Arkansas has a statewide law that defines the rights of both landlords and tenants. These rules are meant to make the relationship between landlord and tenant run more smoothly because each side will understand their obligations. Here are six specific rules that Arkansas’s landlord tenant law covers.
Fair Housing Rights in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords and tenants must follow the Federal Fair Housing Act. This Act aims to prevent discrimination in any housing related activity, including:
- Buying a House
- Obtaining a Mortgage
- Renting an Apartment
Seven specific classes of people are protected under the Act. No additional classes are protected under Arkansas's law.
- Disability (Physical and Mental)
- Familial Status
- National Origin
Prohibited Actions Under Fair Housing
Landlords must treat all prospective tenants and current tenants equally. The following actions are examples of discrimination.
- A landlord cannot deny a prospective tenant housing because he or she is physically disabled. The landlord is required to make reasonable accommodations to allow the tenant to live in the property.
- A landlord may not raise a tenant’s rent in an attempt to force the tenant out because the landlord does not like their religious views.
- A landlord cannot place a for rent ad that says tenants with children need not apply.
- A landlord cannot refuse to rent to an otherwise qualified applicant because the landlord does not like the color of their skin.
Security Deposit Rights in Arkansas
18-16-301 through 18-16-306
Landlords in Arkansas are allowed to collect a security deposit from their tenants before allowing the tenant to move into the unit.
Under Arkansas state law, a landlord may not charge a tenant more than two months’ rent as a security deposit. The landlord is allowed to charge less than two months’ rent if he or she wishes.
Arkansas does not have many rules when it comes to how a landlord must store a tenant’s security deposit and the communication the landlord must have with the tenant.
- The deposit does not have to be kept in an interest-bearing account.
- The landlord does not have to provide written notice to the tenant after collecting the deposit
- A walk through inspection is not required prior to tenant move out.
Rules for Returning Deposit
Arkansas landlord-tenant law does have specific rules for returning the tenant's portion of the security deposit once they have moved out of the unit.
- An Arkansas landlord must provide a written itemized statement of any deductions that have been taken from the security deposit, as well as the remainder of the security deposit.
- This must be sent by first class mail to the last known address of the tenant.
- The landlord has up to 60 days after tenant move-out to do this.
Right to Rent Disclosure in Arkansas
Arkansas’ landlord-tenant law gives the tenant the right to rent disclosure. The specific rent terms must be included as a clause in the lease agreement. If they are not disclosed, the rent terms will be considered the default terms which are spelled out in Arkansas’ landlord-tenant law. These terms can include:
Grace Period in Arkansas
Tenants in Arkansas are given a five day grace period from the date their rent is due to pay the rent. If the tenant does not pay the rent within this five day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement.
Rights of Domestic Violence Victims in Arkansas
In Arkansas, tenants who have been victims of domestic violence have certain rights. A landlord cannot deny tenancy to a prospective tenant based solely on the fact that they are a victim of domestic violence. The landlord may also not terminate a current tenant’s lease because they have been a victim of domestic violence. Under Arkansas law, tenants who have been victims of domestic violence are entitled to have their locks changed, at their expense, as long as they notify the landlord of their desire to have the locks changed.
A Landlord's Right to Entry in Arkansas
Arkansas law does have any specific requirements when it comes to the amount of notice a landlord must give a tenant before entering their apartment. Many states will require a landlord to give a tenant a certain amount of notice before the landlord is allowed to enter the tenant’s apartment, but Arkansas law simply states that the landlord must provide reasonable notice.
Arkansas does have rules for the reasons a tenant must allow a landlord into their apartment. This includes to perform maintenance and repairs, as well as to show the unit to prospective tenants.
Right to Lead Disclosure in Arkansas
20-27-601 through 20-27-608
Arkansas Code grants tenants certain rights and protections when it comes to lead hazards. Lead-based paint is a concern in homes and buildings constructed before 1978. Lead is a hazard to people of all ages but is thought to be particularly harmful to children as it can cause developmental disabilities.
- If a property is believed to have a lead hazard, the Department of Health is allowed to inspect the premises and then provide the owner with instructions on how to abate the lead hazard.
- The owner has 30 days after receiving this notice to fix the problem.
- Arkansas Code also prohibits a landlord from taking retaliatory actions against a tenant who has complained of a potential lead hazard.