upcoming rental legislation

10 Replies

Anyone in Arkansas know anything about the House bill HB 1410 that is being voted on soon?  I'm in Little Rock and wondering what kind of effect it might have on my rental properties?  

Yes - basically, they're saying Arkansas is the only state in the nation without tenant habitability laws. That's what they're trying to implement. If you take a moment to read the bill, as it's presently written, it is very poorly done. The state Landlord association is opposing it. I would strongly encourage you to email the representatives in the districts in which you invest and tell them everything you think is wrong with the bill. I am happy to provide a list of all the email addresses. I actually just sent a blanket email to all of them with my concerns.

Thanks for posting the legislation. I read it and agree it's a rather sophomoric attempt but not the worst I seen. Unless you are a slumlord, this really shouldn't have much of an effect on your business. It's all fairly basic.

@Beau Fannon you need to read closer and understand politics and legislation.  As one example of many issues within this Bill, What is the legal definition of "reasonably safe"?  Who gets to decide this, the tenant, the landlord, a prosecutor, a tenants rights advocate or free legal aid lawyer or the hundreds of different judges across the state with different political agendas?  This is why legislation like this is so dangerous.  On the surface it seems benign, but that is always the way things start.  Gray areas that later get to be black and white thru the courts and you usually don't like the results.

Thanks @Rachel Fazio for the info, and @Randy Thomason for the clarification.  so at this point, what is the best move to take specifically? Your suggestion of "tell them everything you think is wrong with the bill" is a great one, but I just don't know what that is.  Going through bills like this is definitely not my forte.  Is there a way someone can dissect the bill and give suggestions on what to tell our legislatures?

@Jason Mizell I haven't read the new revision of the bill since I just became aware of it today, but if you look at the older version of the bill, basically it says that you have to make repairs in a timely manner and if you don't the tenant can make them themselves. Of course, there are glaring problems with this part of the bill, because if the tenant does them themselves they may not be the code, they may call a friend or family member and grossly overcharge, etc etc. You really don't have to go deep into the details of the bill, I would say just skim it and see what strikes you as ridiculous. As another example, the property has to be maintained for the tenants use and enjoyment, rather than for safety. Yet use and enjoyment is never defined. So those are some things I wrote about in regards to the old version of the bill, but as soon as I get around to reading this one, I'm happy to post any new thoughts I have.

So if a tenant does a repair, say to electrical or plumbing, and three years later the electrical starts a fire and kills a child. The fire department investigates and determines the repair done was wrong and dangerous.  Guess who gets their butts sued to high heaven?  And by the way, your insurance won't pay because you allowed and non licensed person to do the work. Negligence.  

"If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an 27 unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands in connection with an otherwise 28 lawful entry that has the effect of harassing the tenant, the tenant may: 29 (A) Obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of 30 the conduct; or 31 (B) Terminate the rental agreement."

Just one of the things I find disturbing in this, but an important one in my opinion.  What is an "unreasonable manner" defined as?  If I have safety concerns for neighbors and repeatedly stop by to knock on the door or call the tenant repeatedly so I can can gain access to make repairs, correct problems, etc.  Does the tenant now have the right to "Terminate the rental agreement"?  So many vague statements in this bill.  It definitely is not ready to be voted on and needs a complete rewrite in my opinion.  I'm sure if I read it a couple more times and had a couple hours I could post several more.  I just wanted to give an example of one concern.  Definitely not good for investors, landlords or tenants in my opinion.  

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