Evicting a tenant in Arkansas requires landlords to deliver a notice to quit, either for non-payment of rent or non-compliance (a breach of the current lease agreement). This notice will explain the reasons for the eviction and instruct the tenant of their next steps and serves as a landlord’s first action toward eviction before proceeding to the district court in their jurisdiction.
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Deliver an Eviction Notice
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
- Step 5 – Wait for an Answer
- Step 6 – Attend a Civil Hearing
- Step 7 – Obtain a Writ of Possession
- Step 8 – Obtain the Property
Eviction notices in Arkansas fit in one of three categories, which will be dictated by the inciting incident(s) and will determine the timeline for the notice to quit.
- Non-Payment of Rent (3-Day Notice to Quit) – If rent hasn’t been paid within 5 days of the due date1, the notice announces that the tenant has 3 days to pay before the landlord can move forward with eviction proceedings.
- Non-Compliance (14-Day Notice to Quit) – When the landlord learns a tenant has violated the lease agreement for reasons other than non-payment of rent, they may terminate the lease with a 14-Day Notice to Quit. The landlord must specify the acts and omissions constituting non-compliance. The rental agreement is then terminated as provided in the notice unless the non-compliance is remedied before the 14-day deadline specified in the notice.1 If the breach goes unfixed, the landlord can proceed.
- Material Health/Safety Violation (14-Day Notice to Quit) – If the tenant engages in a violation that violates health, safety, or building code, they may be served this notice.2
- Month to Month (30-Day Notice to Quit) – A month to month agreement automatically renews every month when a fixed term expires. If the landlord does not wish to renew when that contract terminates, they must provide 30 days’ notice from the next monthly payment date.
Most evictions can be cured between the time notice was sent and its deadline to quit. If the tenant contacts the landlord and communicates intent to cure the violation, the lease can remain intact. If there is no communication, the landlord may begin the “unlawful detainer” process through their district court.3
- Average Processing and Ruling Time: A few days to as much as a few weeks
- Filing Fee: $65
- Where to File: Arkansas District Courts
Paperwork to be filed:
- Cover Sheet
- Complaint (obtain from the court where the property is located)
- Notice of Intent to Issue Writ of Possession
The clerk of the court will issue a summons, which will be directed to the sheriff of the county to serve. They will be issued a “NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ISSUE WRIT OF POSSESSION.”4
Upon service, tenants are given 5-10 days to answer to the court, excluding Sundays and legal holidays. They have this period to file a written response to the court if they wish to contest the eviction.
A court hearing is scheduled after the answer is filed. If an answer is not filed, the court will immediately issue a writ of possession which will be given to the sheriff to execute.5
The court will hear and rule on eviction cases as they would any other civil suit.5 If the tenant plans to remain on the premises through the court proceedings, they are required to deposit a sum equal to any amount of rent due with the registry of the court. A failure to do this during the pendency of the proceeding without justification will constitute grounds for the court to grant the writ of possession.6
The clerk of the court will give a writ of possession to the sheriff or police chief if one is granted. Law enforcement will deliver a copy of the writ of possession to the tenant, giving them 24 hours to vacate.
If the tenant doesn’t vacate within 24 hours of being notified of the writ of possession, the sheriff or police chief will notify the landlord that labor and assistance will be required to obtain possession of the property and remove any belongings.7
Evictions in Arkansas: Video
- § 18-17-701
- § 18-17-702
- § 18-60-307
- § 18-17-905
- § 18-16-507