The Arkansas lease agreement is a document that outlines the rights and duties of the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee). The main elements of this agreement are the rent payment amount, the term (duration of the lease), and other rights and duties of the parties.
The landlord's main duty is to enable the tenant to use the leased property without any disturbance. The primary duty of the tenant is to pay the rent amount before the due date and use the property according to the lease agreement.
Of course, many more provisions have to be included in the lease agreement. In this article, you will find the most important clauses that protect you from legal liability.
Arkansas Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
When drafting the lease agreement, you should pay attention to the mandatory disclosures required by federal and state law.
Arkansas state laws don’t provide any mandatory disclosures that must be included in the lease agreement. Regardless, it is always advised to include disclosures that will prevent parties from having any future disputes.
Unlike state law, federal law requires parties to include lead-based paint disclosure. This disclosure is mandatory for any object built before 1978.
Arkansas Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Although not mandatory, these disclosures can additionally safeguard the parties and prevent possible disputes that can emerge between the landlord and the tenant.
Bed bug infestation disclosure. The landlord should provide the tenant with information on how to act in case of a bed bug infestation and list each party’s responsibilities.
Mold disclosure. The landlord should inform the tenant if there is a history of mold at the property and provide guidelines in case any mold appears in the future.
Move-in checklist. It should be attached to the lease agreement and list all the items in the property and their condition at the moment the tenant moves in. This will prevent any future disputes about the damage to the property after the lease term is over.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
The landlord can face civil and criminal liability and pay fines if they fail to include the mandatory disclosures in the lease agreement.
According to federal law, the landlord can be fined up to $19,507 in the case of a lead-based paint disclosure violation.
Arkansas Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
The landlord cannot ask for a security deposit higher than two months’ rent (§ 18-16-304). This does not apply to a landlord with fewer than six rental units.
Deductions can be made for any due rent and damages made to the property.
Security Deposit Return
The landlord must return the deposit (minus any deductions) to the tenant no later than 60 days after the lease is over.
If the landlord cannot find the tenant within 180 days of the lease termination, they can keep the deposit. (§ 18-16-305)
When is Rent Due in Arkansas? (Grace Period)
The rent in Arkansas is due on the day provided in the lease agreement.
Arkansas Code 18-17-701(b) allows for a 5-day grace period after the due date for rent payment, after which the landlord can terminate the lease agreement.
Parties are free to set a grace period even longer than the one set by state law.
Arkansas Rent Late Fees
Arkansas state law does not set any mandatory fees for late rent payments. That enables the landlord to set any fee if the tenant fails to pay the rent on time.
However, any late fee has to be disclosed in the lease agreement before the lease starts. Otherwise, the landlord won’t be able to request any late fee that was not previously set in the lease agreement.
Arkansas NSF Checks
If the tenant used the worthless check to pay for the rent, they must compensate the landlord by:
Compensation for NSF Checks
Paying the owed rent amount.
Pay a service charge of no more than $30.
Pay any additional check processing fees imposed by the bank.
Arkansas Landlord’s Right to Enter
No local laws or regulations require the landlord to send a notice to the tenant before entering the property.
To protect the tenant’s right to privacy, we would advise the parties to include the notice requirement for the landlord when drafting the rental agreement. In practice, the notice should be given at least one day before a planned visit to the property.
Arkansas Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, the lease agreement is a legally binding document in Arkansas. If the lease agreement is in written form, make sure it is signed by all the contractual parties. Otherwise, it will not be enforceable against the parties that haven’t signed it.
If there is a clause in the lease agreement that is deemed illegal or invalid by law, that clause will not be enforceable against the contracting parties. However, in most cases, that will not affect the validity of the lease agreement as a whole.
The best way to organize the Arkansas lease agreement is to include the following clauses:
Information about the contractual parties
Information about the property
How many people can live at the property (occupancy limit)
Rent amount, dynamics of payment, method of payment
Lease term, possibility of extension
Rights and duties of the landlord
Rights and duties of the tenant
Date and place of the lease agreement signature
Signatures of the contractual parties
Depending on your specific needs and the type of leasing you are planning, you can find different lease agreement templates on this website. These templates are in line with all Arkansas laws and regulations.
After signing the lease agreement, make sure to:
Give at least one copy of the lease agreement to both the landlord and the tenant.
Make sure both parties sign all copies of the lease.
Make sure the landlord and the tenant both inspect the property before the tenant moves in.
Have both parties sign the move-in checklist.
Pay the rent and deposit to the landlord (if you’re a tenant).
Give the keys to the property to the tenant (if you’re a landlord).
Officially move in (if you’re a tenant).