Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17) gives both parties of the lease certain rights and responsibilities. Your tenant, for instance, has a right to peace and quiet enjoyment of their rented home. They also have a right to be treated fairly as per the fair housing laws.
For a complete overview of renters’ rights in Arkansas, here is a guide to get you started.
As a landlord, you too, have certain rights and responsibilities in Arkansas. Whether you’re just getting started as a landlord, or are looking to learn more, knowing your rights can help you know what you can and can’t do when renting out a property in Arkansas.
6 Landlord Rights in Arkansas
1. Right to rent your property “as-is”.
Unlike many other states in the country, Arkansas landlords can rent their property “as-is”. This is because the state doesn’t have either an implicit or explicit warranty of habitability.
Therefore, as a landlord, you have no minimum standards of habitability that you are required to meet. But while there is no general obligation to keep your rental property safe and habitable, two exceptions exist.
- You must provide your tenants with hot water.
- You must provide your Arkansas tenants with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Also, you’re generally not required to make repairs unless they are specified in the lease agreement. In such a case, you must make any requested repairs within 30 days of being notified.
2. Right to evict a tenant for violating the terms of the lease agreement.
As a landlord in Arkansas, you have broad authority to evict tenants as you please. You must have a legitimate reason, though, such as:
- Failure by the tenant to pay rent.
- Violation of the lease terms, such as subletting the unit illegally.
- Holdover tenancy, where a tenant refuses to move out after their lease is over.
- Absence of a lease.
- Illegal acts, such as engaging in prostitution or gambling.
For the eviction process to be successful, you must follow the state’s eviction laws down to the letter. You must not try to evict a tenant for retaliatory or discriminatory reasons. You must also not try to evict a tenant through “self-help” means.
3. Right to ask for a security deposit.
Arkansas law also gives landlords the right to ask for a security deposit from tenants. There are certain rules that you must abide by, however. Some are as follows.
- You must not charge a deposit exceeding the equivalent of 2 months’ rent.
- You must only make deductions to a tenant’s deposit for legitimate reasons. Examples of such reasons include unpaid rent and damage exceeding normal wear and tear.
- You must return the deposit (or whatever portion remains) within 60 days.
Failure to follow the Arkansas security deposit rules will have consequences. You may be liable for paying the tenant up to twice the wrongfully withheld amount, plus court and attorney fees.
4. Right to be notified prior to lease termination by the tenant.
Tenants in Arkansas must provide their landlords with proper written notice prior to terminating their periodic lease agreements.
The amount of notice to provide depends on the rent payment frequency. To end a week-to-week tenancy, the tenant must serve you a 7-day notice. To end a month-to-month tenancy, the tenant must serve you a 30-day notice. There are no statutes for quarter-to-quarter- and year-to-year leases.
5. Right to increase rent or to raise it.
Arkansas doesn’t have a rent control law. Also, state law prohibits local jurisdictions from creating their own rent control laws. This means landlords are free to charge whatever rent they please.
Be that as it may, please note that overcharging your tenants can hurt your bottom line. Tenants may find your property to be less desirable and this may mean having long vacancy periods.
Furthermore, as a landlord, you can raise the rent amount by any amount. That said, the raise must comply with retaliation laws, discrimination laws, notice requirements, and the lease agreement.
6. Right to enter your tenants’ rented premises.
Arkansas law also gives landlords the right of entry. There is no minimum notice requirements that landlords must abide by. You can enter your tenant’s rented premises whenever and for whatever reasons.
Please note, however, that entering your tenant’s rented premises one too many times without notice can constitute landlord harassment. It may be worthwhile mentioning the minimum notice requirements in the lease agreement to prevent any potential future disputes.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs) On Landlord Rights in Arkansas
Q: Can a landlord enter without permission in Arkansas?
A: Yes. Arkansas law doesn’t specify how much notice landlords must give tenants before entering their rented premises. As a landlord, you can enter whenever and for whatever reasons. The only exception is if the lease has previously agreed-upon conditions.
Q: What are landlords responsible for in Arkansas?
A: Arkansas landlords have many responsibilities under Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17). Including, following the proper eviction process when evicting tenants, abiding by the fair housing laws, and collecting, handling, and returning tenants’ security deposits in accordance to the state’s security deposit rules.
Here is a basic guide to landlord responsibilities in Arkansas.
Q: Can a landlord evict you in Arkansas?
A: Of course! Landlords in Arkansas have a right to evict their tenants for certain legitimate reasons. Such as, nonpayment of rent, no lease, holdover tenancy, violation of the lease terms, and illegal acts.
That said, the landlord must follow the proper eviction process for the removal of the tenant to be successful. The eviction, for instance, must not be for retaliatory or discriminatory reasons. In other words, a landlord must obtain a court order (writ of possession) to evict a tenant.
Q: Can a landlord deny an emotional support animal in Arkansas?
A: No, that would be illegal on the part of the landlord. Disability is a protected class under federal fair housing laws. As such, landlords cannot refuse tenants who use service animals or emotional support animals. In fact, the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires landlords to provide disabled tenants with reasonable accommodations and modifications.
Q: Is Arkansas a landlord-friendly state?
Yes it is! Arkansas is one of the most landlord-friendly states in the country. Here is a guide to learn more.
There you have it, the rights landlords have in Arkansas. In exercising these rights, however, you must be careful not to violate those of your tenants. (Here is a guide to the renters’ rights in Arkansas).
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.