Most states require landlords to meet “habitability” requirements for all rental properties. This means that they’re responsible for providing a property that meets specific health and safety standards. However, Arkansas is one of the only states that does not generally require rental property to meet a legal standard of habitability.
Arkansas Implied Warranty of Habitability
Almost all states have an implied warranty of habitability that requires landlords to keep a rental property in a livable state regardless of what the lease says. Arkansas has no implied warranty of habitability. This means Arkansas landlords don’t have to do any repairs that aren’t specifically agreed in the lease.
There are a few limited exceptions requiring certain repairs in leases created after November 1, 2021. Overall, however, in Arkansas there’s no general obligation to keep a rental property safe and habitable, and all landlord responsibilities can be waived by written agreement with the tenant.
Landlord Responsibilities in Arkansas
Note: Check local city/county laws and ordinances for additional requirements.
|Item||Has To Provide?||Has To Fix / Replace?|
|Air Conditioning / Heating||No||If Provided|
|Washer & Dryer||No||No|
Landlord Responsibilities for Heating & Air Conditioning in Arkansas
Only for leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021, Arkansas landlords are responsible for maintaining any provided air conditioning or heating in at least the same condition they were operating at the time the lease began, unless damaged deliberately or negligently by someone other than the landlord.
For leases signed on or before the above date, there’s no specific landlord responsibility
Are Landlords Required to Provide Air Filter Replacements in Arkansas?
Arkansas landlords don’t have to maintain or replace things like air filters, except when necessary to make provided cooling or heating equipment work up to standard for leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021. There’s also no repair obligation for damage done deliberately or negligently by someone other than the landlord.
Landlord’s Responsibilities for Plumbing in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords must keep plumbing up to code, for leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021, except for deliberate or negligent damage by someone other than the landlord.
Are Landlords Required To Provide Hot Water in Arkansas?
Arkansas landlords must provide and maintain running heated water for rental properties, for leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021, except for deliberate or negligent damage by someone other than the landlord.
Are Landlords Responsible for Fixing Clogged Drains & Toilets in Arkansas?
Arkansas landlords must fix clogs that keep the plumbing from complying with local code, for leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021, unless the damage was done deliberately or negligently by someone other than the landlord.
Are Landlords in Arkansas Responsible for Fixing Leaks?
Arkansas landlords only have to fix leaks that keep the plumbing from complying with local code, for leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021, except for deliberate or negligent damage by someone other than the landlord.
Landlord Responsibilities for Kitchen Appliances in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords don’t have to provide or maintain kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, or refrigerator.
Landlord Responsibilities for Electrical Issues in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords are responsible for maintaining electric service in property rented after Nov. 1, 2021, except for deliberate or negligent damage by someone other than the landlord.
Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Light Bulbs in Arkansas?
Arkansas landlords are not responsible for replacing light bulbs or particular light fixtures.
Landlord Responsibilities for Garbage Removal in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords don’t have to provide or maintain garbage containers and service. The tenant is legally responsible for ensuring proper disposal of waste on the premises.
Landlord Responsibilities for Landscaping in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords don’t have any specific obligation to provide landscaping or maintain it with actions like cutting grass, or removing fallen trees.
Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Mold in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords have no specific responsibility to fix mold issues, or test for them.
Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Pests in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords don’t have a specific responsibility to exterminate pest infestations like rats, roaches, mice, bed bugs, and ants. They also don’t have to test for infestations.
Landlord Responsibilities for Windows & Window Coverings in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords have no specific responsibility to provide or maintain windows and window coverings.
Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Safety Devices in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords are responsible for installing and maintaining required smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.
Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Batteries of Safety Devices in Arkansas?
Arkansas landlords are responsible for replacing the batteries of safety devices, except plug-in devices installed by the renter.
Landlord’s Responsibilities for Washers and Dryers in Arkansas?
Arkansas landlords are not required to furnish their rental properties with a working washer and dryer.
