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What Is an Arkansas Lease Agreement?

An Arkansas lease agreement is a legally binding real estate contract between the landlord or property management company and the tenant(s) interested in a specific piece of rental property. Once signed and dated by the parties, the tenant is then able to legally use the property. An Arkansas lease agreement can be used for either residential or commercial rental property.

Most Commonly Used Arkansas Lease Agreements

In Arkansas, the most commonly used lease agreements include a commercial (retail) lease, a standard residential lease that lasts for one year, a month-to-month rental agreement, a roommate agreement, a lease to own agreement, and a sublease agreement.

While all of the most commonly used Arkansas lease agreements share many of the same elements, they do have some differences. For example:

  • A roommate agreement may differentiate areas in the rental that are for the exclusive use of the roommate and also which are considered common areas and for use by everyone.
  • A standard residential lease agreement may be for one year. Upon termination, it could switch to a month-to-month or it could automatically renew for another year. Both options may also include a 30-day written notice requirement if either party does not plan to renew the lease.

How to Write an Arkansas Lease Agreement

Arkansas lease agreements must follow Arkansas’s landlord-tenant laws or they are unenforceable. There are other laws, including federal law, that must also be followed. You’ll learn more about some of those under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits.

Before you sign an Arkansas lease agreement, read the terms. You also have the right to have an attorney review the document before you sign it.

An Arkansas lease agreement should include:

  • Names of the Parties - This includes the landlord's full name or the property management company's legal business name as well as the full name of the tenant(s).
  • The Property Address - Include the full address of the rental property, including city, zip code, county, and, if applicable, unit or lot number.
  • Term Information - This refers to the type of lease agreement the parties agree to enter into. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed-term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will hold possession of the space for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that the lease will end.
  • Rental Amount - This section includes the date that the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that the rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
  • Late Fees - List any applicable fee that is due if the rent is not paid by a certain date.
  • Security Deposit - This section lists the amount of deposit that must be paid in advance of the tenant taking control of the property, known as a security deposit. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
  • Initial Payment - This is the total amount of money that the tenant must pay to move into the rental property. This area should include the amount of the first month's rent, the security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
  • Occupants - The full name of each tenant must be listed even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease for some reason. This part of an Arkansas residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
  • Utilities - This section is used to note which utilities or services a tenant does not pay.
  • Parking - This section informs the tenant if they will receive a parking space. If a parking space is reserved and there is a designated spot, the spot should be listed in this section.
  • Furnishings - This section tells tenants what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section.
  • Notices - Lists the names of both the landlord and tenant (or property manager) along with their proper address. This contact information should be used if the parties need to send out a notice to the other party for some reason.
  • Eviction - Lets prospective tenants know about how eviction proceedings would be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
  • Additional Terms - List any other obligations that the parties agreed to that haven't been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
  • Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.

Which Disclosures Belong in an Arkansas Lease Agreement?

The State of Arkansas doesn't require landlords to give any specific disclosures to tenants. However, if a residential property was built before 1978, landlords must provide a lead-based paint disclosure. This is federal law.

What You Need to Know About Arkansas Lease Agreements

Arkansas landlord-tenant law limits the security deposit amount to no more than two months' rent. Security deposits must be returned to the tenant within 60 days of the end of the lease. If the landlord can't get into contact with the tenant for 180 days, the money becomes the property of the landlord under Arkansas law.

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