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Friday, June 27, 2014

Arkansas: The Worst Place to Rent in America

Arkansas: The Worst Place to Rent in America

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Arkansas is one of the worst places to be a renter in America. It is the only state in the US where tenants are treated as criminals for paying rent late and landlords are not required by law to maintain their properties. 

Its failure-to-vacate law lets landlords give tenants a 10-day eviction notice if they are even one day overdue. Tenants who can't or won't leave within that span face fines for every day they remain on the property and up to 90 days in jail. 

This makes things difficult for the third of Arkansas's residents who are renters and have legitimate concerns about the properties they are occupying. The combination of failure-to-vacate and the lack of warranty of habitability make it almost impossible for tenants to challenge their landlords for legitimate reasons. It's estimated that criminal evictions occur everyday in Arkansas, resulting in over 2000 failure-to-vacate cases being filed each year. 

VICE News visited Arkansas to learn more about its draconian eviction laws. From the courthouses to the porches of some of the state's poorest residents, we documented first-hand accounts from one of the country's most underreported stories.

Debtors Prisons Are Taking the US Back to the 19th Century:http://bit.ly/1lnn3AT

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City of Little Rock Rental Property Inspection Program

Did you know that it is illegal to lease a dwelling that has not been inspected by the City?

From the City's Web site: "Another component of Code Enforcement is the Systematic Rental Property Inspection Program. This program provides for a biannual inspection of all rental properties located in the City of Little Rock. The purpose of this inspection is to insure that all rental units are maintained in a safe condition to meet Minimum Housing Code Standards. The Rental Inspection Program also provides an avenue for rental property owners to require tenants who damage their property to make repairs or provide financial compensation to cover the cost of repairs."
Also on their site:

Minimum Housing Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement Officers also investigate violations of the Little Rock Minimum Housing Code. Examples of these violations include property owners who fail to maintain their residences or accessory buildings, allowing them to fall in to a state of disrepair or structures that have sustained fire damage.
For more information, contact: Division Manager, City Hall #120W, 500 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 Office: (501) 371-4685 

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