This is a summary of Arkansas Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Arkansas Code, the Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 2007, and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Arkansas landlord-tenant laws, Arkansas eviction laws, and Arkansas renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Laws
- Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16 – Landlord and Tenant
- Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17 Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 2007
Arkansas Lease Terms Provisions
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
The security deposit cannot exceed two month’s rent unless the landlord owns five or fewer dwelling units. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-303); (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-304)
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring security deposits to earn interest.
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account.
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There is no Arkansas law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover accrued unpaid rent and to repair any damages to the property caused by tenants’ failures to comply with the rental agreement. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-305(a)(2))
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. An itemized list, detailing the amount withheld and the reasons for withholding, must be sent via first class to the tenant’s last known address within 60 days. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-305(a)(2)); (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-305(b)(1)) If this letter with payment returns to landlord, and landlord is unable to locate tenant after reasonable effort, the payment becomes landlord’s property after 180 days from the date the payment was mailed (Ark. Code. Ann. § 18-16-305(b)(2)).
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
No. There is no Arkansas law specifying record-keeping requirements.
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
The tenant may recover the property and money due to the tenant, damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld, costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-306)
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in Arkansas. However, the state does not allow local municipalities, counties, cities or township to enact, enforce, or maintain any ordinances designed to control the rent amount charged by landlord for rent on private residential property (Ark. Code Ann. § 14-16-601).
- When is rent due?
Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. Unless they agree to a different arrangement, rent is due at the beginning of the month and will be paid in equal monthly installments. For week-to-week tenancies, rent is due every week. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-401)
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring a certain payment method for rent.
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. There is no Arkansas law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
Yes. There is no Arkansas law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Can landlords charge returned check fees?
Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. However, landlords cannot raise your rent in the middle of your lease.
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no Arkansas law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.
- What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic lease?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 7 days written notice. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-704(a))
- What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic lease?
Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 30 days written notice. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-704(b))
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in Arkansas law covering this issue.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises?
- To inspect the premises.
- To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
- To supply necessary or agreed services.
- To investigate possible rule or lease violations.
- To investigate possible criminal activity.
- To show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-602(a))
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
There is no Arkansas law requiring landlords to give tenants notice of entry.
- Arkansas law does not require the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition unless it is stated in the tenancy agreement that the landlord has to maintain the property. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-110)
- There is no Arizona law defining the landlord’s duties.
Tenant’s Duties (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-601)
- Tenants must comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
- Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
- Tenants must dispose of all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste cleanly and safely.
- Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures reasonably clean.
- Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
- Tenants must not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises; or knowingly, recklessly, or negligently permit any person to do so.
- Tenants and their guests must conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
- Tenants must comply with the lease and rules that are enforceable under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-601).
- Tenants must occupy their dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit and shall not conduct or permit any illegal activity there (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-603).
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65)
Arkansas Renters’ Rights
- What rights do tenants have if their landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
There is no Arkansas law providing remedies for tenants.
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
No. There is no Arkansas law allowing tenants to withhold rent.
- Are tenants permitted to sublease their rental units?
There is no Arkansas law regarding subletting, so tenants may sublease so long as their lease allows for subleasing or does not mention it.
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Arkansas renters’ rights?
There is no Arkansas law protecting tenants against retaliation from their landlords for attempting to exercise renters’ rights. However, landlords cannot retaliate against a tenant if lead hazards are found in the dwelling. (Ark. Code Ann. § 20-27-608)
Arkansas Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Arkansas eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-901(a)(1))
- Violation of the terms or conditions of the rental agreement (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-901(a)(3))
- Illegal gambling, prostitution, unlawful sale of alcohol, or criminal nuisance. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-502); (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-503)
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-901(a)(2))
- What notice must landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process in Arkansas?
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the rent is not considered late until 5 days of the due date. After the grace period has expired, the landlord must give 3 days notice to move out before starting the civil eviction process, or 10 days notice to move out before starting the criminal eviction process. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-701); (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-101)
- For evictions based on violations of the terms or conditions of the rental agreement, landlords must give a 14-day notice to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-701(a)(1))
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide a 7-day notice to terminate a week-to-week tenancy and a 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-704)
- No notice is required for evictions based on illegal activity. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-502); (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-503)
- Are landlords permitted to recover damages from an evicted tenant?
Yes. In Arkansas, a landlord may recover actual damages, reasonable attorney fees, and/or obtain injunctive relief for a tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-701)
- Are landlords permitted to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. There is no statute regarding this issue, but Arkansas does not allow self-help eviction.
COVID-19 Changes to Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- COVID-19 Emergency Solutions Grant helps Arkansans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Arkansas Squatter’s Rights’
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
Arkansas has no specific laws recognizing squatters. If the squatter held color of title and paid taxes on the property or on property contiguous to the property to which he/she claims adverse possession, he/she may claim adverse possession after 7 years (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-11-102). Color of title may be established by the person claiming adversely to the true owner by paying taxes for 7 years for unimproved and unenclosed land or 15 years for wild and unimproved land, provided the true owner has not also paid taxes or made a bona fide good faith effort to pay taxes which were misapplied by the state and local taxing authority. (Ark. Code Ann. § 18-11-106).
- Guide: What You Should Know About Landlord and Tenant Rights
- Arkansas Attorney General
- Arkansas Fair Housing Commission
- Arkansas Department of Insurance
- Arkansas Consumer Protection Division
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Arkansas – Rental Help
- Arkansas Real Estate Commission
- Arkansas Health Department
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- Arkansas REALTORS® Association
- Little Rock Association of REALTORS®
- Landlords Association of Arkansas
- Northeast Arkansas Landlord Association
- North Little Rock Landlords Association
- South Arkansas Landlords Association
- Hot Springs Landlords Association
- River Valley Landlords Association