The state of Rhode Island allows landlords to evict a tenant due to non-payment of rent. However, the landlord must abide by the legal framework regarding evictions to avoid further problems and complications. In order to proceed with an eviction, a landlord must follow certain guidelines in the Rhode Island.
The first step in the eviction process in Rhode Island is serving a demand notice. The landlord must wait 15 days after the due date of unpaid rent before they can issue a five-day demand notice to the tenant(s). The demand notice must include the date of the notice's serving on the tenant(s), the name(s) and address of the tenant(s), the total amount of rent owed, a statement that the tenant has five days to pay rent in full or the landlord will terminate the lease and proceed with an eviction lawsuit, and a certificate of service specifying the date and method of delivery of the demand notice.
The landlord can either hand-deliver the demand notice to the tenant(s) or mail it to the tenant(s)' last known address, generally the address of the rental property.
If the tenant has failed to pay rent by the end of the five days defined in the demand notice, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit. The landlord begins this process by filing a complaint and summons with the district or housing court of the area in which the rental property is located. The complaint explains the reason(s) for the eviction, and the summons sets the date and time for a hearing before a judge. After the landlord files these documents, the tenant(s) will receive copies of the complaint and summons.
The judge will hear both sides of the eviction story, from the landlord and the tenant(s). Afterwards, the judge will decide the outcome of the eviction lawsuit. If the landlord wins the case, the judge will issue a writ of execution to the sheriff, allowing the sheriff to evict the tenant(s).
Removal of the Tenant(s)
It is illegal for a landlord to attempt forcible removal of a tenant in Rhode Island, regardless of the outcome of an eviction hearing. It is the sheriff's responsibility to remove a tenant from a rental property, not the landlord's. A tenant can sue a landlord for attempting to forcibly remove them from a property.
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