Eviction Process in Rhode Island

Eviction Process in Rhode Island

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Eviction Process in Rhode Island

If you are being evicted in the state of Rhode Island, you may not know how to proceed.  Learning about the eviction process in Rhode Island can help you understand your rights and options under the law.  After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Rhode Island and how long each step will take.

Getting Notice

Before your landlord can initiate the eviction process in Rhode Island courts, he must first serve you with adequate notice to allow you to correct any problems and avoid court.  The amount of notice your landlord is required to give depends on the reason that you are being evicted.

If you are being evicted due to a failure to pay rent, your landlord must wait until the rent is at least 15 days late.  At that point, your landlord can serve you with a five-day demand notice.  This notice gives you five full business days to pay your past-due rent in full or face eviction proceedings in court.

If you have violated a tenet of your lease and your landlord wishes to evict you for it, you will first be served with a 20 day notice.  This notice informs you of the violation, tells you any way to correct the issue, and gives you 20 days to comply or face eviction proceedings.  For instance, if you are keeping an unauthorized pet, your landlord might give you 20 days to either re-home the pet or, in some cases, pay an additional damage deposit.

Court Filings and Hearings

If you do not pay your past-due rent within the five-day notice window, or if you do not correct violations of your lease within the 20-day notice period, your landlord can continue the eviction process in Rhode Island courts.

Your landlord will file a complaint with the clerk of the court, which begins the eviction lawsuit.  You will be served with a copy of both the complaint, which details why you are being evicted, and a summons that notifies you when and where your eviction hearing will be scheduled.  Your landlord cannot serve these papers personally, so a sheriff's deputy or private process server will give you the papers.

The hearing will be scheduled for nine days after your landlord files the suit.  You are not required to appear at this hearing, but if you fail to arrive in court, your landlord will automatically win and the eviction process in Rhode Island will continue.

You may be able to fight the eviction if your landlord has behaved improperly by violating your lease, giving you improper notice, or discriminating against you.  You can find out more about your legal options for fighting an eviction by talking to a lawyer experienced with the eviction process in Rhode Island.

Writ of Restitution

If your landlord wins the hearing, a writ of restitution will be issued.  This writ allows the sheriff to remove you from your home forcibly.  If you wish to avoid having the sheriff evict you forcibly, you must vacate the premises within the amount of time specified in the judge's court order.

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