State Rules and Regulations for Connecticut Rental Properties and Landlords

According to Connecticut law (Connecticut General Statutes Title 47a), a lease can be written or oral. Wherever there is a valid lease in Connecticut, the law automatically grants certain rights and privileges to tenants, such as the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to seek out housing without discrimination.

Landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to collect rent in a timely manner and the right to deduct for damages to property that exceed normal wear and tear.

Official Rules and Regulations in Connecticut

Landlord Responsibilities in Connecticut

  • They must provide a clean and well-maintenanced apartment when the tenant moves in.
  • Keep all common areas such as halls, meeting rooms, laundry rooms etc. cleaned and maintained.
  • Common areas must be kept well-lit and safe.
  • Landlords are responsible for making sure that all plumbing, and heating systems work well.
  • They must be sure to repair all of these commodities as well as make sure that floors, ceilings, foundation, stairwells etc. are kept safe and useable.
  • There must be at least two outlets in each room, working fire and smoke alarms, maintained and usable locks, fire exits, peepholes to see outside the door and more.
  • Landlords must be sure to offer an extermination service available if the need arises.
  • Trash services are also required to be available or at least some other means of trash disposal, including an option for recycling in some cases.
  • There should be both an electronic and non-electronic option for tenants to pay their rent.
  • If landlords are responsible for the utilities or repairs, they must be completed or paid on time.

Connecticut Landlord Tenant Laws – Tenant Responsibilities

In addition to paying rent in a timely manner, Connecticut tenants must:

  • Keep the unit in a clean and habitable condition
  • Make small repairs and maintenance
  • Keep fixtures clean and sanitary
  • Tenants are required to keep their noise levels low and maintain an atmosphere that does not disturb or irritate their neighbors
  • Follow all move-out procedures appropriately

Security Deposits  and Connecticut Regulations

  • Security Deposit Maximum: A maximum of two month’s rent can be chargedfor tenants age 62 or younger. A maximum of one month’s rent can be charged for tenants older than 62 years. Tenants who are older than 62 years may request a refund for any security deposit that exceeds one month’s rent. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(b)(1) and (2))
  • Security Deposit Interest: Required, and the interest is to be paid at an annual rate set by the Connecticut Banking Commissioner. The tenant forfeits their right to interest for any month in which rent is late more than 10 days, unless a late fee agreed to in the lease is charged. Landlords shall not increase the rent because of the requirement to pay interest on the deposit. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(i))
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: Required (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(h))
  • Pet Deposits: No statute
  • Non-Refundable Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 30 days or within 15 days of the tenant providing their forwarding address, whichever is later. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(d)(2))
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit: The security deposit may only be used to pay for unpaid rent; utility payments owed to the landlord, and damage caused by the tenant’s failure to comply with their obligations (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(13) and (d))
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(d)(2))
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: A receipt for cash payments is required, and the receipt must state the amount, date, and purpose of the payment. The Banking Commissioner may also request that the landlord provide the name of each bank where deposits are held, as well as the account number of each escrow account, within seven days. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-3a(c) and §§ 47a-21(h))
  • Failure to Comply: If the landlord fails to comply with the rules for returning the deposit in Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(d)(2), the landlord is liable for up to twice the security deposit. If the violation is for failing to return the interest, the landlord is liable only for twice the interest. The Banking Commissioner is empowered to investigate claims of violations and may fine the landlord for each offense, the amounts differing depending up on the violations. See statute for details. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-21(d)(2) and (j) and (k))

Connecticut Housing Discrimination

Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, religion, or disability. These rules do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Connecticut state law adds additional protection for tenants on the basis of marital status, age, ancestry, lawful source of income, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Discriminatory acts & penalties. Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights handles housing discrimination complaints in the state. The following behaviors have been identified as potentially discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected group:

  • Refusing to rent, negotiate, or sell a house or rental unit
  • Falsely denying unit availability
  • Providing different terms, conditions, or privileges
  • Inducing a tenant to sell for the purpose of personal profit (blockbusting)
  • Providing different brokerage or financial services

The Commission does not outline specific punishments. However, they do give infringing landlords a chance to correct their behavior and avoid further action from the Commission.

Connecticut Regulations Governing Notice of Entry

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: Three-day notice required. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: Three-day notice required. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice.(Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: Three-day notice required. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: Three-day notice required. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23)
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute for 24-hour lease termination. Three-day notice is required to terminate a lease. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23)
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Notice of Termination of Week-to-Week Leases for Nonpayment: Three-day notice is required, which can be given if rent is not paid within the four-day statutory grace period for week-to-week leases. A notice to quit terminates the lease for that week and converts the tenancy to a “tenancy at sufferance,” which lays the grounds for eviction. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23(d))
  • Notice of Termination of All Other Leases for Nonpayment: Three-day notice required, which can be given if rent is not paid within the nine-day statutory grace period. For month-to-month leases, a notice to quit will terminate the lease for that month and convert the tenancy to a “tenancy at sufferance,” which lays the grounds for eviction. See statute for restrictions and required form of notice. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-23(d))
  • Termination for Lease Violation: A 15-day written notice specifying the violation is required. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-15(a))
  • Required Notice before Entry: Reasonable written or oral notice is required, and entry is allowed only at “reasonable” times, except in cases of emergency. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-16(c))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-16(a))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-16(a))
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-16(b))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Allowed. Tenant must give notice of any anticipated extended absence, and landlord may enter at reasonable times to inspect the premises, make repairs, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services or show the unit to prospective purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, or contractors. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-16a)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No. The only legal way a landlord can remove a tenant is through a court eviction process called “Summary Process.” See “Court Related” section for more details. (Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in Connecticut (Page 16) (pdf))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No. If the landlord willfully fails to supply essential services, the tenant may terminate the lease and sue for up to two months’ rent or double damages, whichever is greater. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-13)

Evictions in Connecticut

Connecticut landlords are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons, among others:

  1. Failure to vacate at the end of a lease – If a lease ends, tenants must immediately vacate the premises. If they do not, the landlord may file for eviction immediately.
  2. Nonpayment of rent – If a Connecticut tenant fails to pay rent then the landlord may issue them a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If they do not pay by the end of the 3 days, then the landlord may initiate formal eviction proceedings.
  3. Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs, then the landlord may issue a 15-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. If the terms of the notice are not met, then the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
  4. Illegal acts – Connecticut law highlights several illegal activities that are grounds for eviction, including prostitution, illegal gambling, and illegal sale of alcohol or drugs. If a landlord has documentation of illegal activities occurring on the property, then they may issue a 30-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit.

At-will tenants are subject to immediate eviction when they receive a notice, regardless of their rental payment period. It is illegal for landlords to evict tenants in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.

Helpful Links

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Housing Authorities

Realtor, Landlord, and Tenant Associations

These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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