To vet prospective tenants, property owners and landlords in Arkansas often require potential tenants to complete a rental application and pay rental application fees.
The fees collected offset the cost of background checks, including checks into a tenant’s credit, criminal record, and rental history.
Once you’ve performed these checks and selected the best candidate for your rental property, you will need to provide them with an Arkansas lease or rental agreement and request a security deposit.
Read on to learn more about how Arkansas law governs the rental process.
Arkansas Rental Application Fees
While there are no state statute limits on the amount of money a property owner can charge for a rental application, the rental application fees should still be reasonable and comparable to the costs of background checks.
There are, however, many Arkansas-specific rules governing security deposits:
- A security deposit may be up to two months’ rent if the landlord rents six or more properties in the state.
- A property owner with less than six rental properties and who doesn’t employ a property manager to handle leasing or collect rent may charge a “reasonable” security deposit under Arkansas state law.
- There is no requirement for an Arkansas landlord to provide a tenant with a receipt for any fees or rent paid to them, but it is best practice to do so.
- Some states have laws governing how landlords must hold security deposits to ensure that the deposit is always available for repayment. Arkansas does not have regulations regarding this.
Pet deposits are a common component of the security deposit. Arkansas doesn’t have any state-specific laws governing pet deposits.
However, under the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability, a landlord cannot charge a pet deposit or fee where the animal in question is a service animal.
Authorization for Background Check
You must obtain consent from a rental applicant before running background checks on them. Federal law requires an individual to give written permission before they can be the subject of a credit check.
Include a statement where applicants give their permission to submit to background screening on your rental application or use a separate background check authorization form.
How to Conduct an Eviction Record Search in Arkansas
The Arkansas Judiciary allows anyone access to court records about past legal actions against a renter, including failure to pay rent or to vacate a property after proper written notice.
Simply click “CourtConnect” and search by the applicant’s first and last name.
If you find a reason to disqualify a potential renter from your property, you should send a rental application rejection letter, although the state of Arkansas doesn’t require it.
Other Resources for Landlords in Arkansas
How to Write a Rental Application
Follow the steps below to write a rental application in Arkansas.
Step 1 – Fill in Property Address Information
Write the date of the rental application and the address of the rental property.
Step 2 – Collect Basic Rental Applicant Information
This section provides the applicant(s) basic identifying information about themselves.
Step 3 – Collect Applicant’s Residence History
In this section, the applicant(s) provides their residence history including addresses, dates of residency, and reasons for moving.
Step 4 – Gather Applicant’s Employment History
This section is for the applicant(s) to provide current and previous employment information and other sources of income.
Step 5 – Gather Applicant’s Financial History
This section is for the applicant(s) to provide bank account and credit card information.
Step 6 – Collect References
The applicant(s) provides personal references’ names and contact information in this section.
Step 7 – Additional Questions and Verification
This section contains additional questions to determine more information about the applicant such as smoking or pets.
Sample Arkansas Rental Application Form
See an example of a standard Arkansas rental application form below.
You can download it free or use our document builder to customize an application to fit your needs.