Looking for clear and concise information on Connecticut landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Connecticut Landlord Tenant Act.
CT Landlord Tenant Law
The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.
If a prospective tenant is accepted and moves in, this application fee cannot be used as part of the security deposit.
If a prospective tenant is accepted but chooses NOT to move in, the landlord has to return what's left of the application fee (if any). In this case, the tenant is responsible for the landlord's cost of finding a replacement tenant (which includes lost rent during this period).
A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.
Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks. Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)
The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap. 42 U.S.C. § 3604
*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.
In addition, Connecticut tenants are also protected under the Connecticut Fair Housing Act. This act also prohibits landlords from discriminating prospective tenants based on their age, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or (lawful) income source. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-64c
Landlords must follow the above Fair Housing laws UNLESS the dwelling has two or less rental units and the landlord lives in one of them. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64c.(b)
(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.
To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.
If you are renting the property for one year or less, your tenancy agreement can be verbal or written. If you are renting for more than one year, your lease agreement must be in writing.
Unless the tenancy agreement specifies a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant will enter into a month to month tenancy by default. If the tenant pays rent weekly (instead of monthly), then the tenancy will be week to week. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-3b
Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-6 requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
Connecticut landlord tenant law also requires the landlord to disclose the following to the tenant:
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-4.(a)(1) to (9), your lease agreement CANNOT:
According to the Connecticut Landlord Tenant Act, the maximum security deposit amount the landlord can ask for will depend on the tenant's age. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(b)
If the tenant is 62 years old or younger, the maximum deposit amount will be 2 month's rent.
if the tenant is more than 62 years old, the maximum deposit amount will be 1 month's rent.
Connecticut landlord tenant law requires the landlord to hold the security deposit in a trust account of a bank, savings loan association or licensed escrow agent. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(h)
The tenant gets to keep any interest earned by the trust account (unless he or she agrees to forgo it in the lease agreement). This interest rate is set by the Banking Commissioner every year. The landlord is not allowed to increase the rent for the purpose of paying interest on the deposit. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(i)
The landlord must give each tenant a written notice stating the name and address of the financial institution where the deposit is held and what is the amount held. This notice must be delivered within 30 days of receiving the security deposit from the tenant (or previous landlord after a property sale). Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(h)(4A)
If a banking commissioner makes a written request to the landlord for any information related to a tenant's deposit, the landlord has to provide it within seven days. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(h)(4B)
This information can include:
Connecticut landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Connecticut landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit and interest. This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing.
Depending on whichever date is later, the landlord has to return the deposit within either:
If the landlord fails to follow Connecticut landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover up to two times the amount of security deposit.
If only the interest is not returned, the tenant can recover up to $10, or twice the amount of interest owed, depending on whichever amount is greater.
A banking commissioner can investigate claims that the landlord has violated the laws for the returning or deducting security deposits and fine the landlord for each offense. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(j)
For more information on the fine amounts, you can refer to the Connecticut landlord tenant statutes on "Penalties". Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(k)
Once the property ownership is transferred, the new owner will be responsible for refunding any security deposit or prepaid rent to the tenant (at the end of the tenancy). Therefore the new owner should make sure that the previous owner transfers all security deposits and prepaid rents along with the property. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-21.(h)(3)
The previous owner is no longer responsible for the tenancy once ALL three conditions are met:
Hartford, Connecticut CT
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law, the landlord cannot force the tenant to pay rent (or security deposit) by cash or electronic fund transfer. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-4c
The tenant has to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and payment method. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-3a
By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid at the same day of every month for a week-to-week or month-to-month tenancy. Rent is to be collected at the rental property in equal installments.
Whenever the tenant pays his or her rent in cash, the landlord must provide a receipt stating the payment date, amount received and payment purpose.
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-15(a), the landlord may charge a late fee in the following situations:
If the tenant pays the rent by check, the tenant won't be liable for damages if the check bounces. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-565a.(d)
If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement. While there are no state laws on late fees, landlords cannot overcharge or impose unfair terms. Otherwise the tenant can refuse to pay and challenge the late fees in court.
Most states consider reasonable late fees to be around 3 to 5% of the rent amount.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
The Connecticut Landlord Tenant Act Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-7.(a) requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition:
Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-11 also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition:
If the landlord fails in his or her responsibilities, the tenant may terminate the lease (if it affects the tenant's health and safety). Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-12
The tenant must give the landlord a written notice stating the problem and give the landlord 15 days to fix it... or else the tenant will terminate the lease in 15 days. If the problem is fixed within 15 days (of the landlord receiving this notice), the tenancy shall continue.
If a similar violation occurs within six months (of the previous violation), the tenant may simply give the landlord a written notice to terminate the lease and move out after 14 days. The notice must state the violation date and when the tenant intends to terminate the lease and move out - This termination date must be within 30 days of the violation.
Note: This Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-12 does not apply to a week to week tenancy.
If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant has three choices:
1. The tenant can make repairs and deduct the cost from rent
The tenant has to inform the landlord in writing that he or she intends to pay the utility bill(s) and deduct the cost from the rent. The tenant should keep the receipts for all related costs.
2. The tenant can move to substitute housing for the time being
The tenant can give the landlord written notice that he or she is moving into substitute housing. The tenant doesn't have to pay rent until the problem is fixed. If the substitute housing costs more, the tenant can ask the landlord to pay for the difference as long as the amount recovered does not exceed one month's rent.
