They didn't run the bill to protect the criminal eviction process
earlier this week as feared, so tenants got one break.
Today, a new development appeared on the landlord-tenant
front in a state viewed as having the worst law in the country for renters.
It's a bill supposedly to correc
t the absence of habitability standards to protect tenants in the Arkansas law. The 27 Republican sponsors, most from the far right of an already far right contingent, didn't give me hope this would be a good bill. I've sent it out to an expert to review, but I note a few things in the bill, which establishes an implied guarantee of utility service, heat and air and other basic elements of housing.
* Landlords get the benefit of the doubt, a presumption of meeting the standard, if a problem was caused by "deliberate or negligent act or omission" by anyone other than the landlord.
* An unacceptable condition, however apparent, is not cause to stop paying rent.
* If, after going through a complaint process on deficiency of a rental dwelling in which the renter prevails, the remedy is that the renter can break a lease and get a security deposit back.