If you are a property owner or part of a property management company, you must have a strong Rhode Island Rental Application to screen prospective tenants before offering a lease agreement.
Using our Rhode Island rental application, you can identify potential problems in an applicant’s history and ensure that you rent to people who can pay rent reliably while protecting your property.
Use our Rhode Island rental application to identify the best possible renters for your property.
- Rhode Island Rental Application Statistic/Specifics
- Rhode Island Rental Application Information for Landlords
- Rhode Island Rental Application Information for Tenants
- Federal and Rhode Island Fair Housing Laws
- Authorization for Background Check
- How to Search Eviction Records
- Other Resources for Landlords
- How to Write a Rental Application
- Sample Rhode Island Rental Application Form
Rhode Island Rental Application Statistic/Specifics
According to information published by the government of Rhode Island, people filed 331 housing discrimination complaints between 2015 and 2020.
Landlords must follow Rhode Island landlord-tenant laws to ensure they do not put themselves in a difficult position, but tenants must also know their rights.
Rhode Island Rental Application Information for Landlords
Landlords must collect the necessary information to vet their applicants properly.
Some of the information they may want to collect include:
- Employment: Landlords must ensure that their renters can pay their rent on time. That is why looking into employment history is critical. Landlords should ensure that their renters are gainfully employed and/or have the financial resources to pay rent.
- References: Landlords should also collect references from their applicants. Ideally, these references should be from prior property owners, ensuring that they rent to someone who will take care of the property.
- Credit Check: Landlords should also make sure to conduct a credit check. That way, they know that the renter can pay the rent on time.
Rhode Island Rental Application Information for Tenants
It is also important for tenants to know their rights as well. Some of the most important points include the following:
- Application Fee: There is no limit on a rental application fee, but landlords must disclose the amount to the tenant upfront.
- Security and Pet Deposit: Landlords can collect a security deposit, but they cannot charge more than one month’s rent. Rhode Island does not have any laws governing pets and pet deposits in relation to rental properties.
Federal and Rhode Island Fair Housing Laws
Landlords are not permitted to discriminate against applicants, as indicated by the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act.
Some of the questions that cannot be asked of applicants include the following:
- Race, color, national origin
- Gender identity or sexual orientation
- Family, marital, or minor children status
- Disability (mental and physical)
- Status as a victim of domestic violence
- Lawful source of income
Authorization for Background Check
Conducting background checks, credit and criminal, helps protect property owners from potential problems that may arise.
Landlords likely do not want to offer a rental contract to someone with bad credit or past criminal activity.
You need an applicant’s permission to run certain background checks.
Landlords can either include a consent statement on their rental application or use our background check authorization form to obtain permission.
How to Search Eviction Records
- Navigate to the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal
- Select ‘Smart Search’
- Type the applicant’s full name
If you decide to reject an application based on the results of a background check or eviction records search, send a rental application rejection letter explaining your reasons.
Other Resources for Landlords
How to Write a Rental Application
To make sure you are thorough in your Rhode Island rental application, the steps you need to follow include the following:
- Collect basic identifying information from the applicant.
- Collect information on prior address history.
- Ensure the applicant is gainfully employed or has the finances to pay rent.
- Ask for a few references.
- Include any final questions, such as information on smoking history or pets.
Sample Rhode Island Rental Application Form
To streamline this process, look at our sample Rhode Island rental application form.