If a rental property in Rhode Island fails to meet legally required health and safety standards, tenants have the right to report their landlord to local public officials who may choose to follow up, inspect the property and cite the landlord for such violations.
What Are Considered Unsafe Living Conditions in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, unsafe living conditions exist when a rental property doesn’t have safe and working:
- Electricity (if provided).
- Heating (from May 1 to October 1).
- Provided appliances.
- Plumbing (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet, and shower / bathtub).
- Hot / cold water.
- Laundry, kitchen, and bathroom lights.
- Screens and storm windows/doors (as required).
- Smoke alarms.
- Features that impact health and safety.
What Should Tenants Do Before Reporting a Violation in Rhode Island?
In most cases, before reporting a violation, a tenant in Rhode Island must notify the landlord in writing about the issue and give 20 days for repairs.
How Can Tenants Report a Violation in Rhode Island?
Tenants in Rhode Island should report violations to the local office or officers responsible for housing code enforcement. The exact process depends on municipality.
|Building Inspections Dept.
|Municipal Concerns & Complaints
After receiving a complaint, an inspecting officer might contact the tenant for more information. Then the officer will usually inspect the property and give a written citation to the landlord for any code violations.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Providence?
A tenant in Providence can report a health or safety violation by calling (401) 421-2489 or using the online form provided by the PVD 311 service. Select “Top 311 Request Categories” -> “Substandard Housing Code Issues or Violations.” Enter location, property type, landlord information, and issue description.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Cranston?
A tenant in Cranston can report a health or safety violation by faxing (401) 780-6002 or using the online form for general contacts provided by the Building Inspections Department. Enter contact information, describe the issue including detailed location information, and submit.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Warwick?
A tenant in Warwick can report a health or safety violation by calling (401) 738-2007 or using the online form for municipal concerns and complaints provided by City Hall. Enter contact information, describe the issue including detailed location information, and submit.
What Could Happen to a Landlord After a Complaint Is Made in Rhode Island?
After a tenant files a complaint about unsafe living conditions in Rhode Island, an officer may inspect the property and give a written citation to the landlord for any code violations. The landlord must fix any cited issues within 30 days (except emergencies, which must be fixed immediately).
If the landlord doesn’t fix the cited issues, the officer places a lien on the property (preventing future sale, rental, or transfer) and issues a fine each day the issues continue. Deliberate code violations are crimes under Rhode Island law.