Your lease or rental agreement should spell out your landlord’s key rent rules, including:
State laws in Rhode Island cover several of these rent-related issues, including the amount of notice a landlord must provide to increase rent under a month-to-month tenancy, and how much time a tenant has to pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction.
Rent is legally due on the date specified in your lease or rental agreement (usually the first of the month). If you don’t pay rent when it is due, the landlord may begin charging you a late fee. Rhode Island state law does not cover late rent fees. If your lease or rental agreement does not say anything about late fees, your landlord may not impose one, no matter how reasonable it is.
Rhode Island landlords must give tenants at least 30 days’ notice (in writing) to increase rent or change another term of a month-to-month rental agreement. If you have a long-term lease, however, landlords may not increase the rent until the lease ends and a new tenancy begins—unless the lease itself provides for an increase.
Rhode Island landlords may not raise the rent in a discriminatory manner—for example, only for members of a certain race. Also, Rhode Island landlords may not use a rent increase in retaliation against you for exercising a legal right—for example, in response to your legitimate complaint to a local housing agency about a broken heater.
States set specific rules and procedures for ending a tenancy when a tenant has not paid the rent. Rhode Island landlords must give tenants at least five days in which to pay the rent or move. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file for eviction.
For an overview of tenant rights when it comes to paying rent under Rhode Island landlord-tenant law, see http://www.rils.org/documents/tenant_rights.pdf.
For state rent rules and procedures on issues such as raising rent, see R.I. Gen. Laws § §â