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Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

by Editor | ezLandlordForms
connecticut landlord tenant law

Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law: Introduction

Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law help to ensure that there is a functioning rental market that is fair and equitable. Connecticut’s laws provide the basis for a landlord-tenant relationship that works for both parties. Connecticut’s rent control laws place reasonable limits on rent increases, spell out when security deposits are due, require reasonable notice before entering a tenant’s home, and outline rules governing the return of security deposits. Connecticut’s eviction process protects tenants from being unjustly removed from their home by ensuring that landlords follow certain procedures when evicting tenants. Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law helps protect the rights of both landlords and tenants alike and should be thoroughly understood by both before signing lease agreements.

Let’s understand Connecticut landlord tenant law and regulations through the following –

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.

If a tenant’s landlord isn’t performing the required repairs, can they legitimately withhold rent?

According to Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law, a tenant may legitimately withhold rent if the landlord fails to make the required repairs. This indicates that the renter has the option to hold onto the rent until a repair has been made if the agreed-upon repair has not been made despite numerous requests. This should only be utilized as a last resort, and even then, only after studying Connecticut’s landlord-tenant statutes and presenting adequate proof of all prior attempts to contact the landlord. Never take a landlord’s request to withhold rent lightly, and always give Connecticut’s restrictions due thought.

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.

When a renter doesn’t pay the rent, what can a landlord do?

According to Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law, landlords have a few remedies for recouping overdue rent. The Connecticut Superior Court will start the eviction process after receiving the necessary documents from the landlord. A remedy of possession may also be used to force their renter to pay them a sum equal to the rental value. Last but not least, a landlord may also look into additional legal options including seeking an injunction if necessary or recovering fees in small claims court. Landlords must have legal counsel on the best course of action to take when dealing with renters who don’t pay their rent on time.

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.

Is the landlord able to file a lawsuit if the renter damages the property?

Tenants are required by Connecticut’s Landlord Tenant Law to maintain the property they are renting out. If a tenant doesn’t do this, the landlord may be able to sue them for damages in court. This covers both direct losses brought about by the renter or their guests as well as indirect damages brought about by negligence. Understanding Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law and accepting responsibility for any harm committed during the tenancy are requirements for renters of rental properties there.

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.

Can Oklahoma tenants break their lease early?

Although Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law mandates a minimum of 20 days written notice, Oklahoma law permits early lease termination by tenants. This means that if a tenant wants to break their lease agreement before the time specified in the contract, they must provide the landlord or rental company with at least 20 days’ notice. Additional charges can be necessary and are established by Connecticut Law depending on the situation and terms of the lease agreement. In conclusion, tenants in Connecticut can terminate their lease early as long as they abide by Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law; however, they must give adequate written notice or risk further penalties.

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 Connecticut landlord tenant 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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