Landlord Responsibilities for Walls and Roofing in Arkansas
Arkansas landlords are responsible for providing and maintaining premises with a functioning roof and building envelope in leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021, except for deliberate or negligent damage by someone other than the landlord.
Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Arkansas
Arkansas renters have the right to repairs for some basic features like sewer and electric service, unless they caused the issue themselves. The landlord must repair within 30 days of proper notice. To exercise their right, renters must start by notifying the landlord of the issue in writing.
If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter’s only remedy is to end the rental agreement without penalty.
- 1 Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-502(a) (2022)
“[A]fter November 1, 2021… there shall be implied in all [non-exempt] leases and rental agreements for residential purposes a requirement that a dwelling unit or single-family residence have, both at the time possession is delivered to the tenant or tenants named in the lease or rental agreement and throughout the term of the lease or rental agreement: (1) An available source of hot and cold running water; (2) An available source of electricity; (3) A source of potable drinking water; (4) A sanitary sewer system and plumbing that conform to applicable building and housing codes in existence at the time of installation; (5) A functioning roof and building envelope; and (6) A functioning heating and air conditioning system to the extent the heating and air conditioning system served the premises at the time the landlord and the tenant entered into the lease or rental agreement.”Source Link
- 2 Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-502(d)(2)(B) (2022)
There are a couple of textual gestures in Arkansas law that suggest a potential legislative intent to describe something like a renter’s implied warranty of habitability. For example, Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-502(d)(2)(B) (2022) refers to the landlord’s repair obligation as “implied quality standards,” which sounds similar to an implied warranty of habitability. However, the strict, literal text of the statute says nothing about habitability/tenantability or about general rather than specific fitness, and the law is too new (passed in mid-2021) to have had its scope and limitations fully determined in court. Tenants can still claim that “implied quality standards” are an implied warranty of habitability, but until a court of appeal specifically agrees, it would be an overstatement to say Arkansas has an implied warranty of habitability.Source Link
- 3 Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-502(c)(2)(B) (2022)
“A landlord shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section [landlord repair duties]: … [if] the noncompliance… [w]as caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of: (i) The tenant; (ii) A member of the tenant’s family; (iii) Another occupant of or visitor on the premises; or (iv) Any person other than the landlord or the landlord’s agent.”Source Link
- 4 Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-601(3) (2022)
“A tenant shall: … Dispose from his or her dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a reasonably clean and safe manner…”Source Link
- 5 Ark. Fire Code § 907.2.11.2 (2012)
“Single or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in Groups R-2 [residential rental units], R-3, R-4 and I-1 regardless of occupant load at all of the following locations: 1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms. 2. In each room used for sleeping purposes. 3. In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.”Source Link
- 6 Ark. Fire Code § 907.8.5 (2012)
“The building owner shall be responsible to maintain the fire and life safety systems in an operable condition at all times.”Source Link
- 7 Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-502(e)(2) (2022)
“If a battery-powered or plug-in smoke or carbon monoxide detector is installed, the tenant shall be solely responsible for: (A) Determining if the detector is operational; (B) Maintaining the device in working order; and (C) Any damage or repairs to the premises caused by the installation or removal of the detector.”Source Link
- 8 Ark. Code Ann. § 18-17-502(d)(1) & (d)(2)(A) (2022)
“(1) If a dwelling unit or single-family residence does not comply with subsection (a) of this section [landlord repair duties], the tenant is entitled to deliver written notice of the noncompliance to the landlord by certified mail or any other method provided by the lease or rental agreement and shall specify the acts and omissions constituting noncompliance.
“(2) (A) If the payment of rent is current, noncompliance is not excused under subsection (c) of this section, and the landlord does not remedy the noncompliance within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving the notice required by subdivision (d)(1) of this section, the tenant’s sole remedy shall be to terminate the lease or rental agreement without penalty and receive a refund of any security deposit recoverable under § 18-16-301 et seq.”