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Rhode Island Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: What is the time frame for eviction I owe 300.00 for February and all of March including late fees. I lost my job in Jan

I received the 5 day demand notice yesterday. It states that I will also incur the 220.00 lawyer fees if they move forward with the eviction process. Thank you...

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Mar 21, 2017

Yes, now is a good time to negotiate with your landlord. It is highly unlikely that they will allow you to continue to stay without paying . . . despite having lost your job and presumably your income

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: Tenants randomly sent service dog certificate & going to get a dog No pet lease. 4mo here w/o it? Not disabled they work

Tenanancy has been terminated for 4/2017. Sent in Feb. also didn't pay rent. Many police reports for domestic disturbances. My other tenants are very angry! Now says needs her dog that she's had. My paying tenants will leave of her boxer shows up tomorrow. I've started eviction. What... Read more »

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Mar 21, 2017

In the 9 days remaining in the month, you might contact the animal control officer while you are awaiting their departure. see https://www.animallaw.info/article/faqs-emotional-support-animals

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: I have moved from one my apartment bldg into a smaller one that's was cheaper, same landlord. Since we asked for the 200

Dollar difference in security he started acting weird he has not given us a lease for the new place were in and has not come to collect rent or returned any of our calls at this point I don't trust thus situation and di.t want to live here. What ate my options

Kas DeCarvalho
Kas DeCarvalho
answered on Aug 3, 2017

Well...if you don't have a written agreement, then what you technically have is a month-to-month lease...and what the rent is supposed to be is admittedly a bit of a mystery, but at worst, it's the rent from your old/other apartment. Typically that would be decided by the history of what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: Can a room with no closet be rented as a bedroom in Rhode Island?

The room does have a window, and is just big enough for a twin bed and dresser.

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Feb 6, 2017

Are you the renter or rentee?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: Landlord won't accept late rent without an additional $460. Claims court costs. what should i do?

no 5 day demand was received, nor have i ever received one from this landlord or other. I called the county clerk was told nothing had been filed. this is month to month with no lease, or signed documentation of any kind

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Feb 6, 2017

Hire an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: If a tenant breaches a lease, may the landlord keep the security deposit?
Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Jan 5, 2017

The answer will depend on the type of tenancy (Commercial v Residential). In the former case, the lease will control. Int he latter case, there are specific rules in the landlord tenant statute that must be complied with.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: I fill an eviction for nonpayment in RI. can the tenant pay the late rent during the hearing and avoid eviction? thanks

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Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Oct 6, 2016

Usually, to make an appeal to a higher court, a tenant will have to cure all arrears and deposit those sums into the court's registry. Speak with your attorney to make sure the pleadings are all in order and include that the supporting evidence is well prepared to make sure the case is most... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: ongoing mouse problem in apt, Now exterminators are baiting my apt while I'm here w dog. Can I vacate without penalty?

Mice have been an ongoing issue, have caught 9 since October 2015. No mice have chewed through walls and exterminators are baiting my apartment individually while my dog and I are occupying the residence. I would like to terminate my lease early. Management company is telling me I am responsible... Read more »

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Aug 31, 2016

You say you are in Brighton MA but you posted your question in Rhode Island. If you are able to negotiate an early termination of your lease, you will be most easily able to move and terminate the lease. If you are not able to come to an acceptable arrangement with your land/mice lord, then meet... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: I have a month to month tenant who agreed to leave by a certain date. 9/1/16

I will mail a termination of tenacy notice Asap. Suppose he does not leave by said date. What is the exact process i must take, please use exact terms

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Jun 5, 2016

1. Retain an attorney to 2. file a case for formal eviction. 3. Make a signed writing of your "agreement" to have evidence to support your case.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: Can I legally break my lease early?

My landlord is failing to maintain the property.We have sent correspondence through the mail and phoned and he refuses to reply. We next contacted the City building inspector who to the best of my knowledge has sent no less than 3 letters of minimum housing code violations to the owner. Very little... Read more »

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Jun 5, 2016

Meet with an attorney to decide if these repairs qualify for "repair and deduct" treatment.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: does a landlord have to notify in writing plans to sell the property. she sent me a text message, is that legal?

