Hi,
    I have been living in this apartment for 6 going on 7 years and paid my non refundable pet deposits on both animals when I moved in. 6 almost 7 years later I get a letter from my landlord saying that I can only have one animal. Is she allowed to do that? Can I dispute that?

  • Howie F.

    I am subletting the house I’m living in. I have a tenant that has lived with me for over a year and pays rent religiously. I just picked up another rent a couple of months ago and she is a pain in the butt and is causing problems. Can I boot her out if there is no contract between us?

  • donna w.

    i have one residential House in pulaski county arkansas, the tentant is 2- months past due, has abandoned the premises the utilities turned off and it looks just like he walked off and that is it , it will take the largest dumpster the that’s available to throw his stuff away. he was already presented with a 10day notice on october 28 to pay rent or vacate. the house is trashed, windows brokern, ect.

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