What You Need to Know About Breaking a Lease in Rhode Island
Your rental lease is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord. However, there are instances where breaking a lease may be necessary. If you are thinking about , DoNotPay can help you through the process.
Conditions for Terminating or Breaking a Lease in Rhode Island
There are various reasons for terminating or ending a lease, and it's important to know your obligations as a tenant.
To terminate a lease in Rhode Island, the tenant must provide sufficient notice, which is based on the frequency of payments for their lease:
- Week-to-Week: 10 days notice
- Month-to-Month: 30 days
- Quarter-to-Quarter: No Statute
- Year-to-year: 3 months
Legally Valid Reasons for Breaking a Lease
There are some legal reasons to break a lease early in Rhode Island and other possibilities that may support you breaking a lease even if the state statute doesn't specifically outline it.
- The Unit is Considered Uninhabitable - If the landlord does not meet Rhode Island health and safety codes for rental units, and you have provided sufficient time, but the landlord has not completed the necessary repairs, then the landlord has not fulfilled their responsibilities under landlord-tenant laws.
- Active Duty Military - The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects active service members who are relocated for deployment or permanent change of station.
- Landlord Harassment/Privacy Violation - Harassment from the landlord or violation of your privacy may result in justification for breaking your lease. Specifically, landlords must provide two days' written notice to enter the unit, and it must be a reasonable time; landlords are not allowed to change the locks and lock you out.
- Domestic Violence - Victims of domestic violence should check with local law enforcement about domestic violence protection statutes.
- Senior Citizens - In Rhode Island, tenants who are 65 or older can terminate lease agreements if entering assisted living, nursing faculty, or government public housing designated for the elderly, provided they submit proper written notice of termination.
- Early Termination Clause - If your lease contains an early termination clause, you may be able to fulfill your obligation and end the lease early if none of the other valid reasons apply to your situation.
Here are the lease termination legal timelines in RI:
|Lease Type||Notice Time||Statute|
|Week to Week||10 Days||Rhode Island Tenant-Landlord Handbook Chapter 1 Section G “Termination of Tenancy”|
|Month to Month||More than one month but less than one year||Rhode Island Tenant-Landlord Handbook Chapter 1 Section G “Termination of Tenancy”|
|Year to Year||No less than three Months no more than one year.||Rhode Island Tenant-Landlord Handbook Chapter 1 Section G “Termination of Tenancy”|
How to Break a Lease in Rhode Island on Your Own
Breaking a lease can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are worried about your landlord's reaction.
- Read your lease and Rhode Island's landlord-tenant laws to verify that you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant.
- Speak to your landlord. Determine if they are going to entertain your conversation or shut you down. This will help you prepare for how accommodating they will be.
- Provide written notice to your landlord that you are terminating the lease, and if it is for a legally valid reason, include the statutes or laws that validate your right to break the lease. Send it certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have verification that you notified the landlord.
- If you choose insufficient reasons for breaking your lease, be prepared for potential consequences.
- You may need to pay the remainder of the lease and penalties.
- Your landlord may take legal action.
- It could hurt your credit score.
- Landlords have the responsibility to "mitigate the damage" and begin to look for a new tenant, but you may still be responsible for at least a month of rent or more. You may also suggest subletting, depending on your lease terms.
Let DoNotPay Handle Breaking Your Lease in Rhode Island
If you want to but don't know how DoNotPay can get you started in 3 easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- et us guide you through the 4 potential options.
- If you're a uniformed servicemember breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
Our service is fast, easy, and successful. You give us the information; we do the work!
Breaking Your Lease State by State
If you have more questions about breaking your lease in your specific state, check the appropriate link in the table below.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Helping you quickly break your lease is just one of the ways DoNotPay can help. We can also help with:
- Breach of Contract
- Reducing Property Taxes
- Change of Address
- Power of Attorney
- Canceling Subscriptions
DoNotPay is here to help you resolve all your issues, so get started today.