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Arkansas Tenant Domestic Abuse Protections

The Arkansas Code Title 18 Property, Subtitle 2 Real Property, Chapter 16 Landlord and Tenant, Subchapter 1 General Provisions offers the following protections for those tenants who are victims of domestic violence, threats, and sexual assault:

Continued Tenancy and Changing Locks

If a residential tenant, an applicant for a residential tenancy, or a member of the tenant or applicant’s household is a victim of domestic abuse as evidenced by a documented incident of domestic abuse:

  • With respect to the victim of domestic abuse, a landlord shall not terminate or fail to renew a residential tenancy, refuse to enter into a residential tenancy, or otherwise retaliate in the leasing of a residence because of the domestic abuse; and
  • At the residential tenant’s expense and with the landlord’s prior consent, a landlord or a residential tenant other than a domestic abuse offender may change the locks to the residential tenant’s residence.

The landlord or residential tenant shall furnish the other a copy of the new key to the residential tenant’s residence immediately after changing the locks or as soon after changing the locks as possible if either the landlord or residential tenant is unavailable.

Domestic Abuse Offender

Notwithstanding a conflicting provision in a domestic abuse offender’s residential tenancy agreement, if a domestic abuse offender is under a court order to stay away from a co-tenant residing in the domestic abuser’s offender’s residence or the co-tenant’s residence:

  • The domestic abuse offender under the court order may access either residence only to the extent permitted by the court order or another court order;
  • A landlord may refuse access by a domestic abuse offender to the residence of a victim of domestic abuse unless the domestic offender is permitted access by court order; and
  • A landlord may pursue all available legal remedies against the domestic abuse offender, including without limitation an action:
    1. To terminate the residential tenancy agreement of the domestic abuse offender;
    2. To evict the domestic abuse offender whether or not a residential tenancy agreement between the landlord and domestic abuse offender exists; and
    3. For damages against the domestic abuse offender:
      • For any unpaid rent owed by the domestic abuse offender; and
      • Resulting from a documented incident of domestic abuse.

Note: A landlord is entitled to a court order terminating the residential tenancy agreement of a person or evicting a person, or both, upon proof that the person is a domestic abuse offender under this section.

Landlord Liability

A landlord is immune from civil liability if the landlord in good faith:

  • Changes the locks under this section; or
  • Acts in accordance with a court order under this section.

Note: A residential tenant may not waive in a residential tenancy the residential tenant’s right to request law enforcement assistance or other emergency assistance.

A.C.A. § 18-16-112.

Return to Arkansas Landlord-Tenant Laws.