Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17) gives both parties to the lease certain rights. Among these rights is the landlord’s right to evict their tenant for failing to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.
Your landlord can evict you for legally justified reasons such as nonpayment of rent, absence of a lease, holdover tenancy, and lease violation.
For the landlord to initiate the eviction process, they must first terminate the lease by serving the tenant an eviction notice. The eviction notice to serve is dependent upon the violation committed.
What is Arkansas 3-day eviction notice?
As a tenant, you have a responsibility to pay rent on time, every month. If you fail to do so, your landlord can initiate the eviction process against you after the 5-day grace period is over.
The landlord will initiate the process by serving you a 3 days’ eviction notice for a civil eviction action. If you fail to move out within this time, the landlord can choose to escalate the process further by filing an eviction lawsuit in court.
How must a landlord serve the 3-day eviction notice in Arkansas?
Arkansas law is very particular regarding the manner in which a landlord must serve an eviction notice. The following are the options the landlord has.
- Handing the eviction notice in person.
- Leaving the eviction notice with a member of the household who is at least 18 years AND mailing another copy by registered or certified mail with a return receipt.
- Mailing the notice to the tenant by either registered or certified mail with a return receipt.
If the landlord doesn’t serve you using either of these options, you can use that as a defense to delay your eviction.
How can tenants file an answer with a court in Arkansas?
If you wish to contest the eviction, Arkansas law requires that you file an answer with the court. The response must be in writing. The following are some examples of legitimate reasons you can file to delay or stop your eviction.
- The eviction notice (3-day eviction notice) contained substantial errors. Such as, failing to mention the effective date of eviction.
- The landlord served an incorrect notice. There are two types of eviction notices for nonpayment of rent in Arkansas: 3 days’ eviction notice and the 10 days’ notice to quit. For civil eviction actions, the landlord must use the former notice, and for criminal eviction actions, the landlord must use the latter. If the landlord serves you the 10 days’ eviction notice instead of the 3 days’ eviction notice, you can use that as a legal defense to stop your eviction.
- You paid rent on time. If you paid the due rent within the 3 calendar days, then you can use that as a legal defense against the eviction. Make sure to bring proper documentation as proof.
- The eviction was retaliatory after exercising one of your legal rights. Some of the legal rights you have as a tenant include joining or forming a tenants’ union to advocate for your rights, and reporting the landlord to local health authorities for code violations.
- The eviction was discriminatory. Landlords in Arkansas have a duty to treat their tenants fairly and equally regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, nationality, or any other protected class.
If the judge rules in your favor, the eviction will stop and the court may hold the landlord accountable for certain damages plus court and attorney fees. However, if the court rules otherwise, the landlord will be issued with a Writ of Possession and the eviction will proceed.
But even then, you’ll have a right to appeal the eviction. You’ll need to give an appeal bond for a court-determined amount.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Arkansas 3 Day Notice?
Q: What happens when you get a 3 days’ eviction notice?
A: In Arkansas, a 3 days’ eviction gives you two options. To either move out or pay the due rent within 3 calendar days. If you don’t do either, it’ll be up to the landlord to take the next course of action, which is whether or not to file an eviction lawsuit in court.
Q: Can a landlord evict you in 3 days in Arkansas?
A: No! What a landlord can do, however, is pursue a civil action against you for an “unlawful detainer” after the 3 days in the notice are over. From start to finish, an eviction in Arkansas can take anywhere around 2 to 4 weeks. It can also take longer depending on whether you fight the eviction or not.
Q: How do I fight an eviction notice in Arkansas?
A: By giving legitimate defenses against the eviction. Which, may include the following:
- The eviction was in retaliation for exercising a legal right.
- The eviction was based on your race, color, sex, religion, disability, or any other protected class.
- The eviction notice contained substantial errors.
- You paid rent within the 3 calendar days.
Here is a guide on how to stop your eviction in Arkansas.
Q: Can you appeal an eviction in Arkansas?
A: Yes. You will have a right to appeal a judgment against you. You’ll need to do so within five days after service of notice of appeal.
Q: Does your landlord need a court order to evict you in Arkansas?
A: Absolutely! Your landlord must obtain a court order (Writ of Possession) in order for an eviction to be successful. Your landlord cannot use illegal eviction tactics, such as “self-help” eviction methods, or try to evict you in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Q: What rights do renters have in Arkansas?
A: You have a smorgasbord of renters’ rights under Arkansas law.
To evict a tenant in Arkansas, a landlord must serve them the appropriate notice. For instance, if you fail to pay rent when it is due, the landlord must serve you a 3-day eviction notice to begin your eviction. If they don’t, you may use that as a defense to stop your eviction from the property.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.