First time renter? Learn about tenant rights and responsibilities

As summer winds down and young adults turn their attention back to school or work, many are deciding where to live. College students are making plans to move to their college or university and weighing their housing options of living in a dorm or renting, while others are looking for the right apartment or house to rent. Some will be renting for the first time and need to know that shopping for an apartment or rental house is just as important and complex.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued an alert to educate young consumers on how to be smart while shopping for an apartment or rental house.

“Many young adults have been saving money to move into their first place. These young renters need to know what questions to ask a landlord, what to look for in an apartment or rental house and the warning signs of a bad deal,” said Attorney General Rutledge.

The following tips should be taken into account if you are considering rent:

Read the lease in full before signing and ask questions.

Ask about the utilities. Consider asking the landlord or local law enforcement if there have been any noise complaints filed against the neighbors and ask about safety of the area.

Look at the condition of the carpet and paint to ensure its quality. Take pictures of the carpet, paint, appliances and any other fixtures before moving in. This could protect you if a landlord claims you caused any damages.  Ask the landlord if he or she will be responsible for appliance/air conditioning/furnace maintenance and make sure those responsibilities are mentioned in the lease.

Learn about the lease cancellation policy and ask questions. Consider a nine-month lease for the school term instead of a full 12-month lease.

Clarify the details of the security deposit and the landlord’s policy for its return after the apartment or rental house is vacated.

Renters should also familiarize themselves with state as well as local city laws about landlords and tenants.

In Fayetteville, Arkansas, the landlords are required to confirm, in writing, no more than three unrelated roommates are living together in a single-family home.

For more information on landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, or to file a complaint, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit or


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Young couple moving in new house

Young couple moving in new house

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February 23, 2018, 10:40 am
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