The Arkansas sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant to rent out all or a portion of the property to a subtenant in exchange for regular payments.
Does a Tenant Need the Landlord’s Permission to Sublet in Arkansas?
Although Arkansas law is silent on the rights to sublet, a tenant still needs prior approval from the landlord. Typically, a tenant is free to sublet as long as there is not a clause in the lease prohibiting it and the landlord approves of the tenant. Even after consent is given, a landlord still has the right to reject a subtenant if they are unqualified, such as for having a bankruptcy or criminal history.
Standardized Arkansas Sublease Agreements
Here’s what is generally included in an Arkansas sublease agreement:
- The Names of the Parties – The original tenant under the lease is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessor.” The third-party that is subleasing the rental unit is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessee.”
- Rental Unit Location – The address for the rental unit as described in the original lease.
- Term – List the exact date of the sublease beginning and ending date.
- Rent – How much the rent is, when it needs to be paid, and how to pay it.
- Utilities – The utilities to be paid by the Sublessor and those that are to be paid by the Sublessee.
- Liability – The sublessee will be liable for any damages to the Sublessor. The Sublessor continues to have the ultimate responsibility to pay for any damages as stated in the original lease agreement.
- Authorized Occupants – A list that identifies the new tenant(s) and those that are authorized to live in the rental unit including any policy about short-term guests.
- Security Deposit – This security deposit is held by the Sublessor (not the landlord). Arkansas state law does require that the security deposit be limited to no more than two month’s rent.
- Pet Deposit – If a tenant has a pet, the landlord can charge an additional 1 month’s rent.
- Return of Security Deposit – Arkansas law requires the security deposit to be returned within 60 days after a tenant vacates a rental unit.
- Inventory of Included Items – The list of items in the rental unit that are part of the sublease (furniture or appliances).
- Move-in Checklist – The condition of all areas throughout the unit including all windows, screens, and doors. Both parties should sign and acknowledge any areas of damage compared to the original move-in checklist in the master lease.
- Lead-Based Paint Notice – Under Federal law, if the rental unit’s premises were built before 1978, the Sublessee must be given a written warning notice, called a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure.
- Master Lease Inclusion – A copy of the Master Lease is attached to the sublease. If any exceptions in the Master Lease are not included they should be clearly stated in this section.
- Disputes – A description of how disputes between the Sublessor and Sublessee are to be settled, which may include mediation and binding arbitration to avoid more expensive legal proceedings.
- General Conditions – A statement that the written sublease agreement contains all of the agreements between the parties and can only be modified by written consent of the parties to the agreement.
- Smoking Policy – If smoking is restricted in the rental unit and any designated smoking areas are identified in the sublease.
- Landlord’s Consent – This section describes how the landlord is asked to give consent (if consent is not already included in the Master Lease). Tenants may create a signed sublease that is conditional on being accepted by the landlord before the sublease becomes effective.
- Signature: The signature and date for the Sublessor, the Sublessee, any Co-Sublessors, and Co-Sublessees (if they exist).
Tax Implications of a Sublease
Short-term rentals of 30 days or less in Arkansas are subject to a Lodgings tax by the state, county, and city (if the property is within city limits) including:
- 6.5% State Sales Tax
- 2% State Tourism Tax
- County Sales Tax (rate varies by county)
- City Sales Tax (if applicable, the rate varies by city)