Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
As a landlord in Arkansas, you have a right to evict your tenant for certain reasons. You may want to evict your tenant for failure to pay rent, causing a lease violation, engaging in illegal activity, or failure to move out at the end of the term.
Additionally, under Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17), you may also be able to evict a tenant for not having a lease, such as a family member or roommate. State law requires a lease to be established either orally or via a document to be valid. Without any of these, a tenant would be living at the will of the landlord.
How to evict a tenant with no lease in Arkansas
As already mentioned, Arkansas law allows landlords to evict tenants without a lease. The following is the step-by-step process to follow.
Step #1: Serve an Eviction Notice
To kickstart the eviction process, you must serve the tenant with a 30 days’ written notice. The notice must be delivered by either a sheriff or their deputy in any of the following ways.
- Handing it in person.
- Leaving it with a member of the tenant’s family. The family member must be at least 18 years old. Then, you must mail another copy to the tenant’s last mailing address either by certified or registered mail.
- Mailing a copy of the notice to the tenant via registered or certified mail with a return receipt.
If the tenant doesn’t move out within the 30 days’ notice, you can proceed to file a lawsuit in court.
Step #2: File an Eviction Lawsuit
The next course of action to take after a tenant with no lease refuses to leave is to file an eviction lawsuit. You must do this in the appropriate court, which can be a Circuit Court or a District Court.
And just like an eviction notice, the service of the summons and complaint must be done by the sheriff or their deputy. State law doesn’t specify how quickly a summons and complaint must be served on a tenant.
Step #3: Attend Court Hearing
Tenants in Arkansas have a right to fight their eviction. In such a case, they would need to file an answer with the court within five days. However, if they choose not to, the judicial officer will most likely grant a default judgment in your favor.
After the successful judgment, the court will issue you with a writ of possession.
Step #4: Removal of the Tenant
A writ of possession is the tenant’s final notice to vacate their rented premises. It gives them a maximum of 24 hours to move out or else risk getting forcefully removed from the premises.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How to evict a family member with no lease in Arkansas?
A: If there is no lease and you have zero responsibility for legal duty or support, then the member is simply a guest. And once you withdraw that permission, then the family member technically becomes a trespasser.
Q: How to evict a roommate with no lease in Arkansas?
A: If you’re on the lease and your roommate is not, then you may be able to evict them from the property. You must begin the process by serving them a 30 Days’ Notice to Vacate. If they won’t have moved out within this time, you can file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in court.
Q: Do you have to give 30 days’ notice without a lease in Arkansas?
A: Yes! To evict a tenant without a lease, you must give them a 30-Day Notice to Vacate. This will give the tenant 30 calendar days to move out or else risk getting evicted through the court process.
Q: How do I evict someone from my house in Arkansas?
A: In Arkansas, you can evict someone from your house if you have a just cause. Just causes include nonpayment of rent, illegal activity, lease violation, absence of a lease, or failure by the tenant to move out of the home after the expiry of their lease.
Next, you must follow the specific eviction process as outlined under state law.
Q: How long does it take to evict a tenant in Arkansas?
A: The entire eviction process in Arkansas can take as little as 2 to 4 weeks. However, the process can take longer depending on the reason for the eviction and whether the tenant fights the eviction.
Q: What is an illegal eviction in Arkansas?
A: To evict a tenant in Arkansas successfully, you must first obtain a court order. Regardless of the violation committed by your tenant, you must not engage in illegal eviction tactics. Examples of such tactics include using “self-help” methods and evicting a tenant in response to them exercising a legally protected right.
Q: How hard is it to evict someone in Arkansas?
A: Evicting someone in Arkansas is fairly straightforward. The first step is serving the tenant an eviction notice. Next, file an unlawful detainer if they refuse to move out within the notice period. Then, let the court serve the summons and complaint. Next, attend the court hearing and wait for the judgment. And then, if the judgment is in your favor, seek the sheriff’s help in removing the tenant.
Q: What are renters’ rights in Arkansas?
A: Renters, too, have a bevy of rights under state law. Here’s a full overview of the rights renters have in Arkansas.
Tenants without a lease in Arkansas enjoy a number of rights under state law. And as a landlord, it’s important to understand them in order to know what you can and cannot do.
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.
Sources: https://arkansasag.gov/, Arkansas Law Help, Nolo.com, https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/
Eviction Laws in Other States: Alabama.
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.