Rhode Island, a tiny little state with the oldest operating tavern in the United States. Yes, Rhode Island may be known for its production of fine jewelry but there is also great opportunity for the real estate investor. This little state has very balanced landlord tenant regulations.


At a Glance:

Late Fees: Rhode Island has no state limitations on what can be assessed as a late fee.

Security Deposit: The landlord may not require the tenant to give a security deposit (Rhode Island LLT Act § 34-18-19) that equals more than one month’s rent.

Returned Payment Fee Limit: Rhode Island limits an NSF fee to $25

Notice to Enter: Rhode Island provides in § 34-18-26 that the landlord must provide at least 2 day’s notice to enter unless there is an emergency.


Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:

Even though Rhode Island may not have a specific statute regarding how much can be charged for a late fee, reasonable and fairness must always be taken into consideration.

Did you tenant’s rent get returned for non-payment? There are specific timelines and procedures outlined in Rhode Island § 6-42-3. The best way to handle this is PREVENTION! When you use Spark Rental’s rent automation service or their one-of-a-kind  RENTDEDUCT™, deduction from payroll service, no worries about NSF’s again!


Security Deposits:

When you collect a security deposit from your Rhode Island tenant, make sure that the amount is under one month’s rent. And for your information, there are no statutes requiring the deposit to be held in a separate account, although it is absolutely the best and most protective practice.

Once your renter leaves, make sure you provide a full accounting of any deductions with the balance (if any) that is left OR the full security deposit to the renter’s last known address or their forwarding address. This must be done no later than (the later of) 20 days after either the tenancy is terminated, the renter gives back possession or the renter gives you his/her forwarding address. The security deposit may be used to pay for any unpaid rent and for any physical damage (beyond that normal wear and tear).

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In Rhode Island, according to RIGL 23-27.3, the landlord is responsible to make sure that the state building codes are met. All rentals must be kept in a healthy and livable condition.


Right of Entry:

The landlord, unless there is an emergency must provide the renter with at least a 2-day notice to enter. The renter may not negligently withhold permission.


Notice to End Lease:

If your lease is a fixed and has a specific ending date, no notice is needed. The lease would end and the renters would leave. However, if have a periodic lease with your renter, the following notice periods would be required:

Month – month:  30 days

Week – week: 10 days

Yearly with no fixed end date: 3 months



If your renter fails to pay the rent and you are ready to evict, first you must send a 5-day written notification after the rent has been late for 15 days. For lease violations, it would be a 20-day notice.


Are you looking for a Rhode Island lease contract? We’ve got you covered. SparkRental’s Rhode Island lease agreement not only is a great and protective contract for the landlord, but it is state compliant as well.


Questions? Ask an Attorney!

Have questions about Rhode Island landlord-tenant laws? No worries. Ask in the box below, to have your questions answered by living, flesh-and-blood attorneys!

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