Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 24.3
Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code

R.I. Gen. Laws 45-24.3-15



 45-24.3-15.  Inspections — Powers and duties of the enforcing officer.


(a) The enforcing officer shall enforce the provisions of this chapter and is authorized and directed to make inspections pursuant to one or more of the plans for inspection authorized by 45-24.3-14; or in response to a complaint that an alleged violation of this chapter or of applicable rules or regulations pursuant to this chapter may exist; or when the enforcing officer has valid reason to believe that a violation of this chapter or any rules and regulations pursuant to this chapter has been or is being committed.

(b) The enforcing officer is authorized to enter and inspect between the hours of eight o'clock (8:00) a.m. and five o'clock (5:00) p.m. all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units, dormitory rooms, and structures subject to this chapter, for the purpose of determining whether there is compliance with its provisions.

(c) The enforcing officer is hereby authorized to inspect the premises surrounding dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units, dormitory rooms, and structures subject to this chapter, for the purpose of determining whether there is compliance with its provisions.

(d) The enforcing officer and the owner, occupant, or other person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, rooming house, dormitory room, or structure subject to this chapter, may agree to an inspection by appointment at a time other than the hours provided in this section.

(e) The owner, occupant, or other person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, rooming house, dormitory room, or structure upon presentation of proper identification by the enforcing officer, a copy of any relevant plan of inspection pursuant to which entry is sought, and a schedule of the specific areas and facilities to be inspected, must give the enforcing officer entry and free access to every part of the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or dormitory room, or structure or to the premises surrounding any of these.

(f) The enforcing officer must keep confidential all evidence and information not related to the purposes of this chapter which he or she may discover or obtain in the course of an inspection made pursuant to this section, and that evidence shall be considered privileged. Evidence so obtained shall not be disclosed except as may be necessary in the judgment of the enforcing officer for the proper and effective administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations issued pursuant to this chapter, and shall not otherwise be admissible in any judicial proceeding without the consent of the owner, occupant, or other person in charge of the dwelling unit or rooming unit, or structure, inspected.

(g) If any owner, occupant, or other person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit, or of a multiple dwelling or a rooming house or structure, fails or refuses to permit free access and entry to the structure or premises under his or her control, or any part thereof, with respect to which an inspection authorized by this chapter is sought to be made, the enforcing officer may, upon a showing that probable cause exists for the inspection and for the issuance of an order directing compliance with the inspection requirements of this section with respect to the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, multiple dwelling, or rooming house or structure, petition and obtain an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.

(h) Any person who refuses to comply with an order issued pursuant to this section is subject to penalties that may be authorized by law for violation of a court order.

(i) The enforcing officer has the right to prosecute for any violation of this chapter as provided by law, and is authorized to execute all warrants, with the exception of search warrants, for the violation of laws, rules, and regulations relating to this chapter and to serve subpoenas issued for the trial of all offenses against the laws, rules, and regulations relating to this chapter.

History of Section.
P.L. 1970, ch. 325, 1.