Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Has your relationship with one of your family members become so sour that you no longer wish to live with them in your Arkansas home? Or, are you simply looking to downsize or even sell your home? The reasons can be many and varied. Well, as the landlord, you may be able to evict them from your property.
You must follow the proper eviction process for the process to be successful. You must not try to evict the family member using any other way other than by obtaining a court order. Illegal eviction methods in Arkansas include:
- Removing the tenant’s belongings from the property.
- Locking them out.
- Shutting off utilities that they previously enjoyed.
Now, the eviction process to take will depend on whether the family member has a lease or not.
Evicting a Family Member with a Lease in Arkansas
As per Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17), a lease between a landlord and a tenant is established if there is either a written or oral rental agreement. With such an agreement, the tenant obtains the inherent rights under the state’s landlord-tenant laws.
If your family member has a lease, then you must have legal cause to evict them from your property. When a tenant signs a lease, they usually agree to abide by certain terms. Such as, paying rent on time and abiding by the terms of the agreement, such as smoking rules and pet policies.
Once they have violated such rules, you can begin the eviction process by serving them an eviction notice. The following are the eviction notices to use depending on the violation committed.
- 3-Day Notice to Quit. If the family member has failed in their rent obligation, this is the notice you must serve them. It’ll give them 3 days to vacate the premises. If they fail to leave, you may proceed with the eviction process by serving them a 10-Day Eviction Notice to Quit. This will give them a further 10 days to vacate the property, failure to which you can file a criminal eviction against them. This will enable you to seek unpaid rent and possession of your property back.
- 14-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This is the notice you must serve on someone who commits a minor violation in Arkansas. It’ll give them 14 calendar days to vacate the premises.
- Immediate Notice to Vacate. This notice is reserved for tenants who engage in illegal activity. It doesn’t give them an opportunity to remedy the violation they have committed. They must move out at once.
- 30-Day Notice to Vacate. This is for tenants with no lease or on a month-to-month lease in Arkansas. Landlords usually use this type of notice when evicting family members and roommates without a lease. The notice gives the tenant 30 calendar days to move out. For other periodic lease types, you must serve other notice types. For instance, if the tenant was paying rent on a weekly basis, then you must serve them a 7-Day Notice to Quit.
If the tenant fails to do what the eviction notice says, you can move to the next step and file an eviction lawsuit. If the filing is successful, you’ll be issued a copy of the summons and complaint.
The tenant will then have an opportunity to respond to the complaint. If the tenant chooses to respond, they may try to fight the eviction by giving certain defenses.
If the court favors you either through a default judgment or through a triumphant ruling, the court will issue you with a Writ of Possession.
Evicting a Family Member with No Lease in Arkansas
Even without a lease, you cannot just evict the family member anyhow you like. What’s more, for the sake of the relationship, you may want to be gentle in the way you go about the process. The following are some tips to help you along the way.
Serve a proper eviction notice.
Without a lease, Arkansas law requires that you serve the tenant a 30-Day Notice to Vacate to remove them. As already mentioned, this will give the tenant 30 calendar days to vacate the premises.
Don’t accept future rent payments.
Accepting a rent payment from the tenant will automatically render the eviction process null and void. As such, once you serve the 30-Day Eviction Notice to Vacate on the tenant, you must not accept any rent payments from them. If you do so, you’ll have to wait for the next cycle to begin the process all over again.
Pay the tenant to leave.
Do you have the money to do so? If you do, it can be the best option for you to take. Not only can it help save the relationship you have with the family member, but may also save you time and money on the process.
You could, for instance, consider paying their moving costs and their first month’s rent.
File a lawsuit and continue with the eviction process.
If the aforementioned options don’t work, then you may only have this as the remedy left. The following is a basic overview of the process you’ll need to take.
- Serve the tenant a 30-Day Notice to Vacate. This will give them 30 calendar days to move out.
- File a lawsuit in court. If the tenant doesn’t vacate the premises in 30 days, you may need to file a complaint in court. After a successful filing, the court will issue you with a copy of the Summons and Complaint.
- Attend the hearing. If the judgment is in your favor, the court will issue you with Writ of Possession. This will give possession of the property back to you and the tenant will have to move out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Evicting a Family Member in Arkansas
Q: How to get someone out of your house who won’t leave in Arkansas?
A: It’ll depend on whether there is a lease involved or not. If there is one, you can evict the individual if you have a just cause, such as nonpayment of rent or violation of the lease. With no lease, then you must take an Unlawful Detainer action against the tenant.
Q: How do I legally evict someone in Arkansas?
A: You must obtain a court order (Writ of Possession) to successfully evict the tenant. This will give you possession of the property back, and the tenant will have to move out either willingly or by force through the sheriff’s help.
Q: How long does it take to evict someone in Arkansas?
A: From the beginning to the end, expect the entire process to take anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks. It can also take longer depending on the reason for the eviction and whether the tenant puts up a fight or not.
Q: What are renters’ rights in Arkansas?
A: Even in the face of imminent eviction, renters in Arkansas have certain rights. You can read about them here.
Now you know how to evict a family member in Arkansas without a lease. But in doing so, make sure to serve the proper eviction notice, respect the tenant’s rights, follow the right eviction procedure, and abide by retaliatory and discriminatory laws for a successful process.
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: AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17, https://arkansasag.gov/, https://a.arlawhelp.org/landlord-tenant/landlord-tenant-law.
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.