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connecticutt lease agreement

How much may I charge for rent?

There are several localities that enforce fair rent commission practices. Some of these cities are: Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Colchester, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Manchester, New Haven, Newington, Norwalk, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Stamford, Westbrook, West Hartford, West Haven, Wethersfield, and Windsor. Check with local housing officials, an attorney, or the rent control board for further information to ensure compliance.

 

Are there laws regarding methods of payments?
Landlords may not accept electronic funds transfer (EFT) as the only method of payment for rent or security deposit starting on October 1st, 2013.

 

Am I required to give a rent receipt?
Landlords are required to give a receipt of the payment of rent, if the tenant pays in cash. A landlord must also give a receipt if an occupant pays the landlord, on behalf of the tenant. The receipt must have the date, the amount, and what the payment is for.

 

May I charge an application, late rent, or returned payment fee?
There are no limits on the collection of an application fee, or late charges. However, a returned payment fee must not exceed $20 and must be specified within the lease.

 

May I charge a daily late fee?
Although this is not prohibited, it tends to be a rare practice and generally not encouraged.

 

How much may I accept as a security deposit?

  • 62 years or older, the security deposit shall not exceed 1 month's rent.

  • 62 years or younger, the security deposit shall not exceed 2 month's rent.

Please Note: landlords must place the security deposit into an escrow account where it will earn annual interest at a rate set by the Banking Commissioner. Tenants are entitled to interest for all months on which rent is paid on time. Landlords must pay interest to the tenant each year (usually on the first day of each year). Landlords who fail to pay interest on the security deposit may be sued or subjected to a fine.

 

What circumstances require a tenant to be released from a lease agreement?

If a tenant is called to active military duty, the landlord must excuse the tenant from the lease. If the rented premises is destroyed or damaged by a casualty, which deems the property unlivable, and not caused by the tenant then the landlord may be forced to release a tenant from the lease agreement.  A tenant may also seek release from an agreement through the court, when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.  As of October 1st, 2013, any agreements or renewals entered into on or after January 1st, 2014 must follow the new law for sexual assault victims. The law gives a tenant the right to terminate a lease if victimized by a sexual assault crime.

 

What do I do with the security deposit after the tenant moves out?
Landlords must return the balance of the security deposit within 30 days after lease termination, plus any unpaid interest, and if applicable a list of damages and/or monies that the landlord has deducted

 

My tenant was supposed to be out of the rental property and is still there. What can I do?
If a tenant continues to occupy the residence without the landlord's consent after the lease is terminated or expired, then the landlord may end the lease by giving notice, or the landlord has the right to receive the last amount agreed upon rent (i.e. as specified within the lease).

 

How much notice do I have to give a tenant who has not paid rent, in order to evict them?
If a tenant does not pay rent by the 10th of the month, a 3 day “Notice to Quit” (or by the 5th day of the week for a week-to-week lease) shall be issued.

 

How long does the eviction process take?

With no complications, the eviction process takes approximately 45 days. Although, with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors.

Can I force my tenant to pay for attorney fees?

There must be a provision in the lease providing for attorney fees, but only 15% of attorney fees may be charged to the tenant as specified within the rental agreement.

 

My tenant wants to pay only part of the rent owed? I have already started eviction proceedings; should I accept the partial payment?

Be very careful not to accept any payments once the eviction action has started without stating on the check that it is “accepted as use and occupancy only" . Not doing so may invalidate the eviction. Also, if you have not started the eviction process and the tenant wishes to pay the rent and any associated costs in full, the landlord cannot refuse. Refusal to accept the payment may invalidate your eviction action even if it is after the l0th of the month. Evictions can be complicated and getting the advice of an attorney is strongly encouraged.

 

Is it legal to enforce no smoking in my rental property?

A landlord may include a “No Smoking Policy” in the lease to enforce these rules.

 

Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?

Landlords should give the tenants reasonable written or oral notice of their intent to enter the premises, and may enter only after tenants have given permission, except in cases of emergency.

 

 

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.


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