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Rhode Island Rental Lease Agreements | Laws

A Rhode Island lease agreement is a contract that is used for the rental of residential or commercial property for personal or business use. The contract will disclose the length of the agreement and rental price, as well as any security deposits and late fees that the tenant will be charged. It is also customary for the landlord to provide a list of any activities that are prohibited on the property (smoking, excessive noise, criminal activity, etc.). To be valid, the document must be signed by the property owner, or their representative, and the tenant.

Rental Application – If a landlord wishes to screen rental applicants, they can demand that potential tenants provide their personal information, references, and employment history on this form. Applicants may also be asked to give their signed permission for background and credit checks.


Agreements: By Type (7)

Commercial Lease Agreement – A rental agreement for the leasing of commercial property for any type of business use.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument
Laws: Chapter 34-18.1 (Commercial Leasing and Other Estates)

College Roommate Agreement – Stipulates the rules by which a group of college roommates agree to operate in an apartment or dormitory.

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Lease with Option to Purchase (Lease to Own) – A lease that offers the tenant the right to purchase the property for an agreed-on price at the end of the lease term.

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Month to Month Lease Agreement – Also known as an “at-will” lease, this rental agreement renews and is paid on a monthly basis.

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Roommate Agreement – A document that outlines the terms under which roommates agree to operate, including utility payments, chores, and activity restrictions.

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Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – The most common residential lease type in which rent is paid monthly and the contract term is one (1) year.

Download: Adobe PDF

Sublease Agreement – A contract between a subtenant and a tenant for the subtenant to sublease (rent) the tenant’s rental space.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument


Landlord-Tenant Laws


Code Violations (§ 34-18-22.1) – If a landlord receives a notice of housing code violations, they must disclose it to the tenant within thirty (30) days or before entering a new agreement.

Identity Disclosure (§ 34-18-20) – The tenant must be given the names and addresses of all property managers and owners who will have access to the rental space.

Landlord’s Access

General Access (§ 34-18-26(c)) – To be legally within their rights to enter the tenant’s rental unit, the landlord must give at least two (2) days’ notice and enter during reasonable hours.

Emergency Access (§ 34-18-26(b)) – In the event of an emergency, the landlord can enter the rental property without the tenant’s consent.


Grace Period – Not mentioned in state statutes.

Maximum Fees ($) – Not mentioned in state statutes.

Rent Increase Notice – Not mentioned in state statutes.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount ($) (§ 34-18-19(a)) – The tenant can only be required to pay up toone (1) month’s rent as a security deposit.

Returning to Tenant (§ 34-18-19(b)) – Security deposits must be returned within twenty (20) days after the lease termination date.

Interest Required? –Not mentioned in state statutes.

Separate Bank Account? – Not mentioned in state statutes.