Title 34

Chapter 18
Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18-22

§ 34-18-22. Landlord to maintain premises.

(a) A landlord shall:

(1) Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes affecting health and safety;

(2) Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

(3) Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition;

(4) Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;

(5) Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit as required by § 45-24.3-6, or applicable local codes if more restrictive, and arrange for their removal;

(6) Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times as required by § 45-24.3-7, or applicable local codes if more restrictive, and reasonable heat as required by § 45-24.3-9, or applicable local codes if more restrictive, between October 1 and May 1, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection; and

(7) Obtain and have in full force and effect a general liability insurance policy of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for those persons injured on the premises due to the negligence of the landlord. The landlord shall provide a copy of the declaration page from the carrier showing the policy to the tenant with the written lease at the beginning of the tenancy and shall provide a new copy with each policy renewal to the tenant.

(b) If the duty imposed by subsection (a)(1) is greater than any duty imposed by any other paragraph of subsection (a) of this section, the landlord’s duty shall be determined by reference to subsection (a)(1).

(c) The landlord and tenant of a dwelling unit may agree in writing that the tenant perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling but only if:

(1) The agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and set forth in a writing signed by the parties and supported by adequate consideration;

(2) The work is not necessary to cure noncompliance with subsection (a)(1); and

(3) The agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.

History of Section.
P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 2; P.L. 2021, ch. 210, § 1, effective January 1, 2022; P.L. 2021, ch. 323, § 1, effective January 1, 2022.