How to Rent Out Your House in Rhode Island

Investing in real estate has become more popular in recent years. The real estate market offers the opportunity to grow your wealth over time while earning a steady rental income. Plus, rental property owners can benefit from tax deductions.  

However, managing a rental property isn’t always easy. Landlords have their fair share of responsibilities, from advertising their rental and screening potential residents to dealing with maintenance and repairs. This can be as time-consuming as a full-time job. 

But don’t worry! Managing a successful rental can be pretty easy with some help. And, when it comes to Rhode Island rentals, there’s no one better than Stonelink Property Management. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you should know to rent out your Rhode Island home with little stress.

Understanding Rhode Island Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlords must have a good understanding of their local laws. This helps ensure a smooth legal tenancy and prevents costly legal disputes. All in all, complying with landlord-tenant laws ultimately leads to a more successful and profitable rental property.

The rights and responsibilities of Rhode Island landlords and residents are clearly stated in the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. 

a landlord with curly brown hair in a brown plaid suit reviews a rental agreement with their new tenant who holds a clipboard with a document on it

Below are eight things you should know if you want to rent out a house in this state: 

  • Your property must meet basic health and safety requirements. This includes ensuring the property has running water, heating and AC, garbage disposal containers, and smoke detectors. You want to make sure your tenants have a safe and habitable living environment. 
  • You must make repairs within 20 days after getting written notice from residents. If repairs aren’t handled in this period, residents may be able to make the repair themselves and deduct the cost from the rent price for the following month or potentially take legal action. 
  • You can’t legally evict residents without a cause. As per the state’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, legal grounds for eviction include nonpayment of rent, lease agreement violations, the rental agreement has ended, foreclosure of the property, or because the residents are involved in illegal acts. 
  • The equivalent of one month’s rent is the maximum you can charge for security deposits. However, if the unit is furnished, landlords can collect up to an additional month of rent as a security deposit. 
  • Rhode Island doesn’t have rent control laws. This means landlords can raise the price of rent by any amount and as often as they choose. However, they cannot increase the rent price during a tenancy unless the lease agreement allows it. When they increase rent, landlords must give residents at least 30 days’ notice.
a landlord in a white shirt reaches over their desk to shake the hand of their new tenant
  • You must comply with Fair Housing laws. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against residents because of their race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, religion, or disability. 
  • Landlords have the right to enter the property for maintenance, inspections, and home showings. However, they must give their residents at least two days’ notice.
  • You must disclose if there are traces of lead paint on the property or if the unit has an outstanding housing code violation. The lead paint law is especially relevant to properties built before 1978. You can include the disclosure in the lease agreement.

Getting Your Rhode Island Home Ready to Rent

With hundreds of homes being listed for rent every day, renting out your house in Rhode Island can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here’s how you can get your Rhode Island home rented in three simple steps:

1. Make Sure the Property Is Ready for Residents

Your Rhode Island house should be in good shape to comply with habitability requirements. However, ensuring your home looks its best can help you attract more renters. 

So, make sure to deep-clean the entire property and consider investing in renovations or upgrades. This will make your rental home more attractive to residents and can significantly increase the value of your property.

a contractor in a blue plaid shirt inspects a hanging light fixture and replaces a lightbulb

2. Advertise Your Rhode Island Rental

The key to a profitable rental is finding reliable and trustworthy residents. And it all starts with a good listing. Your rental listing should include an attractive title and an informative description. It should also have high-quality photos of the property. After all, renters are more likely to ignore listings with no pictures. 

Consider looking at comparable rental properties in the local housing market to set the right rent price and see how amenities are being highlighted. Once you have your listing, you should post it on several sites. Consider advertising your rental on social media or your local newspaper to target an even larger audience. This way, you’ll have higher chances of finding great residents!

3. Screen Potential Residents

Resident screening is an important step in the leasing process. By performing a credit check and reviewing potential renters’ employment history and criminal record, among other things, you can ensure only responsible renters occupy your home.

Property screening tenants is the best way to find a good match for your property. Finding a good match can be the key to retaining long-term residents.

Should You Hire a Property Manager for Rhode Island Rental Property?

Managing a rental comes with a lot of work. Landlords have to communicate with residents, handle maintenance and repairs, and keep track of their rental finances, among many other tasks. This can easily lead to burnout!

who hands clasped in a handshake

Luckily, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Hiring a seasoned property management company is a great investment. These professionals can take care of the day-to-day operations of your rental, from dealing with repairs to bookkeeping, so you can have time to focus on other stuff. 

Bottom Line

Renting out your house in Rhode Island can help you grow your wealth and create a stable source of passive income. However, it’s important to note that managing a rental property is not always easy. 

To rent out a house, you must have a good understanding of landlord-tenant laws, as well as know how to create a good listing and screen potential residents. Luckily, a property manager can help you with all of this!
Are you looking for a reliable property management company in Rhode Island? Contact Stonelink Property Management now! With over 1,700 doors currently under our management, we know what it takes for a rental in Rhode Island to succeed. Let us help you take your rental business to the next level.

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