Landlord Tenant – Lease Termination – Arkansas
Landlord and Tenant.
Subchapter 1. General Provisions.
Failure to pay rent – Refusal to vacate upon notice – Penalty.
(a) Any person who shall rent any dwelling house or other building or any land situated in the State of Arkansas and who shall refuse or fail to pay the rent therefor when due according to contract shall at once forfeit all right to longer occupy the dwelling house or other building or land.
(b) If, after ten (10) days’ notice in writing shall have been given by the landlord or his agent or attorney to the tenant to vacate the dwelling house or other building or land, the tenant shall willfully refuse to vacate and surrender the possession of the premises to the landlord or his agent or attorney, the tenant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction before any justice of the peace or other court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the premises are situated, the tenant shall be fined in any sum not less than one dollar ($1.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each offense. Each day the tenant shall willfully and unnecessarily hold the dwelling house or other building or land after the expiration of notice to vacate shall constitute a separate offense. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-101 History. Acts 1901, No. 122, § 1, p. 193; C. & M. Dig., § 6569; Acts 1937, No. 129, § 1; Pope’s Dig., § 8599; A.S.A. 1947, § 50-523.
Lessee unlawfully collecting from subtenant – Penalty.
(a) It shall not be lawful for anyone who has leased any lands from one (1) or more persons and sublet any portion thereof to others to take or collect any rent from the subtenant before final settlement with the landlord, without first having obtained from the landlord or his agent and delivered to the subtenant a written direction stating the amount of rent authorized to be collected from the subtenant. If, afterward, the principal tenant shall fail to pay to the landlord his rent due, the amount paid by the subtenant upon the written direction shall be deducted from the pro rata amount of rent for which the land cultivated by the subtenantwould otherwise be liable to the landlord under existing laws.
(b) Every principal tenant or his agent who without first having paid or settled with the landlord or produced and delivered the written directions as stated in subsection (a) of this section, shall collect or attempt to collect any rent from any subtenant shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, he shall be punished by fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) or by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months, or by both fine and imprisonment. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-102
Rent collection by personal representative of life tenant.
The executor or administrator of any tenant for life who shall have demised any lands or tenements so held and shall die on or before the day when any rent on the demise shall become payable may recover:
(1) If the tenant for life dies on the day the rent becomes due, the whole rent;
(2) If he dies before the day on which the rent becomes due, the proportion of the rent as shall have accrued before his death. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-103
Penalty for enticing renter away.
If any person shall interfere with, entice away, knowingly employ, or induce a renter who has contracted with another person for a specified time to leave the leased premises before the expiration of his contract without the consent of the landlord, that person shall, upon conviction before any justice of the peace or circuit court, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500). In addition, he shall be liable to the landlord for all advances made by him to the renter by virtue of his contract, whether verbal or written, with the renter and for all damages which he may have sustained by reason thereof. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-104
Termination of oral lease of farmlands.
The owner of farmlands which are leased under an oral agreement may elect not to renew the oral rental or lease agreement for the following calendar year by giving written notice by certified registered mail to the renter or lessee, on or before June 30, that the lease or rental agreement will not be renewed for the following calendar year. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-105
Holding over after termination of term.
(a) If any tenant for life or years, or if any other person who may have come into possession of any lands and tenements under, or by, collusion with the tenant, shall willfully hold over after the termination of the term and thirty (30) days’ previous notice in writing given, requiring the possession thereof by the person entitled thereto, the person so holding over shall pay to the person so kept out of possession double the yearly rent of the lands or tenements so detained for all the time he shall keep the person entitled thereto out of possession.
(b) There shall be no relief in equity against any recovery had at law under subsection (a) of this section. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-106
Failure to quit after notice of intention.
(a) If any tenant shall give notice in writing of his intention to quit the premises held by him at a time specified in the notice and shall not deliver up the possession thereof at such time, the tenant, his executor or administrator, shall henceforth pay to the landlord, his heirs or assigns, double the rent reserved during all the time the tenant shall so continue in possession of the premises.
(b) The double rent may be recovered by a civil action in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-107
Property left on premises after termination of lease.
Upon the voluntary or involuntary termination of any lease agreement, all property left in and about the premises by the lessee shall be considered abandoned and may be disposed of by the lessor as the lessor shall see fit without recourse by the lessee. All property placed on the premises by the tenant or lessee is subjected to a lien in favor of the lessor for the payment of all sums agreed to be paid by the lessee. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-108
Actions Against Tenants.
Ejectment for nonpayment of rent.
(a) Whenever a half-year’s rent or more is in arrears from a tenant, the landlord, if he has a subsisting right by law to reenter for the nonpayment of the rent, may bring an action of ejectment to recover the possession of the demised premises.
(b) If a summons in the action cannot be served in the ordinary mode provided by law, it may be served by affixing a copy thereof on a conspicuous part of the demised premises, where it may be conveniently read.
(c) The service of the summons in such an action of ejectment shall be deemed and stand instead of a demand of the rent in arrears and of a reentry on the demised premises.
