When Does A Guest Become A Tenant In Arkansas

When Does A Guest Become A Tenant In Arkansas

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Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen

Having a new roommate, visiting family, live-in nannies, and/or a lover is a common scenario in the rental world. That said, as a tenant in Arkansas, you are bound by certain rules when it comes to having guests. Remember, violating the lease agreement can have severe financial and even legal repercussions.

The following are answers to commonly asked questions regarding having a guest as a tenant.

What are the telltale signs that a Guest Has Become a Tenant in Arkansas?

The following are signs that indicate a guest has now become a tenant.

  • They are paying rent. Even without being named on the lease, payment of rent is a sign that you’re now a guest.
  • You have allowed your guest to receive mail at the property.
  • The guest has moved in their stuff into your property, such as a bed, furniture, or even their furry friend.
  • They are staying overnight.
  • You have a verbal agreement between you and your guest. In Arkansas, a verbal agreement is one of the ways of establishing tenancy in a home.

So, when exactly doesn’t a guest become a tenant in Arkansas? Well, there is no statewide statute on the same. But, most landlords provide guest rules on the lease agreement. And typically, landlords require that guests stay no more than 10 days in a row.

Check your lease for more details!

What is the Difference between a Guest and a Tenant in Arkansas?

The main difference between you and a guest, such as a friend or a girlfriend, is that, unlike them, you are on the lease. You have a responsibility to uphold all the terms of the lease agreement. For example, paying rent, caring for the property, and abiding by lease policies, like the guest policy (if any).

A guest, on the other hand, doesn’t have any responsibilities under the lease. Allowing them to establish tenancy in your rental property without the landlord’s permission would be a serious violation of the lease.  

Can a landlord tell you who can be at your house?

Your landlord has every right to know who exactly is living on his property. Typically, landlords require that all adults who will be living on the property sign a lease. This ensures that all adult tenants are liable to the terms of the lease agreement. For example, if one violates a term of the lease agreement, the landlord would be able to evict everyone from the unit.

And of course, all children below the age of 18 are considered minors and don’t have to sign a lease.

Can my landlord tell me I can’t have visitors?  

No, this would be wrong on so many levels. As a tenant, you have a right to invite guests over. What you don’t have a right to, however, is having long-term guests that the landlord hasn’t approved of.

Landlords require adult occupants to be on the lease because of accountability issues.

Can a landlord say no to overnight guests?

No, your landlord cannot say no to overnight guests. They cannot unreasonably forbid you to have guests or charge you a fee for having guests over. What your landlord could do, however, is limit you to having a guest only stay one or two consecutive nights without getting permission.

It’s also normal for landlords to limit guests’ visits when it comes to longer stays. For instance, no more than 10 days in any 6-month period.

What are my tenants’ rights to have guests in Arkansas?

As a tenant in Arkansas, you have a right to peace and quiet enjoyment. This translates to a couple of things, including:

  • A right to have guests in your home for your enjoyment.
  • Right to engage in activities that don’t violate other laws, such as a party as long as it doesn’t violate noise rules.
  • Right to privacy, meaning the landlord must not barge in uninvited.
  • Right to consider the property they are renting as their home and to enjoy it as such.

Is subletting legal in Arkansas?

Check your lease agreement. Does it prohibit tenants from subletting their rental premises? If it does, then stick to the rules. However, if there is no mention of subletting in the lease, then you are in the clear to do so.

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: Arkansas law (AR Code. Tit. 18. Ch. 17), https://www.findlaw.com/

2 thoughts on “When Does A Guest Become A Tenant In Arkansas”

  1. I have a girlfriend who won’t leave no matter how many times I tell her. We’re expecting a baby but I’m unsure I’m the father until i can verify it. How do i get her to leave in the meantime? She’s befriended my landlord and my landlord has even suggested we become cotenants. What should i do?

  2. A friend who has stayed with me in my apartment for 3 weeks straight has refused to leave after telling to do so recently. And my landlord lives several hundred miles away and has been unresponsive to my texts and calls. What should i do? I don’t want to continue living with home. Will the police help?

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