Rhode Island Rental Lease Agreement Templates
The Rhode Island Rental Lease Agreements are official documents used for forming a contract between a lessor (property owner/manager) and lessees (those living/working in the rental). In exchange for set rental payments (typically paid monthly), the lessee(s) can use the property to their likes, so long it complies with what is permitted in the lease.
The types of information covered in a lease include:
- Names of the parties,
- Rent payments,
- Security deposits,
- Utility obligations,
- Rules on pets,
- and More.
Commercial Lease Agreement – Sets the rules and obligations that a business-owning tenant and landlord must follow until the lease’s end. Average contract length: three (3) to five (5) years.
Lease to Own Agreement – A form that combines elements from two (2) forms: standard leases and purchase agreements. Gives tenants the option of purchasing the leased premises at the end of the lease.
Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – A lease that can be ended by either party so long the appropriate notice is given. Commonly used by landlords who own vacation homes or other property-types that can’t be leased for full one (1) year periods.
Roommate Agreement – Used for promoting open communication among tenants that share a single leased unit / home / building. Is formed exclusively among tenants (no landlord signature required).
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – For leasing property on a yearly basis. Features the necessary conditions to stay in-line with RI landlord-tenant law.
Sublease Agreement – A form completed by those currently bound by a lease (sublessors), for the purpose of setting rules that a new tenant (the sublessee) will be required to follow. Sublessors should receive permission from their landlord prior to completing and signing.
What is a Rhode Island Lease Agreement?
A Rhode Island Lease Agreement structures a situation in which tenant(s) rent a property in exchange for making regular payments to the landlord/owner of the dwelling. The lease can be edited by the landlord so long all edits keep the document in compliance with RI landlord-tenant statutes. Prior to signing the lease, landlords should take the time to vet prospective tenants by requiring them to fill out a rental application form.
State Definition (§ 34-18-11(14)) – “means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under § 34-18-25 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises, and also includes any terms required by law.”
State Laws & Guides
Landlord-Tenant Guides / Handbooks
When is Rent Due?
As established by § 34-18-15(c), rent has to be paid at the time and place as agreed upon by the landlord and tenant(s). Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, rent for fixed-term tenancies is payable in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. For terms of one month or less, rent is payable at the beginning of the term. There is no state statute offering a grace period to tenants.
Emergency (§ 34-18-26(b)): Landlords can legally enter in the event of an emergency. They may also enter without prior consent during any absence of the tenant in excess of seven (7) days, so long making entry is necessary for the protection of the rental unit/building.
Non-Emergency (§ 34-18-26(c)): Landlords need to provide tenants with two (2) days’ notice prior to making entry (unless impractical to do so), and can only enter at reasonable times.
As established by § 34-18-22, landlords are required to uphold the following obligations for tenants they signed a lease contract with:
- Maintain all common areas and ensure they are clean and safe to use by tenants;
- Provide tenants with a means of disposing of their trash and rubbish and ensure trash will be consistently disposed of (scheduling a truck to exchange a dumpster, for example);
- Comply with all state and local building and housing codes that relate to the health and safety of tenants;
- Do whatever necessary (repairs included) to ensure the rental is fit for habitation by the tenants;
- Unless not required by law or local statutes, landlords must provide tenants with constant running water, adequate amounts of hot water, and heat as required by § 45-24.3-7, between the dates of October 1st to May 1st.
- Provide tenants with safe and working electrical, HVAC, and plumbing, and other services as guaranteed by the written lease.
In Rhode Island, the obligations of tenants are as follows, per § 34-18-24:
- Remove (throw away) trash from the rental in a manner that is clean and safe;
- Do not commit crime or violence on the premises;
- Do not use the rental unit or surrounding premises for illegal drug-related activity;
- Do not use any part of the premises in a manner such as would “constitute the maintaining of a narcotics nuisance under the provisions of § 21-28-4.06“;
- Maintain compliance with all applicable codes relating to safety and health;
- Keep their rental unit as clean and safe as reasonable;
- Do not destroy, damage, remove, or deface any part of the premises (or allow another individual to do so);
- Use all systems (plumbing, HVAC, electrical, elevators, etc.) in the manner in which they’re meant to be used;
- Keep plumbing and other systems located inside the rental unit as clean as permittable; and
- Act in a way that does not disturb other tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of their rental or the premises.
- Code Violations (§ 34-18-22.1): Landlords must deliver a copy of any notice of housing code violation to each tenant of the building/home affected by the violation within thirty (30) days after receiving the notice. Until the landlord fixes the violation(s) included in the notice, any and all prospective tenants must be informed of said violations prior to signing a rental contract.
- Foreclosure Notification (§ 34-18-20(d)): If a landlord is delinquent on a mortgage for the rental property for one-hundred-twenty (120) days, they must notify the tenant(s) that the property could be subject to foreclosure.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: If the rental dwelling was built before 1978 and the landlord is aware of any lead paint hazards in the dwelling, they must disclose the information to the tenant(s). Further, landlords must provide tenants with a brochure that outlines the problem with lead hazards in the home.
- Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers (§ 34-18-20(a)): Landlords must disclose, in writing, the names, addresses, and numbers of the person(s) authorized to manage the premises in addition to the owner of the property or the person authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.
Maximum (§ 34-18-19(a)): Landlords cannot demand tenants to pay a security deposit valued at more than one (1) month’s rent.
Returning to Tenant (§ 34-18-19(b)): Landlords must return security deposits to tenants within twenty (20) days after the latest of the following: 1) the termination of the tenancy, 2) after the tenant has moved out of the rental, or 3) after the tenant has provided a forwarding address (for receiving a security deposit).
Deposit Interest: No statute.
Uses of the Deposit (§ 34-18-19(b)): Per state law, landlords can deduct unpaid rent, cleaning expenses (as reasonable), trash disposal expenses, and actual damage to the rental or premises (other than standard wear and tear) from a tenant’s security deposit.