Landlord Tenant – Lease Termination – Rhode Island
Title 34, Chap. 34-18, § 34-18-36 – Eviction for noncompliance with rental agreement.
(a) Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with § 34-18-24 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord shall deliver a written demand notice to the tenant, in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(b), specifying:
(1) The acts and/or omissions constituting the breach of the rental agreement or of § 34-18-24;
(2) The acts, repairs, or payment of damages, which are necessary to remedy the breach; and
(3) That unless the breach is remedied within twenty (20) days of mailing of the notice the rental agreement shall terminate upon a specified date, which shall not be less than twenty-one (21) days after the mailing of the notice.
(b) Unless it is a violation of § 34-18-24(8), (9), or (10), if the tenant adequately remedies the breach before the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate. If the breach is not remedied, the landlord may commence an eviction action, which shall be filed no earlier than the first day following the termination date specified in the written demand notice. The action shall be initiated by filing a “Complaint for Eviction for Reason Other Than for Nonpayment of Rent” in the appropriate court according to the form in § 34-18-56(e).
(c) The summons shall be in the form provided in § 34-18-56(h) and shall specify that the tenant has twenty (20) days from the date of service in which to file his or her answer to the complaint, and that if he or she fails to file his or her answer within that time, he or she will be defaulted. The matter may be assigned for hearing in accordance with the rules of procedure of the appropriate court.
(d) Except as provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover possession, actual damages and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or § 34-18-24. If the tenant’s noncompliance is willful, the landlord may recover reasonable attorney’s fees.
(e) If substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance, of which good faith notice was given, recurs within six (6) months, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement upon at least twenty (20) days’ written notice, specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement. No allowance of time to remedy noncompliance shall be required.
(f) If the tenant has violated § 34-18-24(8), (9), or (10), or if the tenant
(i) is a seasonal tenant occupying the premises pursuant to a written lease agreement which commences no earlier than May 1st of the occupation year and expires no later than October 15th of the occupation year, with no right of renewal or extension beyond the above dates; and
(ii) has been charged with violating a municipal ordinance pertaining to legal occupancy or excessive noise or other disturbance of the peace, the landlord shall not be required to send a notice of noncompliance to the tenant and may immediately file a complaint for eviction in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(e)and seek the relief set forth in subsection (d).