The Eviction Process in RI Explained Step by Step
Evictions are an unfortunate peril of the rental property business. Not only is it essential to follow the correct steps, it is equally important to follow them on the proper time line. Delaying in any of the steps mentioned below can drastically impact your bottom line.
Nexus Property Management® Provides Full Eviction Services in Rhode Island
Tenant hasn't paid rent by the 1st of the month
Step 1: - Initiate daily late alerts to be sent to all tenants residing in the property via email and text. It is not suggested that you personally call the tenant as this will likely lead to reasons why rent isn't paid, and those reasons can't be deposited into your bank account!
Tenant hasn't paid rent by the 16th of the month
Step 2: - In Rhode Island, we send whats called the '5 Day Demand Letter'. This notice is required by State Law to be sent after the tenant is 16 days in arrears. The tenant then has 5 days from when this is mailed to rectify the balance with us.
Tenant still hasn't paid rent by the 22nd of the month
Step 3: - In Rhode Island, we can now file the eviction case in district court. Typically, after filing, we have a court date within 9 days. A constable must serve the tenant their court summons.
Court date arrives
Step 4: -On the day of court we meet our attorney in the lobby outside the court room. If the tenant appears we can attempt to create a payment plan, which is formally called a 'stipulation agreement'. This is a voluntary agreement signed by us and the tenant agreeing to the repayment amount and terms. Common agreements would call for an extra monthly payment on top of the normal rent amount until the balance is caught up in full. In most cases, the court will allow a portion of the attorney fees/court costs to be added to the agreement as well.
Follow up on payments
Step 5: -We then will keep an eye on the payment schedule to ensure the tenant is meeting the payment plan terms. If the tenant misses a payment you can then file a request with the court to obtain the execution for possession of the apartment.
Tenant hasn't paid or vacated
Step 6: -When this occurs we then contact the Constable and provide him/her the execution for possession. This document enables him/her to remove the tenants. Sometimes tenants will vacate voluntarily when this occurs. Other times, tenants will be resistant. If this occurs the constable can engage a moving company, and contact police to arrest tenants for trespassing.
This entire process can take months at a time as you progress up the ladder of escalation, so this is why it is imperative that you file or hire a professional property manager as soon as possible to avoid a larger financial burden than needed.
Gregory Rice is the Vice President of franchise sales for Nexus Property Management®.
Nexus Property Management® is a National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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