Rhode Island Security Deposit Law for Landlords and Tenants

Under Rhode Island law, a landlord is permitted to ask for a security deposit that is equal to one month of rent that they charge for that property.

If an apartment rents for $600, then the security deposit maximum is also $600.

Here are some of the other key points about the security deposit laws in Rhode Island you'll want to know.

1. A Tenant Can Demand Their Security Deposit Back In Full For Defects.

If a tenant discovers major defects with an apartment and decides not to take possession of it, then they can demand their security deposit and any prepaid rent back in full.

This can also be done immediately after a tenant moves in based on their inspection, but requires a 5 day written notice to the landlord.

2. A Security Deposit Must Be Returned Within 20 Days.

Landlords are required to return a security deposit if they are given a new mailing address within 20 days.

An itemized list of any claims against the security deposit must be included.

If the landlord does not receive a forwarding address, the 20 day deadline for return does not begin.

3. Tenants Must Sue In Small Claims Court For Amounts They Feel Are Due To Them.

If a tenant prevails in court on a security deposit claim, then a landlord has 2 days to file an appeal.

The appeal is heard before the Superior Court instead of the small claims court. Tenants can then file for an execution paper to have the landlord served.

Tenants also have the ability to pursue the garnishment of wages and other asset seizures if a landlord refuses to return an ordered amount.

4. Tenants Can Pursue 2x The Amount Improperly Withheld.

Tenants are allowed to recover up to double the amount of a security deposit with reasonable attorney fees if a judge rules that a landlord has improperly withheld funds.

5. All Demands Must Be Made In Writing.

For either party, a written demand is required. Oral notifications may also be considered binding, but only if both parties agree that a verbal agreement was reached.

The Rhode Island security deposit laws are intended to help both landlords and tenants make sure that their best interests are protected.

For further questions about your specific situation, be sure to speak with a legal advisor or look at the specific statutes under RI law for more help.

Posted on Mar 29, 2016


Most Important Landlord Tenant Laws in Texas

When it comes to having a tenant for the first time, it can be pretty daunting because you are going to be the corresponding landlord and a new relationship will emerge, which will need time to grow... More

The Landlord Tenant Laws in California

The landlord and tenant laws in California are literally the same as they are in any other state. These laws, rules and regulations are put into practice because they uphold an order, a discipline,... More

Understanding the Landlord Tenant Laws in Illinois

People are aware that there are different rulings in each state with reference to the landlord/tenant laws. The state of Illinois also has a set of laws. These rules and regulations are basically... More

The Landlord Tenant Act: What Landlords Need to Know

All landlords know that before they can formally become a landlord there are a lot of things they need to understand. Landlords and tenants cannot act as such without any legal bodies involved. That... More

Essential Tenancy Agreements that a Landlord Should Have

When entering into an agreement with a potential tenant, a landlord needs to fully understand the contract that binds them into the specific relationship of being a landlord and a tenant. Now that the... More

Landlord Rights

If you’re currently considering the option of offering one of your properties for rental purposes, you should first educate yourself about the landlord tenant relationship. For the first timers, it’s... More

Holdover Tenancy: What is a Holdover Tenant?

Landlords have many things to think of; they have to deal with legal issues, privacy issues, and so much more. Above all, they sometimes need to deal with a problem tenant. The interesting thing is... More

What is a Tenant Estoppel Certificate?

Most landlords may have some idea what an Estoppel Certificate is. However, many aspiring landlords are still unaware of what this certificate is all about. Basically, a tenant Estoppel Certificate is... More

How to Issue a Tenant Warning Notice

Landlords have a lot of administrative work to do when they have tenants. It seems easy to let people come and live in your home, have them pay the monthly rent and carry out your daily activities.... More

Tenancy Sufferance and Tenancy Lease Agreements Myths and Facts

There are a whole bunch of myths about lease agreements that most people believe that are simply not true: You can't rent a property without lease agreement – Actually there are laws in every state... More