Top 4 Valid Reasons to Break a Lease in Little Rock

Top 4 Valid Reasons to Break a Lease in Little Rock

As a landlord, there may come a time when your resident feels breaking their lease is necessary.

In Little Rock, residents have rights and options when it comes to terminating their lease agreement. Understanding when a lease break is allowable can help you maintain a solid landlord-resident relationship while still maximizing the value of your rental property.

So, let’s dive into some of the top reasons to break a lease in Little Rock.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available in this blog are for general informational purposes only.

Understanding Lease Agreements in Little Rock

A lease agreement outlines the rights and obligations of both the landlord and the resident. It provides a legal framework that ensures a fair and mutually beneficial relationship between the two parties

The Legal Framework of Leases

Leases in Little Rock are governed by state and local laws, as well as the terms specified in the lease agreement itself. 

In Arkansas, the Arkansas Residential Landlord-resident Act (ARLTA) governs the relationship between landlords and residents. This act provides guidelines and regulations that protect the rights of both parties. It covers various aspects of the landlord-resident relationship, including lease agreements, security deposits, repairs and maintenance, and eviction.

In addition to state laws, there may be specific regulations imposed by the city or county of Little Rock. These local ordinances may address issues such as rent control, occupancy limits, and property maintenance requirements

Common Terms and Conditions in Leases

Lease agreements commonly include provisions regarding rent amount, lease duration, security deposit, maintenance responsibilities, and other terms specific to the rental property.

A lease may be a fixed-term lease, which has a specific start and end date, or a month-to-month lease, which automatically renews every month until either party provides notice to terminate the agreement.

The security deposit is paid by the resident to the landlord to cover any potential damages or unpaid rent. The lease agreement should specify the amount of the security deposit, the conditions for its return, and any deductions that may be made from it. It is important that both you and the resident carefully document the condition of the rental property at the beginning and end of the tenancy to ensure a fair assessment of any damages.

The lease agreement should clearly outline who is responsible for maintaining and repairing different parts of the rental property. This may include responsibilities for lawn care, plumbing issues, and appliance repairs. 

These are just a few of the terms and conditions you may find in a lease agreement. You should carefully review the entire agreement and seek legal advice if needed to ensure that you fully understand your rights and obligations as a resident in Little Rock.

Reason 1: Unlivable Conditions

Living in a rental property that fails to meet basic livability standards can be extremely frustrating and even hazardous. If your rental unit has significant issues that make it uninhabitable, your resident may have valid grounds for breaking their lease.

Defining Unlivable Conditions

Unlivable conditions may include severe mold infestations, water leaks, lack of heating or cooling, pest infestations, or other conditions that pose a threat to your resident’s health and safety. It is crucial that they document any issues and notify you, the landlord, in writing about the problems.

Legal Rights and Unlivable Conditions

If you fail to address the unlivable conditions within a reasonable time, your resident is entitled to terminate their lease without penalty.

Pro tip: A professional property management company will be your friend here. They may have in-house maintenance staff or established vendor relationships to complete repairs promptly and keep the home in tip-top shape.

Reason 2: Landlord Harassment or Privacy Invasion

Feeling safe and secure in a rental property is essential. Unfortunately, some landlords may engage in harassment or invade their resident's privacy, creating an uncomfortable living environment.

Identifying Harassment or Privacy Invasion

Landlord harassment can manifest in various forms, such as frequent and unwarranted visits, intrusive surveillance, or verbal abuse. If your resident feels harassed or their privacy has been violated, they’ll need to document incidents and gather evidence to support their claim.

Legal Actions Against Harassment

The ARLTA protects residents from any type of discrimination, including landlord harassment and privacy invasion. If your behavior ever crosses legal boundaries, your resident may have the right to break their lease. 

Reason 3: Military Duty

Members of the military often face deployment or reassignment, requiring them to relocate away from their rental properties. 

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides protection and benefits for military personnel in such situations. The SCRA enables military personnel, including National Guard members and reservists, to legally terminate their leases without penalty when they receive orders for military duty away from Little Rock. It is important that any residents who qualify provide you with a copy of their military orders and written notice of their intent to terminate the lease.

Reason 4: Health or Safety Concerns

The resident’s health and safety should be a top priority in any living space. If your resident finds themselves facing significant health or safety concerns in your rental property, they may have valid grounds to break their lease.

Health Issues and Lease Agreements

Certain health issues, such as allergies triggered by mold or other allergens present in the rental unit, can significantly impact a resident’s quality of life. If the property's condition poses a real threat to their health, it may be reasonable to consider breaking the lease.

Safety Concerns as a Ground for Breaking Lease

Serious safety concerns, such as faulty wiring, exposed asbestos, or lack of security measures, can jeopardize a resident’s well-being. In these cases, they should document the safety issues and notify you in writing. If the problems remain unresolved, they may have valid grounds to break their lease.

Final Thoughts: Breaking a Lease in Little Rock

There are a few valid reasons to break a lease in Little Rock, but this decision should not be taken lightly.

By understanding lease agreements, residents' legal rights, and the proper process for termination, individuals can approach this situation with confidence and make informed choices. Seeking legal advice, on your behalf as well as the resident’s, may provide additional support and resources throughout the process, ultimately minimizing the impact of breaking the lease.

Plus, we’ll be here to help every step of the way!