2021 Rhode Island General Laws
Title 34 - Property
Chapter 34-18 - Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
Section 34-18-11 - Definitions.

Universal Citation: RI Gen L § 34-18-11 (2021)
§ 34-18-11. Definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent sections of this chapter which apply to specific sections thereof, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this chapter:

(1) "Abandonment" means the tenant has vacated the premises without notice to the landlord and has no intention of returning, as evidenced by nonpayment of rent for more than fifteen (15) days and removal of substantially all possessions from the premises;

(2) "Action" includes recoupment, counterclaim, set-off, suit in equity, and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including an action for possession;

(3) "Building and housing codes" include any law, ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation, or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance of any premises of dwelling unit;

(4) "Dwelling unit" means a structure or part of a structure that is designed or intended to be used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one or more persons;

(5) "Fair rental value" means rent which is of comparable value with that of other rental properties of similar size and condition within the contiguous neighborhood;

(6) "Good faith" means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction concerned;

(7) "Landlord" means the owner, lessor, or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the building of which it is a part, and it also means a manager of the premises who fails to disclose as required by § 34-18-20;

(8) "Ordinary wear and tear" means deterioration of the premises which is the result of the tenant's normal nonabusive living and includes, but is not limited to, deterioration caused by the landlord's failure to prepare for expected conditions or by the landlord's failure to comply with his or her obligations;

(9) "Organization" includes a corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership of association, two (2) or more persons having a joint or common interest, and any other legal or commercial entity;

(10) "Owner" shall mean any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:

(i) Has legal title or tax title (pursuant to §§ 44-9-40 — 44-9-46, inclusive, of the general laws) to any dwelling, dwelling unit or structure with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or

(ii) Has charge, care, or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit or structure as owner or agent of the owner, or an executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any person representing the actual owner in this way shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto to the same extent as if he or she were the owner.

(11) "Person" includes an individual or organization;

(12) "Premises" means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas, and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally, or the use of which is promised to the tenant;

(13) "Rent" means the payment or consideration that a tenant pays to a landlord for the use of the premises, whether money, services, property, or produce of the land;

(14) "Rental agreement" means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under § 34-18-25 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises, and also includes any terms required by law;

(15) "Roomer" means a tenant occupying a dwelling unit which consists of any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes;

(16) "Security deposit" means a sum of money given by a tenant to a landlord at the outset of the tenancy or shortly thereafter, as a deposit against physical damages to the tenant's dwelling unit during said tenancy;

(17) "Tenant" means a person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others;

(18) "Transitional housing facility" means a facility which, for a period not to exceed two (2) years, provides its residents with appropriate social services for the purpose of fostering independence, self sufficiency, and eventual transition to a permanent living arrangement;

(19) "Willful" means that the act was performed intentionally, knowingly and purposely, not accidentally or inadvertently and without justifiable excuse.

History of Section.
P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 2; P.L. 1992, ch. 87, § 1.

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