In Arkansas, landlord and tenants have certain rights to the rental property under landlord tenant law. One important set of rules involves a landlord’s right to enter the tenant’s apartment. Learn the reasons a landlord can enter a tenant’s apartment in Arkansas and the notice the landlord must give before doing so.
Notice Before Entry Requirements in Arkansas
Arkansas code states that a landlord should provide “reasonable notice” before entering a tenant’s apartment. It is considered notice if the tenant is aware of the landlord’s intentions.
Written notice can be provided to the tenant by either hand delivering the notice to the tenant or by mailing the notice to the tenant via registered or certified mail. In certain cases, a phone call, text message or email can also serve as notice as long as the landlord has reason to believe that the tenant received the notice.
How Much Notice the Landlord Has to Give
Arkansas landlord-tenant lawdoes not state the specific amount of time that is considered reasonable notice. States that define the length of reasonable time will usually require notice of between 24 hours and 48 hours before a landlord can enter. An Arkansas landlord should be within their rights if they give a tenant similar notice.
Hours When an Arkansas Landlord Can Enter
Although Arkansas code does not list specific hours when a landlord is allowed to enter into a tenant’s apartment, a landlord cannot enter whenever he or she pleases. In general, a landlord can enter a tenant’s unit during normal business hours. These would be between 8 A.M in the morning and 6 P.M. at night.
There are two exceptions to entering during normal business hours:
- Emergencies: In the case of an emergency, a landlord can enter into a tenant’s apartment at any time during the day or night.
- Mutually Agreed Upon Time: If the landlord and the tenant have agreed on a time for the landlord to enter the apartment that is outside of normal business hours, then the landlord can enter the apartment at this time of the day or night.
Lawful Reasons a Landlord Can Enter a Tenant’s Apartment
Arkansas code lists the reasons a landlord may be allowed to access a tenant’s apartment. They include:
- To Inspect the Property
- To Make Necessary or Agreed Upon Repairs, Decorations, Alterations or Improvements
- To Supply Necessary or Agreed Upon Services
- To Investigate Breaches to the Lease Agreement
- To Investigate Possible Criminal Activity
- To Show the Unit to Prospective Tenants
- To Show the Unit to Prospective Buyers, Contractors or Other Individuals With a Business Interest in the Property
- In Emergency Situations
Reasons an Arkansas Tenant Can Deny Landlord Entry
If a landlord has given reasonable notice and is entering into the tenant’s unit for a legally allowed reason, the tenant cannot usually deny a landlord entry. It is illegal for a tenant to attempt to deny a landlord’s entry by changing the locks on their door without the landlord’s consent.
A tenant may be allowed to deny a landlord entry if:
- Landlord Did Not Give Proper Notice- If the landlord did not give the tenant reasonable notice, the tenant may be allowed to deny the landlord entry. For example, if a landlord calls the tenant saying he or she wants to show the tenant’s apartment to a prospective tenant in five minutes, the tenant can deny entry because the landlord did not give proper notice.
- Harassing the Tenant- A tenant can deny a landlord entry into their unit if the landlord is trying to gain entry in order to harass the tenant.
Reasons a Landlord Can Enter Without Notice
- Emergency Situations- In emergency situations, a landlord does not have to give notice to enter a tenant’s apartment. In these situations, the landlord is entering the apartment in order to protect the safety of all tenants in the property. An example of an emergency situation would be a burst water pipe flooding a tenant’s apartment.
- Health and Safety Issue- In addition, if a landlord has given the tenant notice that there is a health and safety issue that the tenant needs to fix and the tenant does not fix the issue or respond within 14 days, then the landlord has the right to enter the tenant’s unit without additional notice and “cause the work to be done.”
Landlord’s Right if Tenant Does Not Allow Lawful Access
If a tenant denies a landlord lawful entry into their apartment, the landlord can obtain injunctive relief from a court to gain access into the apartment. The landlord may also be entitled to damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.