Early termination can get a bad rap because landlords look at a completed tenancy as fully successful. Although this view may not be always incorrect, sometimes an early termination can be the best possible choice for either party to simply restart with a new tenancy. Landlord’s may terminate a tenancy early for the following reasons:
- There is a noncompliance by the tenant with the agreement that is not remedied within 14 days, per Ark. Code § 18-17-701(a)(1);
- Rent is unpaid when due, and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days from the date due, per Ark. Code § 18-17-701(b);
- There is noncompliance by the tenant with the Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 2007 materially affecting health and safety other than as stated in Ark. Code § 18-17-702(a), and the tenant fails to comply as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency or within 14 days after written notice by the landlord if it is not an emergency, specifying the noncompliance and requesting that the tenant remedy within that period of time, per Ark. Code § 18-17-702(b); or
- The tenant misrepresents any material fact on his or her rental application.
In addition, the tenant may be evicted by the prosecuting attorney of the county, the city attorney of the city, the landlord, the premises owner, or the agent for the premises owner if:
- The tenant uses or allows another person to use the Premises as a common nuisance as defined by Ark. Code § 5-74-109(b) or Ark. Code § 16-105-402 or for a criminal offense as identified in Ark. Code § 18-16-502; or
- Tenant engages in or allows another person to engage in illegal gambling under Ark. Code § 5-66-107, prostitution as defined by Ark. Code § 5-70-102, or the unlawful sale of alcohol as defined by Ark. Code § 3-3-205 on the Premises.
On the other hand, the tenant may terminate the tenancy early for the following reasons:
- The premises is damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty other than by the wrongful or negligent acts of the tenant to the extent that normal use and occupancy is substantially impaired; or
- Landlord breaches the warranty of habitability.
Protections for victims of domestic abuse
Arkansas is a neat state in landlord-tenant law because it provides very explicit protections for victims of domestic abuse. The landlord is prohibited from terminating a lease, failing to renew the tenancy, refusing to enter into a lease, or otherwise retaliating in the leasing of a property if the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse. In addition, at the tenant’s request and expense, the landlord may change the locks of the premises and shall as soon as possible furnish the other party a copy of the key for the new locks. The details of any additional protections for domestic abuse victims may be seen in Ark. Code § 18-16-112(b)-(c).