Both landlord and tenants contact the Springdale City Attorney's Office with questions about how this office can help them. Some of the questions we have received are as follows:
Question: I am a landlord in Springdale and I have rented property to a tenant who has not paid me rent pursuant to our agreement, and I cannot get them to move out. What can I do?
Answer: There are two ways you can proceed, one of which is through the criminal process. Under Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-101, it is a violation of Arkansas law for a tenant to fail to pay rent as agreed, and then fail to vacate ten days after receiving written notice to do so. The City Attorney's Office has a packet for landlords, which contains a copy of Arkansas law, as well as a sample copy of an notice to vacate pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-101. Violations of this law are punishable only by a fine of $25 (each day can constitute a separate violation).
The second way to proceed is to file a civil ejectment action. It is recommended you contact a private attorney to discuss this process. It is also recommended you contact a private attorney to discuss any other questions in regard to your rights against your tenant, except the criminal procedure set out specifically herein, in which the City Attorney's Office can be of assistance to you.
Question: I am a landlord in Springdale. Can you help me evict a tenant from my property or make them leave?
Answer: No. The legal process to evict a tenant in Arkansas is a civil Unlawful Detainer action, Ark. Code Ann. § 18-60-304 et. seq. The City Attorney's Office is not able to represent individuals in these types of cases. In an Unlawful Detainer action, a landlord may be able to get an order or writ that requires the tenant to leave the property. We recommend you contact your own attorney if you wish to pursue this type of case.
Question: Can I change the locks of my rental property if the tenant hasn't paid rent? Can I remove the front door to get them to move? Can I remove their belongings from the property?
Answer: Generally, no, and you may open yourself up to criminal liability if you do these things. We recommend you contact your attorney about an Unlawful Detainer suit before taking any type of action if you want to evict a tenant.
Question: What can the City Attorney's Office do to help me if I have rented property to a tenant who has not paid me rent pursuant to our agreement and won't move out?
Answer: Under Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-101, it is a violation of Arkansas law for a tenant to fail to pay rent as agreed and then fail to vacate ten days after receiving written notice to do so. The law does not give the attorney, court, police or landlord the right to remove the tenant from the property. However, if the rental property is in Springdale, the City Attorney's Office may be able to file charges and request a court order for the tenant to pay back rent. Our office has a packet for landlords if you are interested in this type of action. Violations of this law are punishable by a fine of $25 a day.
Question: I am a tenant behind in rent payment. My landlord came in and took all my property and will not give it back. What can I do?
Answer: It is recommended you first contact the Springdale Police Department, if you feel a crime has been committed, and file a police report. If it turns out to be a civil action, then it is recommended you contact your own attorney. If it is determined the matter is a criminal matter, the City Attorney's Office will take appropriate action. If you should have any questions, contact (479) 750-8173.
If you are a landlord, for further information on how to proceed with the criminal process to prosecute a tenant who has failed to pay rent and refused to vacate the premises after being given ten (10) days written notice, click on the link below for a copy of the City Attorney's Office "Landlord Packet." In this packet, landlords will find answers as to how the City Attorney's Office can be of assistance. Attached to the "Landlord Packet" are the following: a copy of Ark. Code Ann. Sec. 18-16-101 (Act 1733 of 2001); a sample of a Notice to Vacate; and a blank Notice to Vacate.
The following is an article taken from the City Attorney's Office quarterly publication, "C.A.L.L." (City Attorney Law Letter) which addresses questions concerning landlord/tenant and roommate disputes:
The following link directs you to the Arkansas Attorney General's website. On this website, landlords and tenants can find the answers to many of their questions regarding their rights.
If you have questions regarding the City Attorney's Office "Landlord Packet," please contact Cindy at 479-750-8173.