Arkansas Renters Face Eviction Threats During Pandemic

With unemployment in Arkansas skyrocketing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and renters facing threats of losing their homes, advocates for tenants have pushed for a temporary moratorium on evictions. 

Some renters have found that landlords are not showing leniency, and are threatening eviction if tenants fail to pay rent on time. 

The renters’ rights advocacy group Arkansas Renters United has organized protests at the state Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion calling for a moratorium on rent, and wrote a letter to the governor in March, warning of an increase in homelessness. 

“We are worried about a wave of filings coming up soon when the courts are starting to return to normal, I think we’re going to see big numbers. There’s one court I practice in, and I saw they had around 20 eviction trials scheduled for one morning,” Kendall Lewellen, managing attorney at the Center for Arkansas Legal Services. 

In addition to new filings, courts will soon face a backlog of complaints that have not yet led to eviction orders.

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