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. Some basic information on these housing laws is below.
Who is protected by these housing laws? What protections do they offer?
If you or a member of your household are a victim of domestic violence (as defined by law), the landlord of your apartment/house cannot do any of the following because of the domestic abuse:
- refuse to enter into a tenancy agreement with you;
- fail to renew your tenancy;
- terminate your tenancy; or
- otherwise retaliate against you when leasing a residence to you.*
Also, if you request it, you (the tenant/victim of domestic abuse), another tenant (as long as s/he is not the abuser), or your landlord can change the locks of your apartment/house. However, you have to pay for the cost, get your landlord's approval beforehand, and give the landlord a copy of the key to the new lock.**
Lastly, under this law, your landlord cannot ask you to give up your right to call law enforcement for help during your tenancy. The law prohibits a landlord from trying to put this type of request in your lease.***
* Ark. Code § 18-16-112(b)(1)
** Ark. Code § 18-16-112(b)(2)(A),(B)
*** Ark. Code § 18-16-112(f)