Real Estate Specific Updates: Federal, State and Municipal Resources & Guidance for REALTORS

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Real Estate Industry Updates:



Open Houses:

The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® and State-Wide MLS recommend that real estate licensees refrain from holding open houses until further notice. Those involved with home tours of any means  should follow the best practices noted by the Centers for Disease Control including the avoidance of gatherings of more than ten people. Also prior to any showings, discuss the pros and cons with your clients, and advise sellers to disinfect their homes. See the National Association of REALTORS® Open House Guidance here.

DBR/State Exams/RI REALTORS® Classes:
  • Please visit the RI REALTORS® Professional Development Center’s Class Schedule to determine if a class has been cancelled, postponed or will be delivered via live broadcast. Registration for classes delivered via live broadcast closes at 4pm the day before.
  • Course completions taken during the current extension period of May 1 thru May 31 2020 and submitted as part of your renewal application, will not be accepted for the next renewal cycle (May 1 2020 thru Apr 30 2022). No course completion can be counted twice. REMINDER: Effective January 1, 2020, all new licensees will renew on their anniversary dates.
  • The RI Department of Business Regulation (RI DBR) will extend the licensing renewal deadline to May 31, 2020. If you’re ready to renew and have documentation of your 24 hours of continuing education, DBR asks that you submit your renewal online as soon as possible.
  • The RI DBR has extended the Broker 90 4-year expiration date to June 30, 2020. Any class on the Broker 90 list and taken at RI REALTORS® in March through June 2016 will now be counted.
  • Pearson Vue has is temporarily closing all US- and Canada-based professional testing centers starting March 17th for at least 30 days until April 16, 2020, or whenever conditions are deemed safe to re-open for license testing. They will be rescheduling candidates for real estate exams after that date. The RI DBR will work with candidates and organizations that have time restraints in regard to taking the real estate exam and applying for licensure.
Home Inspections:

The enforcement of home inspector licensing has been extended to May 1st, 2020.

Smoke/CO Inspections:

The state has issued the bulletins below to address concerns about smoke/CO detector and other fire safety inspections. It’s critical to note that none of the below is mandatory. Local fire marshals can refuse to conduct inspections or accept any of these, according to Julietta Georgakis, Deputy Director of DBR. Normally, the State Fire Marshal can intervene if a local fire marshal will not issue a certificate, but they are backlogged due to statewide public safety procedures. Homeowners should contact their local elected officials and fire district leadership to allow for these alternatives.

  • FILE NO: 20-01 – The Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review issued this bulletin which waives deadlines for inspections, such as periodic inspections of fire safety systems in restaurants and other uses.
  • FILE NO. DDE2020-BV-1 – The Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review issued this bulletin which offers alternatives for local fire marshals to conduct smoke/carbon monoxide detector systems for single-family homes, and two- and three-family dwellings.

Inspections can be handled in three ways (if authorized by the local fire marshal):  

  • Conducted In-person using social distancing and other health and safety protocol.
  • By submitting a video of the smoke/CO detector system to the fire marshal. (The RI Association of REALTORS® recommends having the occupant do this in a dwelling that is occupied.)
  • Closing without a smoke/CO detector certificate. The seller would need to provide documentation that he or she has created an escrow account in the amount of $150 payable to the buyer. The inspection would be conducted within 60 days after the Termination of the Declaration of Disaster Emergency. If the system fails inspection once it is conducted, the $150 must be released to the buyer.

As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, RIHousing offices are closed to visitors. During this time, there will be limited number of staff onsite and many working remotely from home. Emails and phone systems will be up and running, though there may be delays in response time.


State courts will not hear any new eviction cases until courts are no longer closed. However, if a judge has already ordered an eviction, tenants can still be removed from their homes. (Emergency hearings are still being held, so someone facing an eviction could ask a judge to review the situation.)



(Includes information on recordings, smoke inspections, etc.)


Information REALTORS® Need to Know

This page and the pages below will be continually updated as information becomes available.


Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. Please check this website often for updates. If you have further questions after reviewing this information, please email

For legal questions, please contact Monica Staaf – General Counsel at 401-432-6945 or

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