Rhode Island Residential
Lease Agreement for
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Rhode Island Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Rhode Island, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Rhode Island landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a Rhode Island lease agreement, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Rhode Island rental lease agreement for download!
A Rhode Island lease or a Rhode Island rental agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease must adhere to Rhode Island landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Rhode Island lease agreement. Note that these components primarily apply to a residential property in Rhode Island — a Rhode Island commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. There are no statewide rent control laws in Rhode Island, meaning that landlords can generally choose their own rental rates based on the current market. However, keep in mind that individual cities or counties in Rhode Island may have their own laws that regulate or restrict the price of rent. Be sure you know which laws apply in your region.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. There is no statutory limit on late fees in Rhode Island, but landlords in this state are required to wait at least 15 days before sending an eviction notice for nonpayment (RI Gen. Laws § 34-18-35(a)). All Rhode Island lease agreements should include a clear description of the landlord’s late fee policy so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late to pay rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
The maximum or limit for security deposits in Rhode Island is one month’s rent (RI Gen. Laws § 34-18-19(a)). Additionally, if the rental unit is furnished and the replacement value of a piece of furniture is at least $5,000, the landlord can also charge a separate furniture deposit of up to one month’s rent.
Landlords in Rhode Island are also required to return security deposits to tenants (minus any deductions) within 20 days after the lease ends (RI Gen. Laws § 34-18-19(b))).
Be sure to include a thorough description of the landlord’s security deposit in every Rhode Island rental agreement, including the amount of the deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in Rhode Island, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. In Rhode Island, the required disclosures are:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Landlord/agent identification – Landlords in Rhode Island are required to disclose the name, address, and phone number of the person authorized to manage the premises and receive notices.
- Housing code violations – Rhode Island landlords must disclose to tenants any outstanding minimum housing code violations that exist on the building.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Rhode Island, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords in this state must provide at least two days’ notice before entering an occupied unit for a non-emergency reason (RI Gen. Laws § 34-18-26(c))). Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in every Rhode Island lease agreement.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Rhode Island residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A Rhode Island residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Rhode Island, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A five-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment or a 20-day notice to cure or quit for lease violations. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Rhode Island sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Free Rhode Island Rental Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a downloadable free Rhode Island rental lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Rhode Island state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a Rhode Island residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Rhode Island lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Rhode Island standard residential lease and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.