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Arkansas Property Management Laws

Property owners in Arkansas are responsible for following local laws and regulations regarding the handling of their investments. Different states and counties have varying rules, making it more difficult to determine what is a legal course of action in different leasing situations. It is important to be able to find the correct laws that you must follow in your state.

This guide was created to provide investors and tenants a baseline of understanding regarding their responsibilities and rights and find the correct and legal course of action regarding renting issues.

Key Points

  • 1 In Arkansas, the landlord-tenant law is less detailed than in many other states.
  • 2 There is no requirement for a landlord to maintain or repair rental units in Arkansas.
  • 3 Tenants may pay a maximum security deposit of two month’s rent.
  • 4 There is no grace period to require a late fee or pay rent — a 10-day notice may be issued immediately if it isn’t otherwise stipulated in the lease.

Note: This guide is intended to be used as an educational resource. The contents within do not constitute legal advice. To obtain information regarding property management laws in your state, consult a local attorney. This guide is based only on property management laws at the state level. Local county and city laws may exist that are not discussed in this guide. Consult a local attorney to obtain information that pertains to your specific location and situation.

Property Management Laws Overview in Arkansas

Code Description
Rental Application Laws
18-16-301 Security Deposit Laws
18-16-201 Lease and Termination Laws
18-16-101 Rent and Late Fee Laws
Disclosure Laws
Landlord Responsibility Laws
Property Maintenance and Repair Laws

Rental Application Laws

What application fees are allowed? 

There is not a statute in Arkansas that outlines the amount a landlord can charge for an application fee. Local and federal laws may apply.

Does a landlord need consent to run a background check?

Yes, a landlord must gain consent during the application process before running a background check against a potential applicant according to federal Fair Housing laws.

Can a landlord refuse to rent to someone?

Federal laws according to the Fair Housing Act prohibit a landlord from renting to anybody on the basis of their sexuality, gender, family status, color, nationality, age or disability.

Security Deposit Laws

Are additional move-in fees allowed? 

Most landlords require an application fee to verify that potential renters qualify to rent from them, as well as a pet deposit if the renter wants to move in a non-service animal.

Is there a limit on the security deposit amount that can be charged? 

The maximum allowable security deposit in Arkansas is equal to twice the monthly rent (18-16-304).

Does the landlord have to hold the security deposit in a specific way during occupancy?

No, Arkansas state law does not define how to hold a security deposit. It is expected that a security deposit will be available in the event that a tenant wishes to move out, so a federally secured bank is the market standard.

How long does the landlord have to return the security deposit?

Landlords have 30 days to return the tenant’s security deposit (18-16-305). If there have been charges made to repair or clean the vacated unit, there must be an itemized receipt included with the remaining security deposit. 

What are the reasons a landlord can withhold part or all of the security deposit? 

There are several laws that allow a landlord to keep a tenant’s security deposit, such as in the event that:

  • The tenant leaves the premises in an unfit manner that requires repairs and cleaning to bring it back to a habitable condition
  • Rent or other fees are left unpaid
  • The property is deemed abandoned by the tenant

If an action by a tenant causes a landlord to pay money, such as for a repair or by refusing to pay rent, the landlord is able to leverage the security deposit against that charge. 

What is the penalty if the landlord doesn’t return the security deposit? 

A tenant may sue the landlord for twice the security deposit and associated fees including legal costs (18-16-306) if it is determined that the landlord wrongfully kept a deposit.

How long does the landlord have to locate the tenant before they can keep the security deposit?

If a security deposit has been abandoned, the landlord has 180 days (18-16-305.b) to make a reasonable attempt to locate the previous renter and return the deposit. After 180 days, the landlord may keep the deposit.

Are there any exceptions to these laws?

If a landlord and their company have five or fewer properties that aren’t under the direct management of a paid property manager, they are not bound to the security deposit regulations (18-16-303).

Laws About Leases and Lease Termination

What types of lease terms are allowed? 

Lease terms are not required to follow any legal templates in Arkansas. They are assumed to be on a monthly basis and at-will, but the lease itself will detail the exact length of occupancy as well as:

  • The cost of rent and the due date
  • What late fee charges you can expect if paying rent past the due date
  • What behaviors are prohibited at the residency from the tenant
  • How much notice a landlord must give to enter the premises
  • The amount of the security deposit paid and a move-in inspection report

What happens if the tenant violates the lease? 

In Arkansas, if a tenant violates a lease, the landlord must send a notice requesting them to repair the violation or face eviction.

How much notice is required for a month-to-month lease termination? 

There is a 10-day period (18-16-101.b) in which a tenant may work to reverse an eviction due to non-payment by paying all rent that is in arrears. 

When can a tenant terminate a term lease without penalty? 

There are no exceptions in Arkansas that would allow a tenant to break their lease without a penalty.

How much notice do service members have to supply before terminating the lease? 

If a service member is required to relocate due to their active duty status, federal laws prohibit them from being charged for breaking their lease.

Are there special lease termination rules for victims of domestic violence? 

Statute 18-16-112 explains that a landlord must not discriminate against renting to a victim of domestic violence due to actions committed against them and that the landlord must change the locks at a tenant’s request and expense.

How and when can a landlord evict a tenant? 

