If you are being evicted in the state of Arkansas, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Arkansas can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Arkansas and how long each step will take.
The eviction process in Arkansas begins when your landlord serves you with notice to quit. This notice serves to let you know if there is any way to cure the breach committed and why your landlord may want to begin an eviction action.
If you have not paid rent, your landlord begins the eviction process in Arkansas by sending you a notice to pay rent or quit. This notice gives you five days to pay rent or face eviction proceedings. If you have breached your lease in some other way (for instance, by having a pet that wasn't allowed, or smoking in a non-smoking unit), the landlord will advise you whether there is a way to cure the breach and give you 14 days to fix the problem. If you do not cure the breach, your landlord can start the eviction process in Arkansas courts.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not respond to the notice to quit, your landlord will file a complaint at the district court level. You will be served with a complaint and summons that tells you eviction proceedings have begun in your name. The eviction process in Arkansas allows you five days to file an objection to the eviction with the court.
If you do not file an objection, you will be removed from your house after the five days are over. If you do file an objection, the eviction process in Arkansas will continue with a hearing in which a judge will listen to your side and your landlord's side of a rent or lease dispute. If your landlord has been violating your lease, you may have a defense to the eviction. If you do not arrive at the hearing at the scheduled time, the judge will rule for your landlord by default and the eviction process in Arkansas will be continued with a writ of restitution.
Writs of Restitution
If the judge rules in your landlord's favor during the hearing, you will be required to vacate the property and given a writ of restitution that tells you that you are subject to forcible removal by the sheriff's office. Your landlord may not shut off your utilities or lock you out. Only the sheriff can move the eviction process in Arkansas forward after the writ of restitution has been issued.
Once you vacate your home or are removed from it, your personal belongings that are left behind are considered abandoned property, and your landlord may do anything he or she wishes with it. If you want to keep your property, you must take it with you before you are forcibly removed.