Rhode Island Sublease Agreement

Last Updated: December 29, 2023 by Jessica Menefee

Rhode Island Residential Sublease Agreement Template_1 on iPropertyManagement.com

The Rhode Island sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant to rent out all or a portion of the property to a subtenant in exchange for regular payments.

Does a Tenant Need the Landlord’s Permission to Sublet in Rhode Island?

A Rhode Island tenant does need to receive a landlord’s explicit written permission to sublet. Even after permission is given, a landlord still has the right to reject a subtenant if they are unqualified, such as for being unable to verify the tenant’s income or having a low credit score.

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Standardized Rhode Island Sublease Agreements

Here’s what is generally included in a Rhode Island sublease agreement:

  • The Names of the Parties – The original tenant under the lease is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessor”. The third-party that is subleasing the rental unit is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessee”.
  • Rent – How much the rent is, when it needs to be paid, and how to pay it.
  • Rental Unit Location – The address for the rental unit as described in the original lease.
  • Term – State the date the sublease begins and ends.
  • Master Lease Inclusion – A copy of the Master Lease is attached to the sublease. If any exceptions in the Master Lease are not included they should be clearly stated in this section.
  • General Conditions – A statement that the written sublease agreement contains all of the agreements between the parties and can only be modified by written consent of the parties to the agreement.
  • Disputes – A description of how disputes between the Sublessor and Sublessee are to be settled, which may include mediation and binding arbitration to avoid more expensive legal proceedings.
  • Liability – The sublessee will be liable for any damages to the Sublessor. The Sublessor continues to have the ultimate responsibility to pay for any damages that impact the landlord as stated in the original lease agreement.
  • Authorized Occupants – This identifies the new tenant(s) and those that are authorized to live in the rental unit including any policy about short-term guests.
  • Security Deposit – Rhode Island law limits the maximum security deposit to one month’s rent. This security deposit is held by the Sublessor (not the landlord).
  • Furnished Unit Deposit – If rental units in Rhode Island are furnished over a value of $5,000, landlords can require an additional deposit. The additional furniture deposit is limited to one month’s rent, so the total maximum deposit, in this case, is two months’ rent.
  • Return of Security Deposit – Rhode Island landlords have 20 days to return any unused portion of the security deposit.
  • Lead-Based Paint Notice – Under Federal law, if the rental unit’s premises were built before 1978, the Sublessee must be given a written warning notice, called a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure.
  • Inventory of Included Items – The list of items in the rental unit that are part of the sublease (furniture or appliances).
  • Utilities – The utilities to be paid by the Sublessor and those that are to be paid by the Sublessee.
  • Smoking Policy – If smoking is restricted in the rental unit and any designated smoking areas are identified in the sublease.
  • Landlord’s Consent – This section describes how the landlord is asked to give permission (if permission is not already included in the Master Lease). Tenants may create a signed sublease that is conditional on being accepted by the landlord before the sublease becomes effective.
  • Signature: The signature and date for the Sublessor, the Sublessee, any Co-Sublessors, and Co-Sublessees (if they exist), and the signature of the Landlord giving consent to the sublease.

Tax Implications of a Sublease in Rhode Island

Short-term rentals of 30 days or less in Rhode Island are subject to state sales tax and hotel tax. For example, if you rent a room in Rhode Island, taxes may include:

  • Rhode Island State Sales Tax – 7%
  • Rhode Island State Hotel Tax – 6%

However, if you rent an entire house, taxes include:

  • Rhode Island State Sales Tax – 7%
  • Rhode Island State Hotel Tax – 1%