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Landlord Tenant

District Court
     Landlord/tenant relationships are governed under Title 34, Chapter 18, the “Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.”  As the Clerk’s Office is not allowed to give legal advice, please refer to an attorney if you are unsure of how to proceed with any action of a legal nature.  Although civil matters filed in the District Court have a jurisdictional amount of $10,000, landlord/tenant matters are not bound by this amount.
Some helpful definitions in landlord/tenant matters:
  • Action - Proceedings in court to determine legal rights.
  • Landlord - Owner, lessor, or sublessor; also the manager of the premises who does not disclose the name, address, and telephone number of the owner or the person authorized to represent the owner.
  • Premises – A dwelling unit and the building it is in, plus the outside grounds tenants may use.
  • Rent – The payment of money, services, etc., that a tenant pays to a landlord for the use of the premises.
  • Rental Agreement – All written or oral agreements and lawful rules and regulations, as well as any terms required by law, concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.
  • Security Deposit – Money given by the tenant to a landlord at the beginning or shortly after the rental agreement as a deposit to pay for any physical damages to the premises.
  • Tenant – A person having the legal right under a rental agreement to occupy the premises.
The following is a list of different types of Landlord/Tenant matters:
  1. Seven (7) Day Trespass and Ejectment  (Commercial Property)
  2. Nine (9) Day Trespass and Ejectment (Residential Property – Non-payment of Rent)
  3. Twenty (20) Day Trespass and Ejectment (Residential Property – Other than Non-payment of Rent)
  4. Landlord/Tenant Restraining Orders
Frequently Asked Questions
The Rhode Island
Landlord-Tenant Handbook

 Quick Links

Enforcement and compliance with the Landlord/Tenant Act sometimes requires that action be taken with regard to possible violations.  A tenant may contact the following agencies for assistance:

Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
180 Westminster Street
Third Floor
Providence, Rhode Island  02903
(401) 222-2661

Rhode Island Legal Services
56 Pine Street
Providence, Rhode Island  02903
(401) 274-2652
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