§ 34-18-33. Fire or casualty damage.
(a) If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that enjoyment of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant may:
(1) Immediately vacate the premises and notify the landlord in writing within fourteen (14) days thereafter of his or her intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating; or
(2) If continued occupancy is lawful, vacate any part of the dwelling unit rendered unusable by the fire or casualty, in which case the tenants' liability for rent is reduced in proportion to the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.
(b) If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all security recoverable under § 34-18-19 and all prepaid rent. Accounting for rent in the event of termination or apportionment shall be made as of the date of the fire or casualty.
(c) This section shall not be construed to limit the right of the landlord to recover in an action in tort damages resulting from a fire or other casualty damage caused either negligently or deliberately by the tenant.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 2.)