If the proper notice has been served and the tenant has not paid the monies owed or otherwise remedied their lease violation, a landlord may proceed with legal action to regain control of the premises. If a tenant stays past 30 days of receiving a notice to quit (18-16-106) and has not remedied the situation to the landlord’s satisfaction, they will be liable for twice the monthly rent owed for each day after the lease termination date.

How much notice does a landlord have to give before making changes to the property that result in the termination of tenancy? 

Arkansas law does not dictate when or how a landlord may make improvements to their properties or if they have to provide notice to the tenants that they intend to do so.

Laws About Rent and Late Fees

When can a landlord increase rent? 

A landlord must provide 30-day notice to a tenant before increasing their rent.

Is there a maximum amount of rent that a landlord can charge tenants? 

There is no regulation regarding the cost of rent prices in Arkansas. Federal and local rules may apply.

Is rent-control allowed in Arkansas?

Rent-control is not currently practiced at the state level in Arkansas, but local and county ordinances and laws may apply.

Is there a state-mandated grace period that landlords must give tenants before charging a late fee? 

No, there is no grace period for a late fee in Arkansas. The rent is due on the date specified in the lease or on the first of the month (18-16-101.a).

Is there a limit on how much of a late fee the landlord can charge tenants? 

In Arkansas, there are no laws outlining when to assess a late fee and how much to charge. This requirement must be included in the lease to be legally valid.

Legally Required Disclosures

What types of disclosures are landlords required to supply regarding ownership of the property? 

There is no law surrounding the disclosure of building ownership in Arkansas.

Can the owner designate an agent to serve and receive disclosures?

An owner may designate any agent they choose to handle the finances of their properties, there is no statute in the law regulating this practice in Arkansas.

What disclosures related to mold are landlords required to supply?

There is no mold disclosure law in Arkansas, though houses managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) do require buildings to be safe, habitable and free of mold per federal guidelines.

What disclosures related to lead paint are landlords required to supply?

The EPA requires that any tenant renting a structure built before 1978 sign a disclosure form indicating whether or not the property has lead-based paint.

Laws About Landlord Responsibilities

How much notice does the landlord have to supply before entry? 

Landlords are not required to provide any advance notice to tenants in order to enter their properties.

What steps must the landlord take to keep the property habitable?

In Arkansas, a landlord is not responsible for any ongoing maintenance regarding their properties. Tenants are expected to keep their premises clean and safe.

What utilities must the landlord supply and maintain? 

Landlords are not required to maintain or supply any utilities or facilities to renters.

Is the landlord required to supply locks and keys? 

It is not defined in Arkansas leasing statutes if a landlord needs to provide locks or keys to renters.

Are retaliatory actions prohibited?

No, a landlord may not retaliate against a tenant for requesting repairs or complaining about the landlord to a housing or health authority. Retaliatory actions include:

  • Raising rent prices
  • Moving to evict the tenant
  • Decreasing services such as cutting off a utility

Property Maintenance and Repair Laws

What type of maintenance is the landlord responsible for?

Arkansas is the only state where landlords are not responsible for repairs or ongoing maintenance in a rental home. It is vital to make sure you have a written lease that outlines the landlord’s responsibilities regarding maintenance and repairs, including:

  • How a tenant can make repair requests (legally valid requests will be in writing)
  • How long a landlord has to undergo the repair or maintenance
  • What maintenance responsibilities the tenant is subject to

Is the landlord responsible to fix damage caused by tenants? 

No, landlords have the right to receive their properties back in the same condition in which the property was rented. Security deposits are requested so that tenants will have financial accountability in the event that their behaviors while living in the unit or lack of maintenance cause property damages that must be paid.

When can a tenant request an official inspection to determine substandard or dangerous living conditions? 

Tenants may make a formal complaint against a landlord if their housing is not up to safe and habitable standards. 

Under what circumstances can a tenant make a repair and deduct the cost from the rent paid to the landlord? 

Arkansas law dictates that a tenant must always pay rent when due as outlined in the lease or on the first day of the month. There are no exceptions to this rule, and withholding rent due to repairs could cause a tenant to be evicted.

Additional Rental Law Resources for the State of Arkansas

Use these additional resources to locate information about available housing resources in Arkansas and education regarding landlord-tenant laws.

Name Phone Number Description
Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Handbook

N/A Provides full details of the housing statutes that apply to renters and tenants. There are also resources to assist renters with locating legal assistance and government housing assistance programs.
Arkansas Home Energy Assistance Program (800) 368-3749 This program helps low-income residents pay their energy bills on a one-time yearly basis or as needed for emergencies. Funds are limited to this program and may not always be available, especially in the colder months when more applications are received requesting assistance.
Arkansas Energy Office Weatherization Assistance Program (501) 682-0744 Eligible households can request an energy conservation audit through this program and receive needed structural improvements to their homes from licensed contractors at no cost.
Housing Discrimination Hotline

(800) 669-9777 The HUD discrimination office takes complaints from renters who have been discriminated against in regard to housing.
Legal Aid of Arkansas (800) 952-9243 Nonprofit team of legal representatives in Arkansas who help low-income residents with civil issues, such as those related to housing.

Note: This guide is intended to be used as an educational resource. The contents within do not constitute legal advice. To obtain information regarding property management laws in your state, consult a local attorney. This guide is based only on property management laws at the state level. Local county and city laws may exist that are not discussed in this guide. Consult a local attorney to obtain information that pertains to your specific location and situation.