She sent a text saying that this was my 30 day notice that they plan to sell and to expect to hear from a realtor. A realtor sent a text asking to come the next day. What happened to the 30 days and shouldn't I get something in writing? Rent is paid until June 1st so can I wait until then to... Read more »

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on May 6, 2016

Text is arguably, technically, a "writing" BUT - the lease should control. If you would like a precise analysis and concrete advice, meet with an attorney and bring your lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: I am in a lease. RI standard one until December. I fell into a new home to buy. Can i break my lease ?

It was completely done within 2 days and didnt expect it to happen. I dont see anywhere on lease agreement about breaking lease. Its just a standard RI lease agreement. Is there anything hidden?

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on May 6, 2016

If you come to an agreement with your landlord to terminate the lease early, that would be the least difficult way to resolve the situation. OR, you might condition your "offer" on any house that might "fall" on you that the closing and occupancy will be timed to coincide with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Municipal Law and Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: The city of Warwick Rhode Island has just told me that my apartment is illegal I have 30 days to move what are my rights

My landlord knowingly rented this apartment knowing that it was illegal I asked several times and was told by her that if any inspectors ever came I was to tell them it was a break room for her business next door. Now I have 30 days to move because the city has stated the structure which is a... Read more »

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on May 7, 2016

The terms of your lease will be very important in evaluating your rights. If you can't resolve the situation with your landlord, consider meeting with and retaining an attorney to assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: I am 68 year old male with a 64 yo wife, What are our rights utilizing a security deposit for our last month's rent?

In less than a week we have been informed of $350 a month increase, which we have declined. Been served with a 30 day vacate the premises, which we have agreed to; but want to use the security deposit to pay the last months rent to cover a security deposit & moving costs to new resident.

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on May 7, 2016

If your landlord is in agreement, great. If not, and there are costs that are attributed to you for any damages, you may find yourself defending a lawsuit in the district court.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: By law can a landlord stop a tenant from parking in a driveway?
Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Mar 16, 2016

it depends, If use of the driveway is prohibited in the lease, it could be deemed a violation of that lease by the tenant. If the use of the driveway and any parking spots are mentioned in the lease, the landlord could be deemed in violation of the lease by prohibiting same.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: I have sent my tenants (RI) a Termination of Tenancy on a yearly lease. Notice was sent approx. 31/2 months before the

lease ends in April. They have said they are not going so their children can finish the school year. They had already moved at the same time last year with the children. Can a judge allow them to stay? BTW, I chose not to renew because of frequent late rent payments and abusive emails. They... Read more »

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Mar 16, 2016

It seems you may have to file an eviction action. This will go most smoothly with an experienced attorney at your side.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: My landlord just knocked on my door telling me I can no longer flush toliet paper is this even sanitary
Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Feb 10, 2016

I certainly doesn't sound sanitary. Did you ask them what they suggest doing in the alternative? For how long ? 10 Minutes? a day? a week? I'd suggest you start looking for another apartment.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: Do I need two separate Complaints or is one Complaint - 2 named defendants okay.

Two tenants (unrelated roommates) living in one unit.

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Feb 1, 2016

One lease ? Two? Find an attorney, they can help you. Often, these cases are not as simple as they appear. They will probably cost less than airfare from there to here for the number of times you may be required to attend court.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: Does 5-day demand letter for non-payment of rent need to be mailed or is hand-delivery ok.

Or does it require that I do both?

Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
answered on Feb 1, 2016

The statute says "mail" : § 34-18-35 Eviction for nonpayment of rent. – (a) If any part of the stipulated rent is due and in arrears for fifteen (15) days, the landlord shall send a written notice, in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(a), specifying the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Rhode Island on
Q: my landlord refuses to pay for the utilities that are included in the rent thats stated in my lease. what can i do

we have paid the water bill because it was going to be shut off and deducted it from the rent. Now hes harassing us pounding on our door screaming at us destroying our property

and is threatning to throw us out. We tried to keep the peace and put the electric in our name and have been... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Nov 4, 2015

Have you considered deducting the utility payments you made from the rental payments otherwise due him?

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