Buyer Beware


related to subdividing, development, and purchase
of real estate in Garland County Arkansas:


Private Roads:

Buyers of real estate are urged to personally confirm the status of roads used to access their property before closing on a purchase.

Maintenance of private roads is NOT the responsibility of the County Road Department.
Property owners served by private roads that are not built to County Road Standards, and that have not been dedicated to and accepted as public roads by the County, should be aware that unless a Property Owner’s Association or other entity has assumed the obligation, road maintenance is their own private responsibility.

The County Judges Office has begun a process with the County IT/GIS department of researching County road records with the intention of providing a layer of data on the Garland County GIS map that when finished will be readily available to the public online, identifying the status of all roads as public, private, or undetermined for any address in the county. Until then, you can call the Garland County Road Department at 501-767-9174 to inquire as to whether a road is public or private, or if that determination is still pending.


100 Year Flood Plain:

Mortgages for homes and buildings from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance when located in high-risk flood areas.

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

In addition, the Garland County GIS map has a selectable Flood Zones layer (last selection under the upper-right-hand “More…” tab).

Septic Systems:

In order to get a permit for a septic system, contact the Garland County Health Unit  and ask for the Onsite Environmental Specialist.  You may be provided a list of the private individuals in your area that are licensed to do soil tests and design sewage systems.

The Arkansas Department of Health website provides answers to a list of Onsite Wastewater Frequently Asked Questions.

Garland County Health Unit
1425 Malvern Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901
Office Hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm



Buyers and other persons receiving title to real estate by deed should be aware that a professional survey can identify discrepancies in boundary locations and measurements, can identify encroachments if they exist, and can confirm the location of all property corners.

A deed’s existing meets and bounds description could potentially be written by anyone, might have problematic errors and inaccuracies, and may not match what is actually on the ground.

A new survey is highly recommended as insurance against disputes with neighbors, and in order to avoid costly encroachment errors prior to erecting fences or making other improvements to the subject property.

Information about surveys, including an Online Plat Retrieval System, is available from the Arkansas Division of Land Surveys.

HS Planning Area

Municipal Extra-Territorial Jurisdictions (ETJ’s)

Though the Constitutionality of the jurisdiction outside it’s boundaries is disputed, the City of Hot Springs nevertheless continues to claim jurisdiction (Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction) to regulate and restrict the liberties of property owners in some matters related to real estate outside the city limits within the boundaries of the City’s “Planning Area” map. You may refer to the Planning Area map to see if you are affected. Also you may search by address in the County GIS map and check the “Planning Area” layer (selectable under “More…”) to see if the address is located within the Hot Springs Planning Area.

The Hot Springs Subdivisions Code contains the following jurisdiction statement: “These regulations shall apply to and control development of land within the corporate limits of the City of Hot Springs and its territorial jurisdiction, herein termed “planning area” as illustrated and described on the planning area boundary map attached hereto as provided by state law (A.C.A. §14-56-413).”

The most recent State Legislation addressing this topic is Act 845 passed during the 2015 Legislative Session:

rick davis
Rick Davis
Garland County Judge
501 Ouachita Avenue, Room 210
Hot Springs, AR 71901
No phone # needed here!

Because there is no need to call Judge Davis about maintaining your private road.

(See Private Roads info above.)

Sample Tri-Fold “BUYER BEWARE” Brochure: