Arkansas Can Do Better Than House Bill 1166

House Bill 1166 filed by Rep. Laurie Rushing says that it creates “implied quality standards” for residential rental properties. Such standards come nowhere close to the bare minimum that all other states require. These standards also fall fall short of what good landlords routinely provide. So what’s missing? Here are just a few examples of the most glaring problems.

  • First, and most important, the bill does not require the rental property to be safe, structurally sound, or even livable.
  • The bill does not require landlords to comply with building and housing codes that materially affect health or safety.
  • The bill fails to provide for common areas to be kept safe and fit for use.
  • The landlord has no obligation to make any repairs.
  • A tenant’s sole remedy if a landlord doesn’t follow the law is to to ask for termination of the lease and move out. She cannot withhold rent to make repairs, seek damages from a court, or even ask a court to require the landlord to make repairs.
  • A landlord is free to retaliate against a tenant who complains to the landlord about the condition of the property or makes a report to housing code enforcement officials by increasing rent, decreasing services, or even evicting the tenant.

Arkansas renters deserve better than this. Call HB 1166’s sponsors and tell them to fix the bill so that these most basic protections are included:

Rep. Laurie Rushing (primary sponsor), email, 501-545-6066
Rep. Rick Beck, email, 501-912-1441
Rep. Mary Bentley, email, 501-333-2297
Rep. Ken Bragg, email, 870-942-5269
Rep. David Branscum, email, 870-448-2408
Rep. Charlie Collins, email, 479-283-9303
Rep. Dan Douglas, email, 479-619-9231
Rep. Andy Davis, email, 501-837-5109
Rep. Jim Dotson, email, 479-644-0740
Rep. R. Trevor Drown, email, 479-857-2498
Rep. Les Eaves, email, 501-827-1344
Rep. David Fielding, email, 870-234-6143
Rep. Mickey Gates, email, 501-623-1100
Rep. Ken Henderson, email, 479-970-4850
Rep. Mike Holcomb, email, 870-489-7177
Rep. Joe Jett, email, 870-276-5319
Rep. Jack Ladyman, email, 870-340-7280
Rep. Tim Lemons, email, 501-605-7565
Rep. Mark Lowery, email, 501-837-5221
Rep. Milton Nicks, email, 870-739-5360
Rep. Rebecca Petty, email, 479-621-3464
Rep. Johnny Rye, email, 870-919-3690
Rep. Jim Sorvillo, email, 501-551-9571
Rep. Nelda Speaks, email, 870-421-2552
Rep. James Sturch, email, 870-612-7589
Rep. Dwight Tosh, email, 870-926-0423
Rep. Les Warren, email, 501-623-5165