Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Arkansas

Q: I am in landlord in Arkansas. Am I required by law to remind my tenants of their lease expiration date?

My tenants lease is up March 15 2024. They have been behind on rent for months and have been trying to make payments are never getting caught up. I told them last month that their lease was up in March and the only way to renew would be if they are caught up and able to pay a 2-3 months of rent in advance at signing of new lease. They were hoping to have tax return back to get caught up and make forward payments. This did not happen, no payment has been received. I went by the property Monday 3/11/24 to offer tenant help in moving out and finding a place to go. Now the estranged fiancee of the tenant, who has been gone since November on "work trip" is throwing a fit blowing up my phone saying I can't just give them 4 days notice to leave.

The lease agreement is signed by both parties stating the lease end date. They clearly know they are not caught up on rent and have not signed a new lease. Was I required by law to give them a written notice to vacate at end of lease?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Arkansas, the specific requirements for notifying tenants about the expiration of their lease or the need to vacate the property at the end of the lease term can depend on the terms of the lease agreement itself and state law. Generally, if your lease agreement clearly states the end date and does not require you to provide additional notice to vacate at the end of the term, you may not be obligated to give another reminder. It's important for both landlords and tenants to understand and adhere to the terms set forth in their lease agreement.

If your tenants are behind on rent and have not been able to catch up, this complicates the situation further. Since you had previously communicated with them about the lease's expiration and the conditions for renewal, it could be argued that they were adequately informed. However, the legalities surrounding eviction and notice periods can be complex, and they vary by location and specific circumstances.

Given the potential for disputes, it's wise to consult with a legal professional familiar with Arkansas's landlord-tenant laws to ensure that any action you take is in compliance with state laws and the lease agreement. They can provide guidance on the proper steps to take next, including whether a formal eviction notice is required and how to proceed if the tenants do not vacate the property by the lease's end date. Handling this situation carefully is crucial to protect your rights while ensuring that you're acting fairly and legally.

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