New Arkansas law sets requirements for rental property

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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) – The Arkansas Legislature recently passed Law 1052, which affects the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants.

Most notable are the habitability standards, which will apply to all rental contracts from November 1st. These standards set out basic requirements for all rental properties, according to which tenants must ensure that they are supplied. Act 1052 is the first statewide rental requirement set in the state. Arkansas has historically been a landowner friendly state, which means there are few written laws outlining requirements for rental property. The new requirements are as follows.

  • an available source of running hot and cold water;
  • an available power source;
  • a source of drinking water;
  • a sanitary sewer system and pipelines that comply with building and housing codes in force at the time of installation;
  • a functioning roof and building envelope;
  • a functioning heating and air conditioning system, provided that the heating and air conditioning system was used for the premises at the time of the conclusion of the rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant.

A landlord is considered compliant in the following circumstances:

  • if the landlord hands the tenant a written form to list the defects upon handover and the tenant either signs the form without noticing a defect and takes possession of the form or does not return it within 2 working days; or
  • for defects that occur later, if the tenant submits a written notification, but the non-fulfillment could not be remedied either because the lessee refused access to the landlord for the purpose of remedying it or caused by willful or negligent act or omission on the part of the tenant, a family member of the tenant, another resident or visitor to the premises or a person other than the landlord or his agent.

On Monday the City of Harrison broke ground for a new housing development, the first in the city in several years.

“Harrison has continued to grow in business and industry, but we have long had to expand our homes,” said Bob Largent, president of the Harrison Chamber of Commerce. “This gives our workforce and our managers a living space.”

“I hope to see hundreds of single family homes here,” said Lew Thompson, who oversees the project. “At the back there are a few four-plexes, three-bedroom maisonettes that are 2,000 square feet,” Largent said.

They must follow new state-wide guidelines for rental properties once rental contracts are signed.

“I think everything on the list should be something any common sense landlord can deliver,” said Connie Gray, who has been a landlord in Arkansas for several decades. “It’s a one-way street, you have to be able to meet your tenants’ needs and then they’ll pay rent so you can keep getting the properties.”

“Well, of course we are adapted and used to it, and we need it and are grateful to have it,” said Julie Noell, a tenant of Grays.

If a problem arises, landlords have 30 days to resolve it after being made aware of it. Otherwise, according to the law, tenants can terminate rental contracts without a fine and have their deposit refunded.

“If you leave your property where you would live, you will have no problem,” said Gray. “And if you don’t do it that way, you will have problems.”

Many landlords are used to similar guidelines.

“There’s a lot of housing assistance available to renters when they need it, and these agencies have guidelines,” Gray said. “I’m sure there are slum landlords who only pay attention to the rent, the dollar sign. Hopefully this will help eliminate some of these people on the street. “

Law 1052 comes into effect on November 1st and is required by law in all rental agreements.

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