(a) Nothing in this chapter requires an owner of a housing accommodation to rent to a family with children if:

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 34-37-4.1

  • Age: means anyone over the age of eighteen (18). See Rhode Island General Laws 34-37-3
  • Housing accommodation: includes any building or structure, or portion of any building or structure, or any parcel of land, developed or undeveloped, that is occupied or is intended, designed, or arranged to be occupied, or to be developed for occupancy, as the home or residence of one or more persons. See Rhode Island General Laws 34-37-3
  • Owner: includes any person having the right to sell, rent, lease, or manage a housing accommodation. See Rhode Island General Laws 34-37-3
  • Person: includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, corporations, labor organizations, mutual companies, joint stock companies, trusts, receivers, legal representatives, trustees, other fiduciaries, or real estate brokers or real estate salespersons as defined in chapter 20. See Rhode Island General Laws 34-37-3
  • Senior citizen: means a person sixty-two (62) years of age or older. See Rhode Island General Laws 34-37-3

(1) The housing accommodation is two (2) units, one of which is occupied by the owner;

(2) The housing accommodation is of four (4) units or less, the owner actually maintains and occupies one of those living quarters as his or her residence and one of those units is already occupied by a senior citizen or infirm person for whom the presence of children would constitute a demonstrated hardship;

(3) The housing accommodation was provided under any state or federal program which is designed and operated to assist elderly persons;

(4) The housing accommodation is intended for and solely occupied by persons sixty-two (62) years of age or older; or

(5) The housing accommodation is intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person fifty-five (55) years of age or older per unit. Provided that:

(i) At least eighty percent (80%) of the units are occupied by at least one person fifty-five (55) years of age or older per unit; and

(ii) The housing accommodation has significant facilities and services designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons, or if the provisions of those facilities and services is not practicable, that the housing is necessary to provide important opportunities for older persons;

(iii) The owner or manager has published and adhered to policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent to provide housing for persons fifty-five (55) years of age or older.

(b)(1) An exemption under subsections (a)(4) and (a)(5) can be claimed if the housing did not meet the requirements of subsections (a)(4) and (a)(5) as of September 13, 1988 only if:

(i) New occupants of the housing met the age requirements of subsections (a)(4) and (a)(5) after September 13, 1988; or

(ii) Unoccupied units were reserved for occupancy by persons who met the age requirements of subsections (a)(4) and (a)(5) after September 13, 1988;

(2) An owner will not violate the prohibitions against age discrimination in housing contained in § 34-37-4 if the owner asks the age of prospective or actual tenants or buyers, or if the owner grants a preference to older prospective tenants or buyers so long as the housing meets the requirements of subsection (a)(4) or (a)(5) or if the owner is seeking to determine whether the housing meets the requirements of subsection (a)(4) or (a)(5).

History of Section.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 150, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 144, §§ 3, 4; P.L. 1988, ch. 455, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 398, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 310, § 13.)