If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Rhode Island (RI) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to Rhode Island state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
In Rhode Island, eviction lawsuits are governed by Chapter 34-18 of the State of Rhode Island General Laws.
Eviction notices in Rhode Island are also known as:
- Rhode Island Demand Notice for Payment of Rent
- Rhode Island Notice to Vacate
- Rhode Island Notice to Quit
- Rhode Island 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: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Rhode Island, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
20-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Rhode Island, landlords must give tenants 20 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem. However, if the tenant did anything illegal on your property, you can file an immediate eviction complaint.
5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Rhode Island, landlords must give tenants five days to pay rent before they can terminate their lease. If rent and late fees aren’t paid after five days 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: The landlord may file an eviction for nonpayment of rent (Chapter 34-18-35) or eviction for noncompliance with the rental agreement (Chapter 34-18-36).
- Grace Period for Rental Payment: There is a 15-day grace period for late rental payment in Rhode Island. The landlord may serve the tenant with a 5-day notice of eviction after the 15 days grace has passed. (Chapter 34-18-56 (a))
- Late or Non-Payment of Rent Notice: The 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. (Chapter 34-18-35)
- Notice of Non-Compliance: In Rhode Island, a 20-Day Notice is used for evictions based on non-compliance. (Chapter 34-18-36 (a))
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 statute to ensure they don’t break the law when evicting their tenant.
Step 1: Send an eviction notice
In the case of non-payment of rent, 15 days grace must pass before the landlord can send a notice. In issues of non-compliance with the lease or serious issues of legality, no grace period must be extended. However, notice must be properly written and followed before moving to a formal court eviction process.
Step 2: File an official complaint
After the 5 days have passed, the landlord must file a complaint and have them served with a summons to appear for non-payment of rent. This summons includes the court location, date, and time. The court date is set for 9 days after the summons is served.
Step 3: Wait for tenant’s response
The tenant must file an answer to the complaint. If the tenant fails to provide a written answer, the default judgment will often be 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 the 20-day period.
Step 4: Receive judgment in the case
If the court has ruled for eviction, the tenant has five days to appeal or else vacate to 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.
Eviction Information for Rhode Island Landlords and Tenants
The National Conference of State Legislatures 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.