§ 9-1-5. Liability of landlord for improvements to real estate by tenant by oral lease.
The owner of real estate who induces a tenant to occupy it by promising to give him or her a lease of the real estate, the term of which is more than one year, shall be liable, if he or she fails or refuses to fulfill his or her promise, for the cost to the tenant of all improvements, repairs, alterations, betterments, and equipment made to, or placed upon the occupied premises, in reliance upon the promise and with the approval of the owner; provided, however, that this section shall not apply in case of a definite letting where rent is reserved or paid, nor in case the unfulfilled promise of the owner is in writing and is itself legally enforceable, nor in case of original or continued occupancy of the premises under a written instrument, signed by the parties. Such costs shall be recoverable by the tenant, his or her heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns, in a civil action for money had and received, brought against the owner, his or her heirs, executors, administrators, successors, or assigns, commenced within one year after the termination of the original tenancy, and not thereafter. Neither the tender of the promised lease after termination of, or notice of intention to terminate, the original tenancy, nor delay during occupancy to begin suit, shall prejudice or defeat the action.
(G.L., ch. 296, § 25, as enacted by P.L. 1932, ch. 1960, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 481, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 9-1-5; P.L. 1965, ch. 55, § 6.)