Deeds and Title

Ownership and Deeds in Arkansas

Every state is slightly different in its laws regarding property ownership. Knowing the basics of property law generally in the United States can go a long way. However, as you buy and sell properties in a state, knowing that market’s specific laws and preferences can help to set expectations and make your transactions move forward more smoothly. 

In this article, we walk through some of the key ownership considerations in Arkansas.

Types of Ownership in Arkansas

Arkansas recognizes four basic types of ownership: sole ownership, community property, joint tenants, and tenants in common. 

Sole Ownership in Arkansas

In this type of ownership, one individual or entity owns the property, with no other tenants. 

While this may seem straightforward on its face, there is a wrinkle that affects sole ownership. If the purported sole owner is married and the property is a homestead, the spouse of the owner may be required to sign the deed conveying or refinancing the house. This is a doctrine known as “dower and curtesy.”  

The only exceptions to dower and curtesy are for taxes, mechanic’s liens, or purchase money mortgages. Purchase money mortgages allow one spouse to purchase title to the property without the other spouse if the mortgage is equal to or less than the purchase price of the property. 

Community Property in Arkansas

While not one of the nine traditional community property states, Arkansas does recognize the concept of community property for spouses who moved to Arkansas from a community property state. If the property was previously considered community property, it will continue to be so at divorce or death. 

In terms of real estate, this may mean that property purchased by one spouse in a community property state as an investment or vacation home would be considered community property, even though conveyed by an Arkansas resident. 

Joint Tenants in Arkansas 

Arkansas is a common law state, which means that a joint tenancy with right of survivorship is a common form of joint ownership. This form allows multiple people or entities to own a title interest to the property, and comes with various rights and responsibilities. In particular, joint tenancies with right of survivorship involve all parties having equal ownership, and the right to assume another owner’s interest in the event the other owner dies. 

Tenancy in Common in Arkansas

Another common form of joint ownership in Arkansas is the tenancy in common. Tenancy in common allows multiple owners to own title in a property, but to set ownership percentages. Additionally, an owner’s share would pass to the owner’s heirs upon death, rather than passing to the other tenants in common. 

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Types of Deeds in Arkansas

The most common deed forms in Arkansas are warranty deeds and limited warranty deeds. Each of these provides a form of protection to the buyer in the form of a warranty on the seller with regard to the title. The warranty deed is more broad in that it guarantees no issues with the title. The limited warranty deed only guarantees that no issues were created while the seller was in possession of the property. 

Quitclaim deeds are also available in Arkansas, but used only in specific situations. This includes title clearing to cure defects in the title prior to closing a transaction. 


Knowing how a property is typically conveyed in a state, and ownership classifications can go a long way to ensuring a smooth transaction. While Arkansas tends to be a fairly straightforward common law state, wrinkles like dower and curtesy can be something to watch out for in your transactions. 

*The information provided on this site does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, financial, tax, or real estate advice. Please consult your expert for advice in those areas. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Although Blueprint provides information it believes to be accurate, Blueprint makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.