Tenant's Obligations in Arkansas

11 Responsibilities of Arkansas Tenants

Handing over the keys
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Arkansas’ landlord-tenant law was put into place to help clearly define the roles of landlords and tenants. While most tenants are aware that they have certain rights under Arkansas law, they may not be aware that they also have certain responsibilities. These responsibilities range from paying rent on time to keeping their apartment in a clean and habitable condition. Here are 11 obligations that tenants have in the state of Arkansas.

Pay Rent on Time

The most basic obligation of any tenant is to pay their rent on time. In Arkansas, a tenant is responsible for paying the agreed upon rent at a time and place that is spelled out and agreed to in the lease agreement.

Under Arkansas code, if no specific time and place is listed in the lease agreement, the rent is due at the beginning of the lease term, which would be at the beginning of the month for monthly tenants and the beginning of the week for weekly tenants. If no other location is agreed to in the lease agreement, the rent is to be collected at the tenant’s dwelling unit.

In Arkansas, a tenant has a five-day grace period from the due date to pay their rent. If the rent has not been paid within this five-day grace period, a landlord may file to evict the tenant for nonpayment.

Comply With Lease Terms

The second obligation of all tenants in Arkansas is to comply with the terms of the lease agreement they have signed with their landlord.

By signing the lease, the tenant has agreed that they have read and will adhere to the terms of the lease. If a tenant breaches the terms of the lease agreement, a landlord may have the right to evict the tenant. The exception to this would be that the tenant would not have to adhere to any terms in the lease that would otherwise be illegal under Arkansas’ landlord tenant law.

Comply With Arkansas Health and Safety Code

A tenant in Arkansas must follow all building and housing codes in Arkansas that deal with health and safety. An example of a health violation could be allowing trash to pile-up inside the apartment, attracting rodents and other pests to the property. An example of a safety violation could be storing hazardous materials inside their apartment which could ignite and set fire to the property.

Keep Apartment Clean

In Arkansas, a tenant has an obligation to keep their apartment reasonably safe and clean. The standard is usually to keep the property in the same condition it was in when the tenant moved into the unit. For example, if there were scratches on the floor or rust on a plumbing fixture, the tenant is not required to restore the item to a better condition, the tenant must simply do their best to keep their unit in a habitable condition and prevent any further damage besides normal wear and tear.

Dispose of Trash

All tenants in Arkansas are responsible for properly disposing of all trash and waste from their unit. Their exact responsibilities will depend on the terms of their lease agreement. Some tenants will only be responsible for bringing their garbage to a main garbage bin or dumpster.

Other tenants will be responsible for bringing their trash to the curb on designated garbage pick-up days.

Maintain Plumbing Fixtures

Tenants in Arkansas have an obligation to maintain all plumbing fixtures in their rental unit. They must keep the fixtures clean and avoid damaging the fixtures except for normal wear and tear.

Maintain Appliances and Other Facilities

Arkansas tenants have an obligation to maintain their unit, including any appliances that were included in the lease agreement as well as electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. The tenant has a duty to not abuse any of these items.

Obligation to Not Destroy or Damage Premises

Arkansas tenants cannot deliberately, or through neglect, damage or deface any part of the premises, including their unit or other common areas of the property.

They also cannot knowingly allow a guest or other individual whom they have allowed onto the premises to damage or deface the premises.

Respect the Quiet Enjoyment of Other Tenants

Tenants have an obligation to respect the quiet enjoyment of other tenants in the property. This also includes any guest of the tenant. Many landlords will actually impose a quiet hours policy at the property during hours such as 10 P.M. to 8 A.M. where loud, disruptive noise can actually result in fines or eviction from the property.

Tenant Obligation to Refrain From Illegal Activities

A tenant has signed a lease agreement and has consented to use the premises as a dwelling unit. As a tenant in the state of Arkansas, a tenant has consented to refrain from engaging in any illegal activities on the premises. This could include an action such as selling drugs or engaging in prostitution on the premises.

Give Notice Before Move Out

Tenants in Arkansas are required to give landlords reasonable notice before move-out. This reasonable notice is usually 30 days before move-out in the case of month to month tenants.

Arkansas Code on Tenant Obligations

If you would like to view the text of Arkansas’ Code regarding tenant obligations, please refer to Arkansas Code Annotated §§18-17-601 through 18-17-603.