The landlord/tenant realtionship is governed by various state and federal laws. These laws regulate a landlord’s rights and responsibilities with tenants and vice versa.

In Rhode Island, the Landlord and Tenant Act is the primary state statute governing residential landlord/tenant issues. Commercial landlord/tenant issues are governed by the state general laws titled Commercial Leasing and Other Estates.

In Massachusetts, the general laws titled Estates for Years and at Will are the primary laws governing residential and commercial landlord/tenant issues.

The federal Fair Housing Act also applies to most landlord/tenant situations.