New Rhode Island Real Estate Laws for 2021

New Rhode Island Real Estate Laws for 2021

Below is a summary of what I presented at the Rhode Island Bar Title Standards Committee meeting in September 2021, as a summary of all legislation enacted during the 2021 legislative session that I found to be of particular interest to real estate attorneys practicing in Rhode Island.

Copies of the full text of any bill can be found here by entering the bill number. The titles and descriptions of the bills, unless indicated otherwise, are directly from the Legislature. The bills of interest are as follows, sorted in ascending order by enactment date:

Senate Bill No. 561 and House Bill No. 5257 as amended

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO PROPERTY — RHODE ISLAND FAIR HOUSING PRACTICES ACT (Prohibits discrimination in housing against those persons who have a lawful source of income.)
04/15/2021 Signed by Governor

Senate Bill No. 392 SUB A and House Bill No. 5644

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO PROPERTY — CONDOMINIUM LAW — RESALE OF UNITS (Allows a condominium association to impose a fee of up to one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for preparation of a resale certificate.)
06/18/2021 Effective without Governor’s signature

Senate Bill No. 919 and House Bill No. 6095

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO COURTS AND CIVIL PROCEDURE – SUPREME COURT – COURTS (Removes all references to “and Providence Plantations” in statutes relating to the judiciary, in accordance with the constitutional amendment approved by the voters on November 3, 2020.)
06/23/2021 Signed by Governor

Senate Bill No. 726 and House Bill No. 5975

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — LAW PRACTICE (Provides that the rules and unauthorized practice of law committee would be approved and promulgated by the supreme court.)
07/02/2021 Signed by Governor

Senate Bill No. 133 SUB A

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO COURTS AND CIVIL PROCEDURE — SMALL CLAIMS AND CONSUMER CLAIMS — PROCEDURE IN PARTICULAR ACTIONS (Increases the maximum amount to be recovered in civil court action as a small claims from two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to five thousand dollars ($5,000).)
07/03/2021 Signed by Governor

Senate Bill No. 735 and House Bill No. 5974

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO COURTS AND CIVIL PROCEDURE — COURTS — COURT ADMINISTRATION (Invests the chief justice of the supreme court with the explicit authority to address issues affecting the conduct of judicial business and order whatever response(s) he or she deems necessary.)
07/03/2021 Signed by Governor

Senate Bill No. 789 SUB A and House Bill No. 5984 SUB A

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS — RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS CORPORATION ACT (Requires that annual reports of domestic and foreign business corporations, nonprofit corporations, and limited liability companies be filed with the secretary of state between February 1 and May 1 of each year. Effective January 1, 2022.)
07/03/2021 Signed by Governor

House Bill No. 6122 SUB A as amended

ENTITLED, AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE STATE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2022
07/06/2021 Signed by Governor
My Explanation: This changes the real estate conveyance tax, doubling the rate for the amount of the purchase price about $800,000.00, effective 1/1/2022. A guide put forth by the Rhode Island Division of Taxation explaining how the new calculations are done can be found here.

Senate Bill No. 413 SUB A as amended and House Bill No. 5268 SUB A as amended

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS — REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND SALESPERSONS (Requires applicants to pass test to include topics on fair housing and requires 24 hours of continuing education.)
07/07/2021 Senate Bill Signed by Governor
07/09/2021 House Bill Signed by Governor

Senate Bill No. 718 SUB A and House Bill No. 5573 SUB A

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO PROPERTY — RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT (Requires a landlord to obtain and have in full force and effect a general liability policy of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for those persons injured on the premises due to the negligence of the landlord.)
07/07/2021 Senate Bill Signed by Governor
07/09/2021 House Bill Signed by Governor

House Bill No. 5051 SUB A

ENTITLED: AN ACT RELATING TO CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PARTNERSHIPS — RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS CORPORATION ACT (Increases time that SOS can withdraw a certificate of revocation for a corporation, nonprofit corporation, or LLC from 10 to 20 years without the corporation or limited liability company being required to seek reinstatement by the legislature.)
07/13/2021 Signed by Governor