The Arkansas Code Title 18 Property, Subtitle 2 Real Property, Chapter 16 Landlord and Tenant, Subchapter 3 Security Deposits sets forth the following requirements for collecting and returning a residential security deposit:
A landlord may not demand or receive a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two (2) months periodic rent.
Refund and Deductions
Within sixty (60) days of termination of the tenancy, property or money held by the landlord as security shall be returned to the tenant.
However, the money may be applied to the payment of accrued unpaid rent and any damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement, all as itemized by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant, together with the remainder of the amount due sixty (60) days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession by the tenant.
The landlord shall be deemed to have complied with this section by mailing via first class mail the written notice and any payment required to the last known address of the tenant.
Note: If the letter containing the payment is returned to the landlord and if the landlord is unable to locate the tenant after reasonable effort, then the payment shall become the property of the landlord one hundred eighty (180) days from the date the payment was mailed.
Remedies for Noncompliance
If the landlord fails to comply with this subchapter, the tenant may recover:
- The property and money due him or her;
- Damages in an amount equal to two (2) times the amount wrongfully withheld;
- Costs; and
- Reasonable attorney’s fees.
However, the landlord shall be liable only for costs and the sum erroneously withheld if the landlord shows by the preponderance of the evidence that his or her noncompliance:
- Resulted from an error which occurred despite the existence of procedures reasonably designed to avoid such errors; or
- Was based on a good faith dispute as to the amount due.
Note: This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from any other relief to which either may be lawfully entitled.
This subchapter shall not apply to dwelling units owned by an individual, if the individual, his or her spouse and minor children, and any and all partnerships, corporations, or other legal entities formed for the purpose of renting dwelling units and of which they are officers, owners, or majority shareholders own, or collectively own, five (5) or fewer dwelling units.
Note: This exemption does not apply to units for which management, including rent collection, is performed by third persons for a fee.
A.C.A. § 18-16-301, 302, 303, 304, 305, & 306.
Return to Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Laws.