Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17) provides landlords with certain rights. Among these is the right to evict a tenant for a number of reasons, including for nonpayment of rent, for having no lease, or for failing to move after the lease term is over.
Once you have such reasons and you want to evict the tenant, you must begin the eviction process by serving them an eviction notice. The eviction notice to serve must be relevant to the violation caused. Using the wrong eviction notice can give your tenant a legal defense to stop or delay their eviction.
The following is everything you need to know about the 30-day notice to vacate in Arkansas.
What is the Arkansas 30 Day Notice to Vacate?
The 30-Day Notice to Vacate is an eviction notice that you must use when looking to end a month-to-month lease. The notice also applies when trying to evict a tenant with no lease. The notice gives the tenant 30 calendar days to move out on their own.
Serving a 30 Day Notice to Vacate to Tenants
Eviction notices must be served in a particular way, lest the tenant use wrongful service as a defense against their eviction. If the tenant cites that as a defense against their eviction, it may allow them more time to continue living on the property.
In Arkansas, eviction notices must be served to the tenant by the county sheriff or their deputy. They must do so in any of the following ways.
- Handing a copy to the tenant in person.
- Leaving a copy with a member of the household who is at least eighteen years old.
- Mailing a copy to the tenant via either registered or certified mail with a return receipt.
30-Day Notice to Vacate in Arkansas – What it Means
The eviction notice gives tenants only one option – to leave within the notice period. If the tenant fails to leave, you can proceed with the eviction process by filing an eviction lawsuit in a Circuit Court or District Court.
The following are the events that will follow.
- After successful notarization, the clerk of the court will issue you with a copy of Summons and Complaint. Another copy will need to be served to the tenant by the sheriff.
- The tenant will have an opportunity to answer the complaint. If the tenant wishes to contest their eviction, these are some of the defenses they may give.
- After an answer is filed, the court will set a date for the hearing. If the tenant doesn’t show up, the judge will most likely issue a default judgment.
- If the judgment is in your favor, either through a default ruling or a successful hearing, the court will issue you with a Writ of Possession.
- The writ will be the tenant’s final notice to leave. They will have 24 hours to leave, or else be forcefully removed from the unit by the sheriff.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Arkansas 30 Day Notice to Vacate
Q: How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in Arkansas?
A: The amount of notice to give a tenant depends on the reason for the eviction. You cannot just evict a tenant for no reason. You must first have a just cause. Just causes include: nonpayment of rent, no lease/end of the lease, violation of the lease agreement, and illegal acts.
Once you have either of these legitimate reasons, you can begin the eviction process by terminating the lease agreement.
Q: How do I evict a month-to-month tenant in Arkansas?
A: To evict a tenant on a month-to-month lease, you’ll need to follow a series of steps for the process to be successful. The following is a basic overview of what you must do.
- Serve the tenant with an eviction notice (30 day notice to vacate).
- If the tenant doesn’t move out within this period, file a lawsuit in a Circuit Court or District Court).
- Have the sheriff serve a copy of the Summons and Complaint.
- Attend the court hearing.
- Obtain a Writ of Possession.
- Obtain possession of the property back.
You must not try to evict the tenant in any other way, such as removing their belongings or shutting off their utilities.
Q: What is a 14 day notice to vacate in Arkansas?
A: Landlords must use the 14 day notice to vacate when evicting tenants for minor violations to the terms of the lease. Minor lease violations include keeping an unauthorized pet, subletting the unit illegally, rental property damage, and exceeding the occupancy limit.
Q: Does a landlord need a court order to evict a tenant in Arkansas?
A: Absolutely! Landlords must obtain a court order in an “unlawful detainer” action. All other eviction methods are illegal, including retaliatory, discriminatory, and “self-help” evictions.
Q: What are tenant defenses to eviction in Arkansas?
Q: What can a landlord not do in Arkansas?
A: While landlords have rights under Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, there are certain things that are a no-no. Here is a guide on things landlords cannot do in Arkansas.
Q: How to evict a family member in Arkansas?
A: Here is a guide on how to go about the process of evicting a family member from your home.
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.