Category Archives: HB1166

Oppose HB1166! Update 3/6

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.
  • This bill only requires a landlord to supply heating and air conditioning if they worked at the beginning of the lease. This bill only requires landlords to supply electricity, water and sewage that complied with the code when they were installed. This bill only requires landlords to supply a “functioning roof and building envelope,” whatever that is.
  • This bill would do nothing to address problems such as a carbon monoxide leak, toxic black mold, broken door locks, or an infestation of rats or cockroaches.
  • 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, make repairs and deduct them from the rent, or even ask a court to require the landlord to make repairs. All these other remedies are available to tenants in most states.
  • 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.
  • Oppose this bill! Contact your representative and ask him/her to oppose HB1166.

House Bill 1166 Assigned to Insurance & Commerce

After lawmakers returned to the Capitol after the MLK holiday, HB 1166–the so-called “Implied Quality Standards” bill–was assigned to the House Insurance and Commerce Committee. Eight of the bill’s sponsors (including lead sponsor Rep. Laurie Rushing) are members of that committee.

If enacted, HB1166 would NOT create a warranty of habitability. In other words, it would not require a rental property to even be fit for human habitation. The standards it establish  fall far below what reputable landlords routinely provide for their rental properties.

The bill’s sponsors and members of the House Insurance and Commerce Committee need to know that HB1166 does not make things better for Arkansas renters. Below is the contact information for committee members, as well as a sample email or letter that you can write to your own legislators, to the sponsors, or to the members of the committee that will take up the bill.

Sample Email:

Re: Please Fix HB1166

Dear Rep. ________:

I am writing to about House Bill 1166, which is supposed to put quality standards in place for rental homes and apartments. This bill leaves out some of the most basic standards that all other states require for residential rental properties. Most concerning to me is that it doesn’t require landlords to make any repairs, even if the tenant’s health or safety are at risk. There are several other major problems with this bill:

    • It doesn’t require the rental property to be safe, structurally sound, or even livable.
    • It doesn’t require common areas to be kept safe or fit for use.
    • A tenant’s only remedy if a landlord doesn’t follow the law is to to ask for termination of the lease and move out. They cannot withhold rent to make repairs, seek damages from a court, or even ask a court to require the landlord to make repairs.
    • It doesn’t protect tenants from landlords who might retaliate against a tenant for complaining about the condition of the property or making a report to housing code enforcement officials, increasing rent, decreasing services, or even evicting the tenant.

I believe that most landlords and property managers provide rental properties that far exceed what HB 1166 requires. I would urge you to consider adding provisions to provide minimum standards that good landlords already provide.

Sincerely,

_______________________

For a list of contact information of the bill’s cosponsors, click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.

Below is the contact information for the members of the House Insurance & Commerce Committee:

Rep. Charlie Collins, Chair, email, 479-283-9303
Rep. Robin Lundstrum, Vice Chair, email, 479-957-1959
Rep. Eddie Armstrong, email, 866-980-9438
Rep. Les Eaves, email, 501-827-1344
Rep. Joe Farrer, email, 501-743-6855
Rep. Deborah Ferguson, email, 870-735-7098
Rep. Ken Henderson, email, 479-970-4850
Rep. Grant Hodges, email, 479-381-9513
Rep. Joe Jett, email, 870-276-5319
Rep. Mark Lowery, email, 501-837-5221
Rep. John Maddox, email, 479-394-6060
Rep. Austin McCollum, email, 479-426-4141
Rep. Reginald Murdock, email, 870-295-3208
Rep. John Payton, email, 501-362-5815
Rep. Chris Richey, email, 870-995-2499
Rep. Marcus E. Richmond, email, 479-299-4416
Rep. Laurie Rushing (primary sponsor), email, 501-545-6066
Rep. Jim Sorvillo, email, 501-551-9571
Rep. DeAnn Vaught, email, 870-832-2638
Rep. Les Warren, email, 501-623-5165

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