Tenant's Right to Rent Disclosure in Arkansas
What Rent Disclosures Do Arkansas Tenants Have the Right To?
Arkansas’ landlord tenant law requires landlords to disclose certain things to their tenants. One important category that must be disclosed involves the rent. The landlord and tenant must be on the same page about when, how, and where the rent will be collected as well as the consequences for late or nonpayment. Here are a tenant’s basic rights to rent disclosure in Arkansas.
The landlord has the right to include the rent terms in the lease agreement as long as the terms do not violate any of Arkansas’ landlord tenant laws.
The rent clause in the lease agreement should include:
- The amount of rent that the tenant will owe each month,
- When the rent is due,
- Where the rent will be collected,
- What forms of payment are accepted as rent,
- If there is a grace period,
- Any late fees for late payment of rent,
- The consequences for nonpayment of rent and
- The length of the lease agreement.
If the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant does not state otherwise, then the landlord and tenant must abide by the basic rent terms in Arkansas’ landlord tenant law. This includes:
- When Rent Is Due- According to Arkansas code, rent is due at the beginning of each month for monthly tenants and the beginning of each week for weekly tenants.
- Where Rent is Paid- Arkansas statute states rent should be paid at the dwelling unit.
- Length of Lease Agreement- If no other set term is listed on the rental agreement, then a “roomer” who pays weekly rent is considered a week to week tenant and all other tenants are considered month to month tenants.
According to Arkansas code, a tenant has a five-day grace period to pay their monthly rent. This means that if the rent is due on the first, a tenant will not incur any penalty if they pay their rent up to five days after this due date.
Late Rent Penalties
Arkansas code does not have any specific rules when it comes to a tenant incurring penalties when paying their monthly rent late.
It is up to the landlord to include a late fee clause in the lease agreement. If the tenant has signed the lease agreement, he or she is agreeing to pay this late fee if he or she pays their rent after the five-day grace period.
For example, a lease could include a clause that states, “The tenant will incur a $50 (fifty) dollar late charge if the rent is paid after the five day grace period. This late charge must be paid in addition to the periodic monthly rent of ‘X’ amount.
Bounced Check Fee
It is often in a landlord’s best interest to require rent to be paid by cashier’s check or money order. In the event that the landlord does accept personal checks, the landlord is entitled to collect a fee if a tenant’s check bounces. This fee will usually be a $30 service fee plus any other fees that the bank might charge due to the check not being honored.
Arkansas landlord tenant law does not have a specific statute dealing with rent increases. Many other states will require a landlord to give the tenant 30 days’ notice before increasing the rent. This will give the tenant time to move if they are unwilling or unable to pay the rent increase. Many states will also only allow a landlord to implement one rent increase a year to prevent abusing the privilege.
Arkansas landlords should therefore use their judgment when implementing rent increases. If they raise the rent too often or if the rent increase is too much, they may have a hard time keeping tenants.
Retaliatory Rent Increase
A retaliatory rent increase occurs when a landlord increases a tenant’s rent because the tenant performed an action the landlord did not approve of. It could be because a tenant complains too often, called the town on the landlord, or because the landlord and tenant had a heated disagreement.
A retaliatory rent increase is never allowed. If a tenant believes a landlord has retaliated against them, they should seek legal counsel.
Action for Nonpayment
In Arkansas, tenants are to pay rent on the agreed upon day each month. The tenant has a five-day grace period after this due date to pay their rent.
If the tenant does not pay the rent within this five-day period, the landlord can take action against the tenant for nonpayment of rent.
After this five day period, the landlord can file to evict the tenant. The landlord does not have to provide the tenant with a separate notice to quit. The tenant’s failure to pay their rent within the five day grace period “constitutes legal notice” that the landlord has the right to begin the eviction.
In a court of law, the landlord may be awarded damages, other injunctive relief for the tenant’s nonpayment, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees. If the lease is terminated, the tenant must vacate the premises and the landlord will be granted writ of possession.