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Evictions are one of the most common forms of legal action in Arkansas. Landlords can evict tenants for any breach of the lease so long as the landlord follows Arkansas law. If a landlord resorts to a self-help method such as locking out the tenant or shutting off the utilities, the landlord may be liable to the tenant for damages.
Available Arkansas Termination Notices
In Arkansas, a landlord must notify the tenant that he or she is going to terminate the lease before filing an eviction action. The type of notice that a landlord must give depends on the reason for the termination.
If a landlord wishes to end a tenancy earlier than the lease term, he or she may do so by serving the tenant with an appropriate notice. Arkansas allows for the following types of written termination notices:
Notice to pay rent or quit:This is a 5-day notice that a landlord must use when the tenant has not paid rent. The landlord must give the tenant 5 days to pay rent after receiving the notice and if the tenant does not, the landlord can file for eviction (Ar. Code § 18-17-701(b)).
Notice to remedy or quit: This is a 14-day notice that a landlord must give if the tenant has breached the lease in any way besides failing to pay rent. The tenant has 14 days after receiving this notice to fix the breach or move out (Ar. Code § 18-17-701(a)).
Evictions in Arkansas are handled by the District Courts. Find your local District Court on the Arkansas judiciary website. Your local court clerk will be able to provide you with the necessary notice and eviction forms. Remember that while filing a court form may seem like a simple way to evict a tenant, things don't always go exactly as planned. If you are unsure of the termination and/or eviction process at any point, you might find it best to hire Arkansas landlord tenant attorney. When speaking with an Arkansas evictions attorney, be sure to refer to Questions to Ask Your Arkansas Evictions Lawyer below.
Self-Help Evictions in Arkansas
Self-help eviction is illegal in Arkansas. Landlords may not shut off the utilities or lock out tenants to force them out of the property. Arkansas landlords must go through the proper eviction process. If a landlord tries to use self-help to kick out a tenant, the tenant may be able to sue the landlord under Arkansas Code 18-16-306 for:
- 2 times the damages; and
- Attorney's fees.
Questions to Ask Your Arkansas Evictions Lawyer
- How many evictions cases have you handled?
- How many were successful/unsuccessful?
- How long will the eviction process take?
- For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
- For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenant has been living in the rental property illegally?
- What do you charge?
- For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?