If you’re a landlord or property management company seeking to evict a tenant for violating one or more terms of your Rental Agreement (like not paying rent by the due date), use a Rhode Island (RI) Eviction Notice to begin the process.
What is an Eviction Notice?
An eviction notice is a legally binding document a landlord sends to a tenant to start the process of removing the renter from leased property.
A notice must be written according to state law and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out of the dwelling unit.
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).
An eviction notice in Rhode Island is also known as:
- Demand Notice for Payment of Rent
- Notice to Vacate
- Notice to Quit
- Lease Termination
Rhode Island Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Rhode Island state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
30-Day Lease Termination: 30-Day Lease Termination: Use this 30-day notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease agreement and that they must prepare to leave your property.
In Rhode Island, landlords must give tenants a 30 days notice period to move out if they’re on a monthly lease.
20-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to evict a tenant if they’ve broken one or more lease terms.
In Rhode Island, landlords must give tenants 20 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court.
During that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem. However, you can file an immediate complaint if the tenant did anything illegal on your property.
5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to evict a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time.
In Rhode Island, landlords must give tenants five (5) days’ notice to pay rent after rent is late for more than fifteen (15) days before they begin eviction proceedings.
If rent and late fees aren’t paid during this time and the tenant is still on the property, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Rhode Island 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. (R.I. 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. (R.I. 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 in the lease agreement. (R.I. General Laws § 34-18-36)
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days (R.I. General Laws § 34-18-37)
What Is the Eviction Process in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, the eviction process is strict. Landlords must follow the procedures laid out in the eviction laws to ensure they don’t break the law when evicting their tenants.
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 has passed, 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 Tenant’s Response
The tenant must file an answer to the summons and complaint. If the tenant fails to provide a written answer, 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.
Landlord-Tenant Eviction Information
The Rhode Island Landlord-Tenant Handbook provided by the Rhode Island Judiciary District Courts provides a comprehensive overview of the landlord and tenant duties for Rhode Island.
For more information on your rights as a tenant, visit the US Housing and Urban Development website or contact Rhode Island Legal Services. Keep in mind that Legal Services provides help to certain eligible client groups.
How to Write an Eviction Notice (Notice to Pay Rent or Quit)
Follow the steps below to write an eviction notice in Rhode Island.
Step 1 – Fill Out Date of Eviction Notice
Write the date of the eviction notice.
Step 2 – Enter Tenant Information and Property Address
Provide the name of all tenants listed on the original lease or rental agreement. Enter the full street address for the rental property.
Step 3 – Enter Lease/Rental Agreement Information
Provide the name (or title) and the original lease or rental agreement date.
Step 4 – Enter Late Rent Details
Provide the beginning and end dates for the period in which the rent is past due. Write the amount of the past due rent, the amount of late fees (if any), and the total amount owed by the tenant to the landlord.
Step 5 – Sign Notice and Enter Landlord Information
The landlord will sign and date the eviction notice. Provide the landlord’s current contact information so the tenant can contact the landlord if necessary.
Step 6 – Provide Proof of Service
Proof of service is an affidavit that shows that the landlord served the eviction notice to the tenant.
Enter the date of delivery.
This is important because it provides evidence of the date the notice is delivered to the tenant, which starts the number of days the tenant has to pay the past due rent (5 days after 15 day grace period) or vacate the property.
The person delivering the eviction notice, the server, should complete the method of delivery and the fields for the person receiving the notice and the address of the location where the notice was delivered.
The server signs, prints their full name and dates the proof of service.
Rhode Island Eviction Notice Sample
The following is an example of what a Rhode Island eviction notice looks like. Alternatively, create a customized form using our document builder.