Rhode Island state law (R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. §§ 34-20-10, 34-20-11) prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants.
Tenant Rights Protected Against Landlord Retaliation in Rhode Island
It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant in Rhode Island who has exercised a legal right, including:
- complaining to the landlord about unsafe or illegal living conditions
- complaining to a government agency, such as a building or health inspector, about unsafe or illegal living conditions, or
- exercising a legal right allowed by your state or local law, such as withholding the rent for an uninhabitable unit.
Types of Retaliation That Are Against State Law
The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by Rhode Island law include terminating a tenancy or filing an eviction lawsuit; increasing the rent; or decreasing services, such as locking the laundry room.
For advice on how to respond to—and prove—retaliation, see the article Landlord Retaliation.
Rhode Island Guide to Tenant Rights
For an overview of tenant rights under Rhode Island landlord-tenant law, and resources for filing complaints, see http://www.hrc.ri.gov/documents/2007%20Revision%20of%20L_T_Handbook2.pdf.
Rhode Island State and Local Law on Landlord Retaliation
For state law on landlord retaliation, see R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. §§ 34-20-10, 34-20-11.
See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.
Also, check your local housing ordinances, particularly if you are covered by rent control, for any city or county rules that protect tenants from landlord retaliation. To find yours, call your mayor or city manager’s office or check your city or county website.