House passes Diaz legislation to create handbook for landlords and tenants’ rights and responsibilities

STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation (2023-H introduced by Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence) that would create a handbook spelling out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

The bill (2023-H 5204A) would direct the Secretary of Housing to create a consumer guide that outlines those rights and responsibilities as they are enumerated in the law. The guide, which would be updated biennially, would be published in English and Spanish, both in print and on the Department of Housing website.

“Over the past several years, the General Assembly has enacted a number of laws that deal with rental properties,” said Representative Diaz. “This handbook would include critical information for both landlords and tenants so they will both better understand their rights and responsibilities and avoid situations where they are inadvertently breaking the law. As these laws continue to be updated, it is imperative that the guide be updated as well, so landlords and tenants can keep up with changes in the law. Renters who know their rights are better protected from predatory landlords, just as landlords who know their rights are better protected from renters who try to take advantage of rental agreements.”

The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.