Landlord / Tenant

Rhode Island LANDLORD-TENANT Attorney

The key to a stable and legally enforceable landlord-tenant relationship rest upon establishing a clearly defined understanding of the responsibilities of each party. Rhode Island laws regulating landlord/tenant matters are quite complicated and can often times lend themselves to confusion.  Both landlords and tenants must be clearly advised with respect to their rights and responsibilities.  Those rights and responsibilities need be clearly defined in the lease agreement.  The basic provisions of these requirements are clearly stated in the Rhode Island Landlord/Tenant Handbook.

Basically, tenants have the right to reside in a living unit in which all essential facilities function properly. The landlord has the responsibility to ensure the safe and proper functioning of such utilities as electrical, plumbing and heating/air conditioning and secure locks. Conversely, tenants have the responsibility to meet lease payments in a timely manner and observe other provisions that may appear in the lease agreement.

Our attorney can explain complicated landlord and tenant laws in Rhode Island

Under Rhode Island law a landlord may begin an eviction action if the rent is not paid within fifteen days of the time it is due under the provisions of the lease. This process is commenced with a notice of eviction. The tenant must then respond with payment of the rent within five days of receiving the notice. Should that five day period lapse without payment, the landlord is then legally entitled to proceed with an eviction procedure by forwarding a complaint to the tenant. This complaint must be forwarded by first class mail. The tenant can halt the eviction process by paying the back rent but is barred from so doing if other 5 day notices have been sent in the past.

Tenants also may avail themselves of an option of remedies against recalcitrant landlords who are in violation of their lease agreement.  Tenants are required under the law to give 30 day notice in advance of moving out if needed repairs are not forthcoming within 20 days.  They are also entitled to effect do-it-yourself repairs provided the cost does not exceed $125. Withholding rent is also an option under Rhode Island law. Please contact Stefanie Murphy Law for help with specific questions relating to the intricacies of any landlord/tenant dispute you may have.

At Stefanie Murphy Law we handle all aspects of evictions and lease disputes representing both landlords and tenants in Rhode Island.  Be sure to know your rights and the legal requirements before taking action.