(d) If on the trial of the action it is proved or upon judgment by default it appears to the court by affidavit that the plaintiff had a right to commence the action according to the provisions of this section, then he shall have judgment to recover the possession of the demised premises and costs of suit.
(e) If the defendant, before judgment is given in the action, either tenders to the landlord or brings into court where the suit is pending all the rent then in arrears and all costs, all further proceedings in the action shall cease.
(f) If the rent and costs remain unpaid for six (6) months after execution upon such a judgment in ejectment is executed and no complaint for relief in equity is filed within that time, then the lessee and his assigns, and all other persons deriving title under the lease from the lessee, shall be barred from all relief in law or equity, except for error in the record or proceedings, and the landlords shall henceforth hold the demised premises discharged from the lease.
(g) A mortgagee of the lease not in possession of the demised premises who, within six (6) months after execution of any judgment in ejectment is executed, shall pay all rent in arrears, pay all costs and charges incurred by the landlord, and perform all the agreements which ought to be performed by the first lessee shall not be affected by the recovery in ejectment. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-201
Duty of tenant to notify landlord.
Every tenant on whom a summons in ejectment to recover the tenements by him held shall be served shall forthwith give notice thereof to the person, or the agent of the person, of whom the tenant holds. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-202
Actions for use and occupation.
(a) A landlord may recover in a civil action a reasonable satisfaction for the use and occupation of any lands and tenements held by any person under an agreement not made by deed.
(b) If a parol demise or other agreement not by deed, by which a certain rent is reserved, appears in evidence on the trial of the action, the plaintiff shall not on that account be barred from a recovery, but may make use thereof as evidence of the amount of damages to be recovered.
(c) Where lands or tenements are held and occupied by any person without any special agreement for rent, the owner of the lands or tenements, or his executor or administrator, may sue for and recover a fair and reasonable compensation for the use and occupation by a civil action in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-203
Remedy where lease for life.
Any person having any rent due upon any lease for life may have the same remedy by action for the recovery thereof as if the lease was for years. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-204.
Recovery of rent in arrears due decedent.
(a) Every person entitled to any rent dependent upon the life of any other may, notwithstanding the death of the other person, have the same remedy by action for the recovery of all arrears of the rent that may be due and unpaid at the death of the person as he might have if the person were still living.
(b) Every person having in right of his wife any freehold estate in any rents may, if the rent is due and unpaid at the time of his wife’s death, have the same remedy by action for the recovery of the arrears as he might have if the wife were still living.
(c) The executor or administrator of any person to whom any rent shall have been due and unpaid at the time of the death of the person may have the same remedy, by action against the tenant, or his executor or administrator, for the recovery thereof that the testator or intestate might have had. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-205
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Landlord” means the owner, lessor, or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the building of which it is a part;
(2) “Dwelling unit” means a structure or the part of the structure that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one (1)person who maintains a household or by two (2) or more persons who maintain a common household;
(3) “Owner” means one (1) or more persons, jointly or severally,in whom is vested:
(A) All or part of the legal title to property; or
(B) All or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises. The term includes a mortgagor in possession;
(4) “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization;
(5) “Rent” means all payments to be made to the landlord under the rental agreement;
(6) “Rental agreement” means all written or oral agreements and valid rules and regulations embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises;
(7) “Premises” means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas, and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant;
(8) “Tenant” means a person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-301
Transferee, etc., bound.
The transferee, assignee, or other holder of the landlord’s interest in the premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy is bound by this subchapter. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-302
(a) This subchapter shall not apply to dwelling units owned by an individual, if the individual, his spouse and minor children, and any and all partnerships, corporations, or other legal entities formed for the purpose of renting dwelling units and of which they are officers, owners, or majority shareholders own, or collectively own, five (5) or fewer dwelling units.
(b) This exemption does not apply to units for which management, including rent collection, is performed by third persons for a fee. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-303
A landlord may not demand or receive a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two (2) months periodic rent. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-304
Refund required – Exceptions.
(a) Within thirty (30) days of termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as security shall be returned to the tenant. However, the money may be applied to the payment of accrued unpaid rent and any damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement, all as itemized by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant, together with the remainder of the amount due thirty (30) days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession by the tenant.
(b) The landlord shall be deemed to have complied with subsection (a) of this section by mailing via first class mail the written notice and any payment required to the last known address of the tenant. If the letter containing the payment is returned to the landlord and if the landlord is unable to locate the tenant after reasonable effort, then the payment shall become the property of the landlord one hundred eighty (180) days from the date the payment was mailed. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-305
(a) If the landlord fails to comply with this subchapter, the tenant may recover the property and money due him, together with damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld, costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees. However, the landlord shall be liable only for costs and the sum erroneously withheld if the landlord shows by the preponderance of the evidence that his noncompliance resulted from an error which occurred despite the existence of procedures reasonably designed to avoid such errors or was based on a good faith dispute as to the amount due.
(b) This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from any other relief to which either may be lawfully entitled. Title 18, Chap. 16, §18-16-306