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Fitzpatrick Team Re/Max

Becoming a Compliant Landlord In Rhode Island

The Fitzpatrick Team is here to protect our landlords. The Rhode Island Attorney General has made enforcement of lead laws a top priority and filed legislation to strengthen and expand them. The Rhode Island General Assembly approved a number of new laws. Here is a list of those laws and when they go into effect.


• Water authorities must inspect water service lines and notify property owners and tenants if the property’s service line contains lead. Funding is available for the water authorities to replace these service lines.  If a landlord fails to cooperate with the water authority’s inspection or allow the water authority to replace the service line, a tenant can terminate the lease without penalty.  Now in effect View bill


• Tenants have the right to pay rent into a district court managed escrow account if the landlord fails to obtain a current lead certificate.  The landlord cannot evict the tenant for non-payment of rent or retaliate.   Now in effect View bill


• Penalties for violation of lead laws have increased to double and treble damages plus attorney’s fees  Now in effect View bill


• The exemption for owner-occupied two- and three-unit dwellings from the lead hazard mitigation law will be eliminated in 2024. Owners of these properties must obtain lead certificates if the property was built before 1978.  Effective January 1, 2024 View bill


• Purchase and sales agreements must give buyers a period of ten days to inspect for lead hazards if the property was built before 2011 instead of 1978.  All other lead laws, including disclosure laws and lead hazard mitigation continue to apply only to properties built before 1978. The RIAR Forms Committee is in the process of updating the RIAR Purchase and Sales Agreement to include new lead inspection language. Now in effect View bill


• Landlords must register their property and current lead certificates with the RI Department of Health. DOH will create a public registry if it has enough funding. View bill  


• Effective September 1, 2024


Exemptions: The following properties are exempt from lead hazard mitigation requirements. There are no specific exemptions for historic properties.


• Rental units with a Full Lead-Safe or current Conditional Lead-Safe Certificate

• Temporary, seasonal housing rented no more than 100 days in a calendar year to the same tenant

• Housing designated for residents age 62 or older

• Owner-occupied properties with two or three units (until January 1, 2024)



• Share the RI Department of Health fact sheet, “What is the Lead Hazard Mitigation Law? Owner requirements” with customers and clients, including landlords and future landlords.


For more information, please contact the RIAR Legal Department at 401-432-6945 or email


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