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.
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.
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