Grab our free sample or generate an official Rhode Island lease agreement for residential use. Read further about required disclosures in Rhode Island, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Rhode Island landlord tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.
Lease Agreement Sample
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Security Deposits in Rhode Island
A security deposit is money that a tenant gives to the landlord to hold when they move into the unit. This deposit can be used to pay for damages on the property or to cover any amount of rent that was not covered by the tenant before they moved out. According to statute § 34-18-19(a), the maximum amount that a landlord can collect for a security deposit in Rhode Island is the equivalent of one months’ rent. When the tenant vacates, the landlord must provide the return of the security deposit or an itemized list of damages that it will be used to repair. If the landlord does not do this, the tenant can recover twice the amount of the security deposit because it was wrongfully withheld.
Breaking a Lease in Rhode Island
When a tenant needs to break a lease, there are often repercussions that will happen when they do so without a legal reason. If they move out of the unit to move closer to their job or to move closer to a better school for their children, the breaking of the lease will not be legally backed, so the tenant may have to pay the rent until the term expires or help the landlord find another tenant for the unit. It will leave a mark on the individual’s rental history as well. Some of the reasons that are considered legal for breaking a lease include:
- The property is unsafe or uninhabitable.
- The landlord is violating the tenant’s privacy or their right to “quiet enjoyment.”
- The tenant has enlisted in active duty in the military.
Eviction Process in Rhode Island
When a tenant fails to pay the rent on time or follow the terms of the lease, the landlord will have the option of starting the eviction process. The first part of the process is that the landlord will need to send a Notice to Quit to the tenant. There are four different Notice to Quit options that can be used, and each one has a different reason that they will be sent to the tenant. When they receive this notice, they will have the option of curing the issue by paying the late rent or stopping the non-compliant behavior. If they do not do this within the amount days that the notice provides, the landlord can file a complaint at the local district court. The complaint will be served, and there will be a hearing to make a ruling for the case.