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Free Rhode Island Residential Lease Agreement

Create a residential lease agreement that meets all the requirements necessary in Rhode Island State. Start today with the help of step-by-step instructions and our contract generator.

Last Update December 27th, 2022

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What Is a Rhode Island Lease Agreement

A RI lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant. This is written to conform to state laws where the property is located. In Rhode Island, these allow both parties to comply with a series of set terms for a specified number of months or years.

Rental contracts and lease agreements have a lot of similarities as they both set out payment plans and the terms of use for a house or apartment. 

However, the big difference is the duration that they cover. Rental agreements usually only cover short-term tenancies of a few months at a time or month-to-month contracts. Leases, on the other hand, cover a set number of months or years.

A lease agreement should contain the following details:

  • How long the tenant may legally reside in the property

  • How much rent should be paid

  • Information about the security deposits necessary

  • When rental installments are due

  • Any additional costs that must be serviced by the tenant

  • The rules regarding the proper use of the property

  • Situations that constitute lease violation eviction procedures

Types of Rhode Island Lease Agreements

There’s more than one type of lease agreement in Rhode Island and selecting the correct one can be crucial. Each kind refers to a different type of property and/or rental situation. Therefore, you must create the right class of document, in order for your lease agreement to cover all the necessary terms. 

The most common types of lease agreements in Rhode Island include:

  • Standard residential lease agreements: Both the landlord and tenant commit to a fixed set of terms for a set period of time. 

  • Rent-to-own lease agreements: Designed for tenants that wish to buy the property they are renting during or after the lease has ended. This typically requires the tenants to pay an additional sum of money each month, to cover the principal.

  • Month-to-month rental agreements: The same general terms as a standard residential lease contract, but they can be renewed, altered, or ended on a month-by-month basis.  

  • Commercial lease agreements: Provided by landlords of retail property to tenants that will use the real estate to manage a business.

  • Room rental agreements: Used for rooms within properties that have shared living areas. 

  • Sublease agreement: Allows tenants to assign or lease the property to another individual as long as they have the property landlord’s permission.

Disclosures for Rhode Island Lease Agreements

There are various disclosures and addendums that must be contained within Rhode Island lease agreementswhen they are completed and signed. These are made to inform the tenant about any health risks, potential issues, or details about how the property is managed. 

The list below includes the essential addendums in Rhode Island: 

  • Landlord’s name and address disclosure: Lease agreements must include a section with the contact details of the main person tasked with property repairs. This can be the landlord or an agent appointed to act on their behalf (§ 34-18-20).

  • Lead paint disclosure: Landlords must disclose whether lead paint can be found on the property (if the building was constructed before 1978). 

  • Reporting code violations: The tenant(s) must be informed by the landlord if they are violating any housing or building code violations within 30 days of receiving notice from the appropriate government authority (§ 34-18-22.1).

Rhode Island Lease Agreement Laws

For aRhode Island lease agreement to be legally binding and valid, it must be written according to the laws of RI state. If this is not done properly, the contract will be legally contestable and could be declared invalid when put under scrutiny. These rules will also determine what kind of procedures and terms you may ask the tenant to abide by.

The overview below includes the most important laws to consider when renting a property in Rhode Island: 

Law Specifics
Security deposit The maximum security deposit that can be charged in Rhode Island, is 1 months’ rent if the property is a non-rent control unit. This amount must be given back to the tenant within 20 days after they vacate the property and return the keys (§ 34-18-19). If any deductions will be taken from the security deposit, the tenant must be informed of these in advance of its return.
Landlord’s right to enter 48 hours’ advance notice must be given by landlords before entering the rental property (§ 34-18-26). The landlord may also only enter at reasonable times.

However, if the tenant vacates the property for 7 days at any given time, the landlord can enter without notice if it is necessary to protect the property.

Rhode Island Residential Lease Agreement Sample

Creating and putting a lease agreement into action in Rhode Island is a major commitment. It can help to explore an example template first to get a clear idea of what information should be found in your completed document. Our sample Rhode Island lease agreement below can help you understand the details included in this legal arrangement a little better. 

Other Real Estate Documents

Besides lease agreements, there are various other legal documents that are commonly used by landlords. If you are the owner of a rental property, one of the following forms may be helpful for you: 

FAQs About Rhode Island Lease Agreement

It is important to carefully prepare a Rhode Island lease agreement to suit the needs of the landlord and tenant exactly. To help demystify the process a little, simply review our FAQs below to learn more about the specificities of rental contracts in Rhode Island. 

How Can I Make My Own Lease Agreement in Rhode Island?

It is possible to create a Rhode Island lease agreement completely online. Using our RI residential lease agreement maker you can tailor your document for your specific needs and take advantage of professional templates and expert tips.

Is a Lease Agreement Better or Worse Than a Rental Agreement?

There is a key difference between a Rhode Island lease agreement and aRhode Island rental agreement, which is the length of duration that they each cover.

Lease agreements are normally longer-term arrangements that can last several months or even years, in which their terms remain fixed. Rental agreements on the other hand are shorter-term in nature but are more flexible and may be changed on a weekly or monthly basis.

How to Break a Lease in RI With a Lease Termination Letter

If either the landlord or tenant needs to terminate a Rhode Island lease agreement early for any reason, they must provide the correct amount of notice in a written RI lease termination letter.

This letter needs to contain the following information:

  • The name of the landlord and the tenant

  • The date the letter has been written and signed

  • The name and address of the property in question

  • Information explaining why the tenancy needs to be terminated early

  • The reason the lease is being broken

  • The date that the resident will vacate the property

  • Acknowledgment of any penalties that will be incurred

  • Signature of the signing party

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