Towns and Cities
Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code
R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24.3-6
§ 45-24.3-6. Responsibilities of owners and occupants.
(a) No owner or operator or other person shall occupy, or let to another person, any vacant dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure unless it and the premises are clean, sanitary, fit for human occupancy, and comply with this chapter and all applicable legal requirements of the state and the corporate unit.
(b) Every owner of a multiple dwelling is responsible for maintaining, in a clean and sanitary condition, the shared or public areas of the dwelling and premises. Occupants of two (2) and three (3) family dwellings shall share the maintenance of clean and sanitary conditions within the shared or public areas of the dwelling and premises.
(c) Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure shall maintain in a clean sanitary condition that part or those parts of the dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure and premises that the occupant occupies and controls.
(d) Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure shall dispose of all his or her rubbish in a clean, sanitary, and safe manner.
(e) Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure shall dispose of all his or her garbage and any other organic waste which might provide food for insects and/or rodents in a clean, sanitary, and safe manner, and if a container is used for storage pending collection it shall be rodent proof, insect proof, and watertight.
(f) Every owner or operator of a dwelling containing four (4) or more dwelling units shall supply facilities or containers for the sanitary and safe storage and/or disposal of rubbish and garbage. In the case of single, two (2) or three (3) family dwellings and structures it is the responsibility of the occupant to furnish those facilities or refuse containers.
(g) The owner of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure is responsible for providing and hanging all screens and double or storm doors and windows where used for ventilation whenever they are required under the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, except where there is a written agreement between the owner and occupant. In the absence of an agreement, maintenance or replacement of screens, and storm doors and windows, once installed in any one season, become the responsibility of the occupant.
(h) The owner of a dwelling or dwelling unit is responsible for the providing and hanging of shades or other devices on every window of every room used for sleeping and for every room equipped with a flush water closet or bathtub, affording privacy to persons within those rooms. Once installed in any one rental by the owner, replacements become the responsibility of the occupant.
(i) Every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit and every occupant of a structure is responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents, or other pests therein or on the premises. Every occupant of a dwelling unit, in a dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit, is responsible for this extermination whenever his or her dwelling is the only one infected. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, whenever infestation is caused by a failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a rodent-proof or reasonably insect-proof condition, extermination is the responsibility of the owner. Whenever infestation exists in two (2) or more of the dwelling units in any dwelling, or in the shared or public parts of any dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units, extermination is the responsibility of the owner.
(j) Every occupant of a dwelling unit or structure shall keep all supplied plumbing fixtures and facilities in a clean and sanitary condition, and is responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in their proper use and operation.
(k) No owner or occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure shall accumulate or permit the accumulation of rubbish, boxes, lumber, scrap metal, or any other materials in a manner that may provide a rodent harborage in or about any dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure. Stored materials shall be stacked neatly in piles elevated at least eighteen inches (18") above the ground or floor. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to firewood or kindling wood stored in or about any dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure by the owner or occupant of that property; provided, that the wood is stored for use within the dwelling, dwelling unit or structure, unless prohibited by town or city ordinance.
History of Section.
P.L. 1970, ch. 325, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 243, § 1.