The tenant may move out immediately if the same violation happened within the past six months.
3. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages
If the problems caused by the landlord are deemed to be willful, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement and sue the landlord to recover up to two times actual damages or two month's rent, depending on whichever is greater. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-13
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-16.(a), the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons:
For the above situations, the landlord must inform the tenant in advance before entering the property. For most states, informing the tenant 24 hours in advance is considered reasonable. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-16.(c)
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:
The tenant cannot deny access if the landlord has a valid reason to enter the property. Otherwise the landlord can EITHER
In addition, the landlord may also sue the tenant for actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-18
The landlord must have a valid reason and obtain the tenant's permission (whenever required) to enter the property. If the landlord fails to do so or harasses the tenant, the tenant can EITHER
In addition, the tenant may also sue the landlord for one month's rent PLUS court costs and attorney fees. If actual damages exceeds one month's rent, the tenant may sue for the full amount. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-18a
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
East Haven, Connecticut CT
Connecticut landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.
There is no specific Connecticut landlord tenant statutes on how many days in advance to inform the other party if you are terminating a week to week or month to month tenancy. We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the number of days between themselves and include it in the written rental agreement.
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Landlord failed to maintain property
Landlord entered property illegally
Tenant or dependent is a victim of domestic abuse
Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident
If the tenant or tenant dependent's is a victim of domestic violence, he or she may terminate the rental agreement early without penalties by submitting the following documents to the landlord:
If the property is badly damaged by fire, disasters or (unavoidable) accidents, the tenant can move out immediately THEN notify the landlord within 14 days that he or she intends to terminate the tenancy. This notice must be in writing and the tenancy will terminate once the tenant moves out. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-14
After the tenant moves out, the landlord has to return all security deposits and prepaid rents (after deductions) to the tenant. According to Connecticut landlord tenant law, the tenant shall not be charged for rent once the tenant moves out.
If the property is still habitable, the tenant shall stay out of any damaged area. The rent amount shall be reduced based on the extent of property damage.
If you are the tenant, your notice must contain the following:
If you're the landlord, your notice must ALSO contain the following:
The tenant can deliver the notice to the landlord in person or mail it to the address where the rent is paid.
The landlord can serve the notice to the tenant in the following ways:
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
15 + 3 days: Connecticut landlord law requires the landlord to send the tenant two notices - A 15 day notice to remedy followed by a 3 day notice to quit (see Tenant Violated Tenancy Agreement or Didn't Perform Duties below for more details).
Tenant did not pay rent
9 + 3 days
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
15 + 3 days
Tenant deliberately caused property damage
15 + 3 days
Tenant harassed, abused or assaulted another tenant or subtenant
15 + 3 days
Tenant was involved in illegal activities on property
15 + 3 days
Tenant abandoned the property
Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.
If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
If the tenant is late in the rent payments AND the *grace period has passed, the landlord can send tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy. *Once the rent is due, the tenant has a grace period of 9 days to pay the rent. This is lowered to 4 days for a week to week tenancy. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-15a
This notice must state the rent amount owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out.
If the rent is paid within the grace period, the tenant may stay. If the landlord accepts any late rent payment (knowing that the rent is overdue), the landlord cannot terminate the tenancy for late (or non) payment of rent. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-19
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a 15 day written notice to remedy or quit. *Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-15
Similarly if the tenant fails to perform his or her duties (as required by Connecticut landlord tenant law) in a significant manner, the landlord can also send the tenant a 15 day written notice to remedy or quit.
The 15-day notice to terminate tenancy may be used for serious nuisances which include (but are not limited to):
This notice to remedy or quit must state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant's violation can be corrected and if the tenant corrects the problem within 15 days, then the tenancy shall continue.
If the tenant fails to correct the problem within 15 days, the landlord shall send him or her a written three day notice to quit stating that the tenant has three days to move out or the landlord shall proceed with eviction. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-23
However if the tenant violates the tenancy agreement (or fails in his or her duty) in a similar manner within six months, the landlord can evict the tenant by sending him or her a written three day notice. In this case, the tenant must move out. The landlord can give an immediate eviction notice if the tenant engaged in vice activities or illegal drug sales.
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing.
If the landlord forces the tenant to move out (with the unlawful methods above) or shuts off utilities, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement and sue the landlord for up to two month's rent or two times the amount of actual damages (whichever is greater). Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-13.(a)(3)
According to Connecticut landlord tenant law Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-11b.(a), the tenants are considered to have abandoned property when the tenants have removed their belongings and EITHER of the following has occurred:
If all the tenants have abandoned the property, the landlord may mail a written notice to each tenant's last known address (with a return receipt requested). The notice must state the following:
If this notice is returned as undeliverable OR if the tenant fails to contact the landlord within 10 days of receiving it... the landlord may re-enter and take possession of the rental property. The tenancy will also be terminated.
If the tenant abandoned the property and left his or her personal belongings behind, the landlord must inform the tenant where the belongings are stored AND give the tenant at least 30 days to remove them. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-11b.(d)
If the tenant does not remove the belongings within 30 days, the landlord may dispose belongings.
Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law: Connecticut General Statutes Title 47a - Landlord and Tenant
Connecticut Landlord Tenant Handbook: Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in Connecticut
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.