A Rhode Island rental application is essential for property owners and property management companies to screen prospective tenants thoroughly, identify potential issues in applicants’ history, and ensure reliable rent payment while safeguarding the property. Use our template to find the best renters for your property.
Below you can find essential information on Rhode Island’s rental laws for landlords and tenants. From vetting applicants to understanding tenant rights, this guide provides valuable insights to facilitate a seamless rental process before moving onto a lease agreement.
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 them on time. That is why looking into employment history is critical. Landlords should ensure 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 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 the renter can pay the rent on time.
Other Resources for Landlords
- State Sex Offender Registry – Rhode Island landlords can check the state’s sex offender registry to be aware of any registered sex offenders applying as tenants.
- State Fair Housing Laws – Rhode Island landlords must adhere to the state’s Fair Housing laws, which prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or source of income.
It is also essential for tenants to know their rights as well. Some of the most critical 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: As per RI Gen. Laws § 34-18-19, landlords can collect a security deposit but cannot charge more than one month’s rent. Rhode Island has no laws governing pets and pet deposits about rental properties.
Use our sample Rhode Island rental application form to streamline this process.