Arkansas Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Arkansas Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Last Updated: February 11, 2023

Some tenants in Arkansas have the legal right to repairs for certain issues that place the property in violation of state health and safety standards. This right currently applies to leases made after November 1, 2021 only.

In qualifying leases, Arkansas landlords must maintain hot and cold potable water, electricity, sewage, plumbing up to code, functioning roof and building envelope, and working heating / AC (if provided). To exercise their right to repairs, tenants must properly notify the landlord in writing and allow 30 days for repairs.

Arkansas Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs

Arkansas landlords have no general responsibility to repair in leases made on or before November 1, 2021. For agreements made after that date, landlords are responsible for keeping the following in good working condition:

  • Hot and cold potable water.
  • Electricity.
  • Plumbing and sewage.
  • Roof and building envelope.
  • Working heating / AC (if provided at the beginning of the lease).

If any of the above stops working properly, and the tenant isn’t at fault for the damage, the landlord is the one responsible for making the repairs necessary to fix it.

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What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Arkansas?

Arkansas tenants are normally responsible for all repairs that the landlord doesn’t specifically agree to make. In leases made after November 1, 2021, the tenant is no longer responsible by default for:

  • Water.
  • Electricity.
  • Sewage.
  • Plumbing.
  • Roof and building envelope.
  • Heating / AC (if provided).

In these newer leases, the landlord is responsible for the above items instead of the tenant. However, the tenant can agree in writing to be responsible for any of the landlord’s repair duties.

Requesting Repairs in Arkansas

Arkansas tenants must request repairs by describing the issue in writing and delivering the request to the landlord through certified mail (or whatever the lease allows). However, the landlord is legally on notice as long as he’s actually aware of the needed repairs, even following a technically invalid notification process.

How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Arkansas?

Arkansas landlords have 30 days to make repairs after getting a written request, counted from when they receive the notice via certified mail.

Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Arkansas?

Arkansas landlords can refuse to make repairs for the following reasons:

  • Rent isn’t current.
  • The tenant refused entry when the landlord previously arrived for repairs.
  • The damage was caused by the deliberate or negligent act of someone other than the landlord.
  • The damage was disclosed to the tenant at the beginning of the lease, and the tenant accepted the condition.

Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Arkansas?

Arkansas landlords are not required to pay for alternative accommodation while they conduct repairs.

Tenant’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Arkansas

Arkansas tenants can cancel the rental agreement without penalty if a landlord doesn’t repair a legally required issue within 30 days of proper notice. Tenants have no other remedy for a failure to repair, unless another remedy is specified explicitly in the rental agreement.

Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Arkansas?

Arkansas tenants aren’t allowed to withhold rent, even when the landlord fails to make legally required repairs.

Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Arkansas?

Arkansas tenants are not allowed to arrange for repairs and deduct from the rent.

Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Arkansas?

Arkansas tenants can break a lease 30 days after properly delivered written notice, when a landlord fails to repair anything that’s his specific responsibility.

Can the Tenant Sue in Arkansas?

Arkansas tenants can’t sue for failure to repair unless there are specific repair terms in the rental agreement which can be enforced as a contract. In most cases, if a landlord doesn’t make timely repairs in Arkansas, the tenant’s only remedy is to end the rental agreement without penalty.

Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Arkansas?

Arkansas tenants are allowed to report the landlord, but discouraged from reporting. Landlords are legally allowed to retaliate against tenants(including things like eviction and rent increases) for any reason, except reporting lead hazards.

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Landlord Retaliation in Arkansas

Arkansas landlords are legally allowed to retaliate against tenants with measures like raising rent or refusing to renew a lease, unlike most states. Landlords aren’t allowed to respond with eviction or other retaliatory action to a report of lead hazards. All other retaliatory actions are legal.

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