Recent Changes in Connecticut
Landlord-Tenant Law that
You NEED to Know
On October 1, 2017, four changes to Connecticut Landlord and Tenant Law became effective. Below, we examine the new and amended laws and what they mean to landlords:
CHANGE # 1: PA 17-236. Section 17. Landlords must reduce the security deposit being held to one month's rent, upon request, when a tenant turns 62.
Under Connecticut law, a security deposit is "any advance rental payment...except an advance payment for the first month's rent or a deposit for a key or any special equipment."
If your tenant is younger than 62, you can require a security deposit no greater than two months' rent. However, if your tenant is 62 years or older, you can demand no greater than one month's rent as a security deposit. See C.G.S. §47a-21(b).
Now, as of October 1, 2017, when any tenant turns 62, you must turn any portion of the tenant's security deposit that is greater than one month's rent upon the tenant's request.
You should also know that violating the laws regarding security deposits could subject you to punitive damages, attorney's fees, and possible criminal charges.
CHANGE # 2: PA 17-171 shortens the time tenants must wait when a landlord fails to provide essential services before securing substitute housing from two business days to 48 hours.
Through a relatively small change in the law, tenants may now secure substitute housing at the landlord's expense 48 hours after notifying their landlord of the landlord's failure to provide any required essential service (such as heat, running water, hot water, electricity, or gas). This is a reduction from two business days. See C.G.S. §47a-13(a).
On October 1, 2017, four changes to Connecticut Landlord and Tenant Law became effective. Below, we examine the second of the new and amended laws and what they mean to landlords:
CHANGE # 3: PA 17-26. Section 7. This NEW law subjects a landlord to criminal penalties for larceny if the landlord collects rent after a foreclosure when the landlord has no legal right to do so.
This new law applies to both commercial and residential landlords. The criminal charges you may face depend on how much rent is collected in violation of the law. The charges range from a Class C Misdemeanor to a Class B Felony which all include the possibility of a jail sentence.
CHANGE #4: PA 17-22 changes the process for disposing of a deceased tenant’s possessions if the tenant was the sole occupant of the rental unit.
Handling the possessions of a deceased single tenant has always been an unpleasant challenge for landlords. This amendment to the law provides a potentially less expensive and quicker alternative to waiting for the opening of a deceased tenant’s estate to bring a summary process (eviction) action against the tenant’s personal representative.
can now obtain an emergency contact from the tenant, in addition to the tenant’s next of kin, who would be directed to contact the probate court regarding the process to reclaim the deceased tenant’s possessions if this unfortunate event occurs.
The alternative process provided by the new provisions of this law allows a landlord to file a certificate obtained from the probate court with an application to the housing court for an execution directing a state marshal to remove the deceased tenant’s possessions without having to wait for the deceased tenant’s next of kin to file an application with the probate court. C.G.S. § 47a-11d.