A Rhode Island eviction notice is employed by landlords or property management companies to initiate tenant eviction due to violations of the Rental Agreement, such as failure to pay rent on time. Following Rhode Island state law, this notice specifies the reason for eviction and grants the tenant the legally stipulated period to rectify or vacate the property.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit (Forcible Entry and Detainer): Title 34, Chapter 19 of the Rhode Island General Laws.
- Grace Period for Rental Payment: 15 days. There is a 15-day grace period for late rental payments in Rhode Island. The landlord may serve the tenant with a 5-day notice to pay rent or quit after the 15 days grace has passed. (RI. General Laws § 34-18-35).
- Late or Non-Payment of Rent Notice: 5 days after rent is late for more than 15 days. The 5-Day Demand Notice for Payment of Rent needs to state that the tenant’s overdue rent is now more than 15 days past due. The tenant still has five days to pay the rent in full, plus any fees that may be included in the written lease. (RI. General Laws § 34-18-35).
- Notice of Non-Compliance with Lease: 20 days. The landlord must give the tenant a 20-Day notice for non-compliance with the terms of the lease agreement. (RI. General Laws § 34-18-36).
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days (R.I. General Laws § 34-18-37).
How to Evict a Tenant in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, landlord-tenant laws are contained in Title 34, Chapter 8 of the Rhode Island General Laws (Residential Landlord and Tenant Act), and eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 34, Chapter 19 of the Rhode Island General Laws (Forcible Entry and Detainer).
Step 1: Send an Eviction Notice
In the case of non-payment of rent, a 15 days grace period must pass before the landlord can send a notice. In cases where tenants do not comply with lease terms, no grace period is necessary.
However, before moving to a formal court eviction process, proper notice must be given and followed.
Landlords may deliver notice via first-class mail, registered or certified mail, personal service, or process server.
Step 2: File a Summons and Complaint
After the applicable notice period, the landlord files a complaint with the local District Court Clerk’s office and has it served on the tenant with a summons to appear.
The summons includes the district court location, date, and time.
Step 3: Wait for the Tenant’s Response
The tenant must file an answer to the summons and complaint. If the tenant fails to provide a written response, the court will likely enter a default judgment in favor of the landlord.
If the tenant has paid or attempted to pay the rent in full, the eviction cannot proceed.
In cases where the eviction is brought about due to a breach in the lease, the tenant cannot be evicted if they’ve remedied the issue within 20 days.
Step 4: Receive Judgement in Case
If the landlord receives a court order for eviction, the tenant has five days to appeal or vacate the premises.
After the appeal has been filed, the district court will send the case to the superior court, and a new court date will be scheduled.
Step 5: Obtain Writ of Execution
A writ of execution gives the tenant a specific date to remove their belongings and leave the property.
The writ is also given to the Sheriff’s Department, which will forcibly remove the tenant if necessary.