Legal Information: Arkansas

Arkansas Housing Laws

Laws current as of
January 3, 2024

In Arkansas, laws prohibit tenants and prospective tenants from being subject to housing discrimination on the basis of their status as victims of domestic violence. In addition, victims of domestic violence may have the locks to their apartment/house changed, and your landlord cannot ask you to give up your right to call law enforcement for help.

If I am a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, how does the law protect me?

If you rent or apply to rent a home a landlord cannot discriminate against you just because you or a member of your household are a victim or survivor of “domestic abuse.” Specifically, a landlord cannot do any of the following:

  • refuse to rent to you;
  • end your lease;
  • refuse to renew your lease; or
  • do something to punish you (retaliate).1

Additionally, your lease cannot take away your right to call the police or 911 to the rental home.2

Note: For the purpose of getting housing protection under this law, “domestic abuse” means the abuser:

  1. caused physical injury or reasonable fear of physical injury or harm to you or another person in your household;
  2. committed a sex crime against you or another person in your household; or
  3. stalked you or another person in your household.3

For number 1, above, the abuser must be a member or former member of your household. For numbers 2 and 3, above, the abuser does not have to have any specific relationship to the victim.3

1 AR ST § 18-16-112(b)(1)
2 AR ST § 18-16-112(f)
3 AR ST § 18-16-112(a)(2)

What proof or documentation do I have to give the landlord to prove that I am a victim?

In order to be protected by this law, you must have a court order showing that you are a victim of domestic abuse.1

1 AR ST § 18-16-112(a)(1), (b)

Can I change my locks or ask my landlord to change my locks?

If you or a member of your household are a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, and you have a court order to prove it, you can change your locks if you get your landlord’s permission first. You can also ask your landlord to change your locks for you. You will be responsible for paying for the lock change.1

If you or your landlord change the locks, you must give each other a copy of the new key right away.2

1 AR ST § 18-16-112(b)(2)(A)
2 AR ST § 18-16-112(b)(2)(B)

Can a landlord evict the abuser or get the abuser to pay for damages to the rental home?

A landlord can start a court case to evict the abuser whether or not s/he has a lease.1 A landlord can also sue the abuser for any unpaid rent s/he owes or damages s/he caused to the residence during a documented incident of domestic abuse.2

1 AR ST § 18-16-112(c)(3)(A), (c)(3)(B)
2 AR ST § 18-16-112(c)(3)(C)

WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.