The bill amends Section 34-18-38 of the General Laws in Chapter 34-18, known as the "Residential Landlord and Tenant Act," to address the eviction process for tenants who unlawfully hold over after the termination or expiration of their tenancy. It specifies that landlords may commence an eviction action no earlier than the first day following the expiration or termination of the tenancy. Additionally, if a tenant's holdover is willful and not in good faith, the landlord may recover up to three months' rent or threefold the actual damages, whichever is greater, along with reasonable attorney's fees. The bill also outlines the process for serving a summons and the tenant's right to respond.

Significant insertions to the bill include a new provision (Section 34-18-38(d)) that allows a live-in caregiver or any other adult residing in the dwelling unit to continue the rental agreement for a post-death rental grace period after the death of the tenant, under certain conditions. This grace period temporary tenant must pay the agreed rent and assume all obligations of the tenant. The bill sets out the evidence required to prove residency, the length of the grace period (three months or the remaining term of the rental agreement, whichever is shorter), and the rights and obligations of both the grace period temporary tenant and the landlord. It also clarifies that any past due rent remains the obligation of the deceased tenant's estate and that the landlord may deduct damages from the security deposit. The act would take effect upon passage.

Statutes affected:
7162  SUB A: 34-18-38
7162: 34-18-38