Rhode Island Rental Agreement

Last Updated: October 23, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A Rhode Island rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Rhode Island landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.

Rhode Island Rental Agreement Types

11 pages
Residential Lease Agreement

A Rhode Island residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract for a tenant to rent a residential property from a landlord, subject to terms and conditions agreed by all parties.

9 pages
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

A Rhode Island month-to-month lease agreement is a contract (not necessarily written) where a tenant rents property from a landlord. The full rental term is one month, renewable on a month-to-month basis.

4 pages
Rental Application Form

Rhode Island landlords may use a rental application form to screen prospective tenants. A rental application collects information relating to finances, rental history, and past evictions.

7 pages
Residential Sublease Agreement

A Rhode Island sublease agreement is a legal contract where a tenant ("sublessor") rents (“subleases”) property to a new tenant (“sublessee”), usually with the landlord’s permission.

9 pages
Roommate Agreement

A Rhode Island roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.

8 pages
Commercial Lease Agreement

A Rhode Island commercial lease agreement is a legal contract arranging the rental of commercial space between a landlord and a business.

Rhode Island Required Residential Lease Disclosures

  • Landlord’s Name and Address (required for all leases) – Rhode Island leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
  • Housing Code Violation Notice (required for some leases) – Rhode Island landlords must disclose any outstanding housing code violations in the building that’s being rented out.
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Rhode Island residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.

To learn more about required disclosures in Rhode Island, click here.

Rhode Island Landlord Tenant Laws

  • Warranty of Habitability – Rhode Island landlords can only rent out property that’s habitable, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety like heating, plumbing, and electricity. Landlords must fix these features within 20 days of proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant terminate the lease, sue the landlord, or repair and deduct. Rent withholding isn’t usually permitted.
  • Evictions – Rhode Island landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to pay or quit, depending on the eviction type. This means most evictions in Rhode Island take somewhere from a few days to over one month.
  • Security Deposits – Rhode Island caps security deposits at a maximum of 1 month’s rent. Landlords of furnished properties may demand an extra one month’s rent as deposit, if the value of the furniture is over $5,000 total. After a lease terminates, the landlord must return any unused portion of a security deposit within 20 days.
  • Lease Termination – Rhode Island tenants may terminate a month-to-month lease with 30 days of advance notice. A fixed-term lease can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
  • Rent Increases and Fees – Rhode Island doesn’t put a maximum cap on the amount of a rent increase. Before increasing the rent, landlords must provide 30 days of advance notice (60, days for tenants over 62 years old). There’s no statewide cap on most fees. Bounced check fees are capped at $25 plus 3 times the value of the check, with a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $1,000.
  • Landlord Entry – Rhode Island landlords have the right to enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like repairs, inspections, and property showings. They must provide at least two days of advance notice before entry, except in emergency situations.
  • Settling Legal Disputes – Rhode Island allows landlord-tenant disputes in small claims court when the amount in controversy is under $5,000. Eviction cases cannot be submitted to small claims.

To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Rhode Island, click here.