Posted in Blog  
  on Jun 01, 2015

What Is the Eviction Process in Arkansas?

The landlord/tenant laws in Arkansas are very unforgiving to tenants who fail to pay their rent on time. It also provides landlords with numerous remedies any time there is a breach of the rental agreement. Tenants have a very specific and very limited amount of time before the eviction process continues on undeterred. Arkansas is also unique in the fact that there is a civil and a criminal eviction process which landlords are able to initiate. The criminal eviction process is used when payment for rent has not been made after 10 days have lapsed and the tenant has failed to vacate the unit. This constitutes a Class B misdemeanor and tenants can be fined up to $25 per day for every day they remain in the unit. Each day they stay also constitutes a new charge, so a 30 day possession could result in 30 misdemeanor charges. There is no imprisonment that occurs, so public defenders are not made available to tenants. The goal under Arkansas law is simple: pay on time, move out if you cannot, or face severe consequences.

What Notices Must a Landlord Present?

Landlords are required to provide tenants with a 3 day notice to quit if an unlawful detainer is being pursued. If the rental agreement has been breached, then a 14 day notice to remedy the problem must be given. The 14 day notice must provide specific details about how the contract was breached. If there is no written contract in place for a tenant, then landlords are allowed to evict tenants for any reason and at any time as long as one rental period of notice has been given. This generally requires a 1 month notice, but for those paying weekly rent, the eviction happens in 7 days. Common violations include damage to rental property, criminal activity occurring in the home, or allowing unauthorized people to live in the home. The criminal method of eviction for landlords, the failure to vacate, can only be used when rent has not been paid. This is a separate written notice and requires a 10 day compliance before charges can be brought against the tenant.

What Are Tenant Remedies?

Once a landlord has given a tenant their notice and they have not remedies the situation, they have just 5 days to file an objection to the eviction proceedings after being served with a summons and complaint. If no objection is filed, then landlords may obtain a Writ of Possession immediately to have the tenant evicted by local law enforcement. If the tenant does file in time, then there are several defenses that may become available for the eviction proceedings to be halted. The most common reason for halting an eviction is a landlord accepting a partial payment of the rent that is due, which is Arkansas waives the landlord's right to continue the eviction proceeding. Self-help evictions that landlords take, such as changing the locks or cutting off power, are also grounds to halt an eviction. Even before trial, if the court finds a landlord is likely to win, a judge will issue a Writ of Possession. Tenants may stay in the unit until the trial, but they must post a security deposit within 5 days of issuance. Without it, a tenant may be forcibly evicted by law enforcement.

 

Why Is the Criminal Eviction In Place?

Some tenants do not wish to leave a rental property until law enforcement arrives to force them out. The cost to the landlord can be immense when this happens because there are court filings, legal costs, and other expenses that continue to build up. By making it illegal to stay past the 10 day notification period, the responsibility is placed on the tenant instead of the landlord to rectify the situation. If law enforcement must evict a tenant, any possessions that cannot be taken along will be stored at tenant's expense. If tenants leave property behind before a Writ of Possession is enforced, landlords may be able to consider the property to be abandoned and be allowed to either sell those items are throw them away. Threatening to take self-help measures as a landlord is also considered a crime. Tenants are allowed to contact law enforcement immediately if they believe this has happened to them. Arkansas takes the rental agreement very seriously with their landlord/tenant law. This ultimately makes the relationship easier to manage for both parties in most circumstances, allowing a rental property to become a profitable investment.


Related

Most Important Landlord Tenant Laws in Texas

When it comes to having a tenant for the first time, it can be pretty daunting because you are going to be the corresponding landlord and a new relationship will emerge, which will need time to grow... More


The Landlord Tenant Board: What it is and When it is Needed

Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More


The Landlord Tenant Laws in California

The landlord and tenant laws in California are literally the same as they are in any other state. These laws, rules and regulations are put into practice because they uphold an order, a discipline,... More


How to Write an Eviction Notice

When it comes to a landlord wanting to evict their tenant, there are specific steps that need to be followed before the process of eviction can start. It is not anymore that the landlord can simply... More


Understanding the Landlord Tenant Laws in Illinois

People are aware that there are different rulings in each state with reference to the landlord/tenant laws. The state of Illinois also has a set of laws. These rules and regulations are basically... More


How to Create a Residential Lease Agreement

Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More


The Best Sites for Rental and Lease Agreement Templates

Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More


The Landlord Tenant Act: What Landlords Need to Know

All landlords know that before they can formally become a landlord there are a lot of things they need to understand. Landlords and tenants cannot act as such without any legal bodies involved. That... More


What is the Eviction Process for a Landlord

When it comes to evicting a rowdy tenant from your apartment, it can be a little overwhelming, because you know that there is legal recourse and you cannot just boot out your tenant. There is a... More


5 Landlord Forms that Every Landlord Should Have

When it comes to being a landlord, one should know that it is not for the unprepared individual. This should be clear that being a landlord does not simply mean that you will be taking the rent and... More