The Rhode Island Rental Agreement Forms are a set of forms designed to allow a property owner or manager to lend out their property to a tenant for residential or commercial purposes. As the laws governing properties can be quite different depending on the location, type of property and its intended use, both the landlord and tenant should be aware of any local statutes. In Rhode Island if you wish to sell or lease property, you will need a Real Estate Broker License.
Any lease or rental agreement should lay out the terms of the agreement. Each lease is unique and can contain different provisions and clauses depending on the property. If a lease is broken, the tenant can incur severe penalties, up to and including eviction. As such, a lease should be read carefully to make sure that both the landlord and tenant are completely on the same page and that both will abide by the entirety of the lease.
Form Description Types
Rhode Island Rental Laws
Laws are pursuant to Rhode Island Gen. Laws 34-18-1 to 34-18-57, 34-18.1 & 34-18.2.
In Rhode Island a landlord may charge a security deposit equal to up to one month’s rent. Unlike many states, there are no laws governing where this deposit must be placed, nor any requirement that the landlord disclose where they are keeping it. A landlord is required to return the deposit within twenty (20) days of the tenant vacating the property.
There are no areas subject to rent control in Rhode Island, and as such there is no limit to how much a landlord can charge for rent. A lease will specify how much rent is, when it is due, where it must be placed or sent, and what forms are permissible. Failure to pay rent on time may result in a late fee. There are no state laws governing late fees in Rhode Island, so there is no limit to how much it can be or when it can be charged. However a late fee must be specified in the lease, or one cannot be charged.
In a One Year Lease, the rent cannot be altered until the lease has been terminated and renegotiated, unless a provision in the lease itself covers a rent increase. In a Month to Month lease, the landlord is required to give at least thirty (30) day written notice before rent is changed
If a landlord fails to provide essential repairs or basic services such as heat or hot water, a tenant deduct the cost of the repair or the required services from the rent. If the tenant wishes to deduct the cost of a repair from the rent, they must serve the landlord with written notice and give the landlord twenty (20) days to make the repair or make a good faith effort to do so. If the tenant is lacking in essential services provided for in the rent, the tenant may attempt to find an alternate method of getting those services and deduct the cost from the rent.
If essential services are disrupted and cannot be acquired by alternate means, the tenant may vacate the property to seek reasonable substitute housing. If they do, they are exempt from paying rent until the essential services are restored.
In a Month to Month Lease, eviction is a fairly straightforward process; The landlord is required to serve the tenant with thirty (30) days written, at which point the tenant must move out or face eviction.
In a One Year or longer Lease, the landlord may serve an Unconditional Quit Notice if the tenant violates the lease or affects the health and safety of other nearby tenants twice in six (6) months. Once the Unconditional Quit Notice has been served, the tenant has twenty (20) days to vacate or face eviction. If the tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord must give the tenant five (5) days to pay or move out, before filing for eviction.
If the tenant fails to move out in that time, the landlord must apply for an Eviction Notice from the local court. Until an Eviction Notice has been served, a landlord cannot change locks, install a deadbolt, turn off utilities or otherwise force a tenant to vacate a property.
In Rhode Island it is illegal to deny housing, alter rent or otherwise discriminate for the following reasons:
- race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, family status, history of being the victim of domestic violence, physical or mental disability
Landlord Entering Home
A landlord may enter without warning in an emergency. In all non-emergency settings, Rhode Island state law requires that a landlord give the tenant at least two (2) days notice before entering the property at a reasonable time (typically business hours) and for a reasonable cause.