Lawmaker pushing for renters’ protection

Local News

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Some lawmakers want to create more balance of power between landlords and renters.

Arkansas State Senator, Greg Leding said more than 1/3 of homes in Arkansas are rented and the way the laws stand today landlords hold most of the power especially when it comes to evictions.

Leding said we are the only state in the country with no minimum standard of habitability. For the past decade, he has worked to even out the playing field.

He said rental properties should meet basic living standards. There should be requirements for hot water, guidelines that outline who is responsible for major repairs and how it should be handled.

State Representative, Robin Lundstrum disagrees with the need for reform and said we live in a capitalist society where people have choices and renters should not accept an agreement where they are not being treated fairly.

“We are really just trying to put in place meaningful but modest just a basic set of requirements to make sure that people are safe and healthy in their homes, and if you are a good landlord then you are already doing all of that,” said Leding.

“If people do not like where they live, they can move. At the end of their contract, they can shop until they drop. In Northwest Arkansas, we are adding properties all the time so if you’re a bad landlord then you are not going to survive.

Lundstrum, who is a landlord herself, advises all renters to really read their contracts before signing them and make sure that they not only understand but agree with what is in print.

She believe many issues revolve around communication. If something is broken or if you’re having financial issues speak to your landlord and come to a solution.

Lundstrum recommends documenting everything and said good record-keeping goes a long way.

Leding said there will be another push to pass a warrant of habitability in the 2021 session.

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