Bill filed to allow victims of domestic violence out of lease without paying penalties

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- A new bill has been filed to amend the landlord-tenant law concerning the protection of domestic violence victims.

St. Rep. Nicole Clowney who filed it says she noticed many of the states around Arkansas were doing this and she thought it would get a lot of bipartisan support. 

“I haven’t heard anybody opposed to this bill so far,” says Clowney. 

The bill would allow victims of domestic violence to terminate their lease early without having to pay any additional penalties.

“The idea is that often times victims of domestic violence might be stuck in an unsafe living situation and this bill aims to remedy that,” says Clowney. 

House Bill 1538 says the victim may terminate the residential tenancy agreement within 60 days of the date of the documented domestic abuse, because of safety issues, without paying any penalties.

It’s a change some believe will make it a little easier for victims to leave. 

“I think everybody is in agreement that we just want to keep victims of domestic violence safe and this is a very low stakes, low cost, smart way to do that,” says Clowney. 

The Arkansas State Landlord Association says we are one of a few states that already have a domestic abuse law for a landlord and they are in support of this bill.

It was filed on Wednesday and has been sent to committee. 

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