This RI law article by a landlord tenant lawyer concerning evictions in Rhode Island, answers several important questions about eviction law in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
How much time does it take to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent in Rhode Island?
To evict a tenant living at residential real estate in Rhode Island for failure to tender rent, the residential tenant must be more than 15 days late. After 15 days have expired, then a five-day demand notice must be sent to the tenant as a condition precedent to filing an eviction cause of action in Providence District Court. After the 5 day period, a non-payment of rent complaint for eviction may be filed in district Court. The District Court hearing on the merits will be 9 days after filing the complaint. (unless the 9th day falls on a day when Court is closed) If the ninth day falls on a weekend or holiday, then it will carry over to the next business day. After attending the distract court hearing to get the tenant out of the premises, it will take a minimum of five days to evict the tenant up to a potential of a month or longer (if there is an appeal).
How long does the eviction process take to evict a month-to-month tenant in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations?
Pursuant to RI law, to evict a month-to-month tenant, a landlord must send a 30 day notice to terminate the month to month tenancy. When the 30 day time period expires, then the landlord or the landlord’s Rhode Island eviction lawyer may file a complaint for eviction in Providence District Court. This type of Rhode Island eviction is a lengthy process because the RI landlord must not only wait the thirty days, but the tenant has a minimum of twenty days to answer the complaint for eviction. After the 20 days expires there is a waiting period of a minimum of ten days before the RI landlord tenant lawyer can assign the matter to a eviction hearing on the merits (trial). After the hearing / trial date, it takes a minimum of 5 days up to a month or longer to get the tenant out (depending on whether or not there is an appeal). Is it legal in Rhode Island for a landlord to take the law in their own hands and effectuate a self-help eviction?
No. Under RI law it is NOT legal for a landlord to perform a self-help eviction. The residential and commercial landlord must go through the proper legal channels in order to evict a tenant from the premises. If the landlord performs an unlawful and illegal self-help eviction, the tenant may be entitled to receive damages against the landlord for such wrongful conduct.
My tenant has a lease but is violating the lease and causing problems. What do I do?
Pursuant to Rhode Island law you can send them a notice asking them to terminate the offending behavior within 20 days. If they do not terminate the offending behavior, then you are able to file an eviction against them. These types of evictions are lengthy and you must prove that you sent the notice and that the tenant did not comply with the notice after receiving the notice. If the tenant is a month-to-month tenant, then it is better to terminate the offending tenant’s tenancy rather than go through the above-described process.
“Specifically, § 34-18-44 prohibits a landlord from recovering or taking possession of a dwelling unit through self-help recovery whereas § 34-18-46 prohibits a landlord from retaliating against a tenant for the tenant’s decision to exercise his or her rights. Despite these provisions protecting tenants, however, chapter 18 also protects the landlord’s right to demand rent when it is due. Actions for eviction that are due to nonpayment of rent are strictly regulated by statute, see § 34-18-35, and although designed to be efficient and expeditious, the statute nonetheless imposes a significant burden upon a landlord who must wait for an order granting him or her the right to possession of the dwelling.” 713 A.2d 775 (1998) Carlo RUSSO v. Joyce FLEETWOOD. No. 97-355-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island.June 17, 1998.Daniel J. Vieira, Providence, Carlo Russo, for Plaintiff.Steven Fishway, Rebecca Tedford Partington, Providence, for Defendant. Before WEISBERGER, C.J., and LEDERBERG, BOURCIER, FLANDERS and GOLDBERG, JJ.OPINION PER CURIAM.
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