Q: What are the laws in Rhode Island about heat in a rental property?
I informed my landlord 4 days ago that my heat was not working. Someone came out the next day (not a professional company just like a "handyman") and said he would be back the next day. I waited at home all day and he never came back. I informed my landlord again and she sent someone different out this morning (again not a professional) and again they left and said they would be back later. As of now, 7:15pm, no one has come. It is extremely frigid outside and has been for several days. What are my rights? Can I hire someone and deduct from rent?
A: TITLE 34
Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
§ 34-18-34. Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion, or diminution of service.
If a landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises or willfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, or other essential service, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover an amount not more than three (3) months periodic rent or threefold the actual damages sustained by him or her, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all security recoverable under § 34-18-19 and all prepaid rent.
History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 2.)
Meet with and retain an attorney to assist you.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.