Tenant's Right to Lead Disclosure in Arkansas
How Arkansas Protects Tenants From Lead Hazards
Tenants in Arkansas have a right to certain protections under landlord tenant law. One right they have is to be protected from lead hazards in their rentals. Tenants have the right to know about potential lead based paint in their rental as well as the right to abatement if lead hazards are found. Here are the rights that Arkansas code, combined with federal law, grant tenants when it comes to lead disclosure.
Right to Lead Paint Disclosure
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act requires all landlords who own property that was constructed before 1978 to make certain disclosures to current and prospective tenants. These disclosures include:
- Notifying the tenant of possible lead paint in the property.
- Notifying the tenant of any known lead hazards in the property.
- Providing the tenant with copies of any records of known lead hazards in the property.
Right to Information on Lead Hazards
As part of the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act, a landlord is also required to provide all tenants with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pamphlet, “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.”
This pamphlet helps to educate tenants on where lead hazards can be found, the effects of lead on the human body, and how to protect their family from lead hazards.
Department of Health to Investigate Lead Hazards
The Department of Health has a right to set up a program to test children under the age of six for lead poisoning. If lead poisoning is found, the department can then investigate the lead hazard in the unit where the child lives.
The Director of the Department of Health can obtain a search warrant from a court in the county where the dwelling is located.
This warrant will allow the Director, or the Director’s agent, to enter the dwelling at reasonable times in order to determine the presence of lead hazards on the property. This warrant not only allows entry, but it also allows the individual to collect samples from the dwelling unit.
Department of Health Entry Without Warrant
In emergency situations, those that pose an immediate health threat to “any person,” an agent of the Department of Health may be allowed to enter a dwelling without first obtaining a search warrant from the court.
Notifying Landlord of Lead Hazard
If any lead hazards are found after investigating the dwelling unit, the Department of Health will notify the landlord and the tenant. This notification must be made in writing. It will include instructions on the procedure for abating the lead hazard.
30 Days to Abate Hazard
After receiving notice of the lead hazard, the landlord has 30 days to abate the condition. With the proper warrant, or in emergency situations, the Director, or an agent of the Director, has the right to enter into the dwelling unit to verify that the lead hazard has been remedied. If the landlord has not remedied the hazard within the 30 day window, the landlord will be considered in violation of Arkansas Code.
Retaliatory Act of Landlord Prohibited
Under Arkansas code, a landlord is prohibited from taking retaliatory actions against a tenant after the tenant has complained to the authorities about a lead paint hazard. In this case, it would be considered a retaliatory action if a landlord filed to evict a tenant after being notified of lead hazards in the tenant’s dwelling unit. Other retaliatory actions could include raising the rent or refusing to make needed repairs.
Tenant’s Right to Suitable Housing
A landlord has the right to temporarily relocate a tenant to another suitable dwelling, as long as the tenant also agrees, while lead abatement is occurring at the property.
Arkansas Code on Lead Disclosure
For the original statute on Arkansas’ Code pertaining to lead disclosure, please see Arkansas Code Annotated §§20-27-601 through 20-27-608.