Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17) gives landlords certain responsibilities after a tenancy is established. As a landlord, it’s important that you carry out those responsibilities diligently and in line with any applicable local laws.
It also goes without saying that these responsibilities exist regardless of the lease stating otherwise.
What responsibilities do landlords have in Arkansas?
1. Making repairs.
In most states, landlords are required to provide a habitable property. That is, one that meets the state’s health, safety, and building codes. The state of Arkansas is, however, an exception. As a landlord in Arkansas, you’re only required to rent out your unit “as-is”.
You’re only obligated to make repairs if you have specified them in the lease agreement. In such cases, you must make any requested repairs within 30 days. If you fail to do so, the only remedy the tenant can take is breaking their lease and moving out. The tenant cannot withhold rent, or repair the issue themselves and make appropriate deductions from future rent payments.
2. Following the proper eviction process when evicting tenants.
As a landlord in Arkansas, you have broad authority to evict tenants from your rental property for certain legitimate reasons. Including, nonpayment of rent, violation of lease terms, and absence of a lease.
The following is a basic overview of the process that you must follow when evicting a tenant in Arkansas.
- Serving the tenant with an eviction notice.
- Filing a complaint in court if the issue remains unresolved.
- Attending court hearing and awaiting judgment.
- Removal of the tenant if the judgment is in your favor.
- Obtaining possession of the property.
Generally speaking, expect the entire process to take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.
Please note, however, that you can only evict a tenant in Arkansas after obtaining a Writ of Possession. And even then, it’s only the sheriff that can execute it. Self-help evictions, retaliatory evictions, and discriminatory evictions are all illegal in Arkansas.
3.Following the security deposit rules.
Landlords in Arkansas have a right to collect a security deposit from their tenants. That said, you must abide by certain rules. Including:
- Abiding by the limit. The maximum limit is the equivalent of 2 months’ rent. If you charge tenants, say, $1,500 in monthly rent, then the most you can collect as a security deposit is $3,000. (Title 18, Property § 18-16-305).
- Returning the deposit. You must return the deposit (or whatever portion remains) within 60 days after the tenancy ends.
- Only make deductions for legitimate reasons. For example, in case the tenant causes damage exceeding normal wear and tear.
Wrongfully withholding a tenant’s security deposit has consequences. You may be liable to pay the tenant up to 2X the wrongfully withheld amount, plus court and attorney fees.
4. Providing your tenant with proper notice prior to terminating their periodic tenancy.
If you don’t wish to renew the lease of a tenant on a periodic lease, you must provide them with proper notice. The amount of notice to serve them will depend on the rent payment frequency.
For tenants on a week-to-week lease, you’ll need to provide them with a 7-day notice. And for tenants on a month-to-month lease, you’ll need to provide them a 30-day notice. There are no statutes on how much notice to provide for tenants on a quarter-to-quarter- or year-to-year lease.
5. Notifying your tenants of a rent increase.
The state of Arkansas doesn’t have rent control. State law also prohibits local jurisdictions from creating their own rent control laws. Consequently, as a landlord, there is no limit on how much you can charge or how much you can increase it by.
That said, you have a responsibility of ensuring that the rent increase abides by retaliation laws, discrimination laws, and the lease agreement.
Additionally, you have an obligation to notify your tenants prior to raising their rent. You must give 7 days’ notice to tenants on a week-to-week lease, and 1 month’s notice to tenants on a month-to-month lease.
6. Providing your tenants with mandatory disclosures.
This is another responsibility you have as a landlord in Arkansas. You must provide your tenant with all the required disclosures prior to renting out your property.
Unlike most other states, Arkansas landlords are only required to make a disclosure on lead-based paint. You must provide your tenant with information regarding lead-paint concentrations. This disclosure only applies to landlords renting out homes built prior to 1978.
Frequently Asked Questions on Landlords Responsibilities in Arkansas (FAQs)
Q: How much can a landlord legally raise the rent in Arkansas?
A: There is no limit to how much rent a landlord can charge or raise in Arkansas. There is no rent control law, and state law prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting any rent control laws.
Q: What are renters’ rights in Arkansas?
A: For a full rundown, please click here.
Q: Is Arkansas a landlord-friendly state?
A: Yes. The state of Arkansas can be considered to be landlord-friendly. The following are some of the reasons.
- There is no rent control law in place.
- Landlords aren’t generally required to make repairs unless specified on the lease.
- Landlords have broad authority to evict tenants as they please.
- Landlords have up to 60 days to return their tenant’s security deposits.
- Arkansas law doesn’t specify how much notice landlords must give their tenants prior to entering their rented premises.
As a landlord, you must abide by these responsibilities when renting out a property in Arkansas. If you don’t, you may be liable to certain legal and/or financial repercussions. You may also put your reputation on the line, which may impact your business.
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.