Title 34

Chapter 18
Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18-15

§ 34-18-15. Terms and conditions of rental agreement.

(a) A landlord and a tenant may include in a rental agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law, including rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.

(b) In absence of agreement, the tenant shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.

(c) Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is uniformly apportionable from day-to-day.

(d) Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term, the tenancy is week-to-week in case of a roomer who pays weekly rent, and in all other cases month to month.

(e) A tenant who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or who will turn sixty-five (65) during the term of a rental agreement for a dwelling unit may terminate such a rental agreement in order to enter a residential care and assisted living facility, as defined in § 23-17.4-2, a nursing facility, or a unit in a private or public housing complex designated by the federal government as housing for the elderly. The tenant may terminate the rental agreement by notice given in writing to the usual person to whom rental payments are made. The notice shall be accompanied by documentation of admission or pending admission to a facility or housing complex described in this section. Termination of the rental agreement shall be effective no earlier than forty-five (45) days after the first rental payment due date following delivery of written notice of termination.

(f)(1) A lease of premises occupied, or intended to be occupied, by a servicemember or a servicemember’s dependents may be unilaterally terminated if:

(i) The lease is executed by or on behalf of a person who, thereafter, and during the term of the lease, enters military service; or

(ii) The servicemember, while in military service, executes the lease and thereafter receives military orders for a change of permanent station or to deploy with a military unit, or as an individual in support of a military operation, for a period of not less than ninety (90) days; and

(iii) The lessee delivers to the lessor (or the lessor’s grantee), or to the lessor’s agent (or the agent’s grantee), written notice of the termination, and a copy of the servicemember’s military orders.

(2) Effective date of lease termination. In the event that a lease provides for monthly payment of rent, termination of the lease under this section is effective thirty (30) days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the notice is delivered.

(3) In the case of any other lease, termination of the lease is effective on the last day of the month following the month in which the notice is delivered.

(4) The lessee shall be responsible for rent amounts of the lease that are unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the lease termination on a prorated basis. The lessor may not impose an early termination charge, but any taxes, summonses, or other obligations and liabilities of the lessee in accordance with the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for excess wear, that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease, shall be paid by the lessee.

(5) Rent paid in advance. Rents or lease amounts paid in advance for a period after the effective date of the termination of the lease shall be refunded to the lessee by the lessor (or the lessor’s assignee or the assignee’s agent) within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the termination of the lease.

(6) A lessee’s termination of a lease pursuant to this section shall terminate any obligation a dependent of the lessee may have under the lease.

History of Section.
P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 2; P.L. 1993, ch. 291, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 191, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 237, § 2.