Rhode Island Landlord Tenant Law gavel

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Information for Tenants


No. Except for certain circumstances, a Landlord must provide at least two (2) notice to enter into your apartment and may only request to enter at reasonable times. The Tenant, on the other hand, may not unreasonably withhold your consent to the Landlord entering the apartment. Examples of permissible reasons for the Landlord to enter the apartment are: "to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors." RIGL 34-18-36. A Landlord may enter the apartment without permission in the event of an emergency, or or, during any absence of the tenant in excess of seven (7) days, if reasonably necessary for the protection of the property.

After termination of the tenancy, the Tenant is entitled to a return of the full security deposit, less any unpaid rent and less any damage to the rental property, other than wear and tear. If the landlord returns the security deposit with reductions for rent or damages, the Landlord is required to provide notice in the form of an itemization of the reductions to the security deposit. The Landlord must send the notice and itemization "within twenty (20) days after the later of either termination of the tenancy, delivery of possession, or the tenant's providing the landlord with a forwarding address for the purpose of receiving the security deposit. If the Landlord fails to comply with this requirement, there are potentially stiff penalties. Consult an attorney for further information.

Yes, you should attend. By attending the hearing, you ensure that you will have full notice of your legal rights. Additionally, by attending the hearing, you may be able to negotiate with the attorney representing the landlord, thus improving your social/financial situation.

A Tenant has several options in this situation. The tenant may terminate the rental agreement with the landlord by vacating the apartment and notifying the landlord, in writing, the the Tenant wants to terminate the rental agreement due to the condition of the apartment. If only a portion of the apartment is damaged, the Tenant may continue to occupy the undamaged portion of the apartment and reduce that amount of rent due "in proportion to the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit." RIGL 34-18-34. The law provides additional provisions regarding prepaid rent and security deposits if this situation occurs.

If you provided a security deposit to the old landlord, by law, the security deposit was transferred to the current landlord upon his/her acquisition of the rental property. The regular law with respect to security deposits applies.

Yes, provided the Landlord follows that Rhode Island General Laws. The Landlord must provide notice in writing to a tenant of a proposed rent increase at least thirty (30) days in advance of the date that the rent increase will become effective. If the Tenant is sixty (62) years old, then the Landlord must provide notice at least sixty (60) days in advance.

Notice: The 24-hour response guarantee is only applicable to calls or e-mails submitted Sunday through Thursday.

Slepkow, Slepkow, & Associates has prepared the materials contained on this website for information purposes only. This information concerns Rhode Island law only and should not be construed as legal advice. No one should rely on any of the information or advice contained on this website without obtaining legal counsel. Slepkow, Slepkow, & Associates is not responsible for any material contained on those sites to which we have linked. The Rhode Island Supreme Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court license their respective lawyers in the general practice of law. These courts do not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.
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Joshua S. Slepkow, Esq.
Slepkow, Slepkow & Associates
1481 Wampanoag Trail
East Providence, RI 02915
T: (401) 437-1100
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