Under Connecticut law, landlords are supposed to provide certain information to tenants in the rental agreement. They must also follow relevant statutes in connection with the tenant's tenancy and any eviction of the tenant. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you may be concerned about an eviction. The Connecticut eviction lawyers at Owens, Schine & Nicola can provide you with strong legal representation. We assist residents of Trumbull, Fairfield, Norwalk, Milford, and other communities in matters related to real estate and the landlord-tenant relationship.Termination and Eviction Rules
Landlords and tenants must abide by the Connecticut Landlord and Tenant Act with regard to evictions. A landlord can only lawfully evict a tenant by getting a court order that gives them permission to go forward with the eviction. Also, even before a landlord evicts a tenant, they must provide the tenant with the appropriate notice. The reason for the eviction attempt will dictate the kind of notice and how much notice is needed.Failure to pay Rent
One common reason for an eviction is a tenant not paying rent. A tenant has nine days within which to pay rent after the formal due date under Connecticut General Statutes section 47a-15a. When a tenant does not pay the rent in the grace period, the landlord is allowed to give the tenant a three-day notice, which says that the tenant has three days to move out, or else the landlord will evict them. If a tenant does not take their possessions and go within three days, a landlord is allowed to go forward with an eviction. Our eviction attorneys can help Connecticut landlords make sure that they comply with notice requirements, and we can help tenants hold a landlord accountable for violating them.Lease Violations
Another very common basis for evictions is a lease violation. A tenant who violates a lease must be given 15 days’ notice by a landlord who wants to file an eviction lawsuit. The notice is supposed to say that the tenant has 15 days to fix the lease violation, or there will be a termination of the lease. When a tenant fixes the lease violation but perpetrates the same violation within a six-month period, the landlord does not need to give another 15-day notice. Instead, the landlord can simply give a three-day unconditional notice to quit. If the tenant does not move out within those three days, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
When a tenant does not fix the violation, the landlord can terminate the lease. However, the landlord must still provide the tenant with a three-day unconditional notice to quit, letting the tenant know that they must take their possessions and go within three days or else face eviction proceedings.The Process for Evictions
When a tenant has not moved out of a rental unit by the end of a three-day notice to quit, the landlord can file a complaint, writ, and summons with the court in the judicial district where the rental is located. The court sets a hearing, at which both the tenant and the landlord can appear. A tenant may challenge the eviction, and the judge makes the final ruling about the eviction. Our Connecticut eviction attorneys can represent either party at this hearing.A Tenant's Right to Withhold Rent
Landlords are supposed to arrange important repairs under Connecticut General Statutes section 47a-7, including those that maintain the rental unit in a fit and habitable condition and those that keep the rental in compliance with housing and building codes that affect safety and health. When they fail to do this, tenants are allowed to exercise their right to repair and deduct. If a landlord fails to abide by its obligations and does not provide a critical service like running water, and the tenant has given the landlord notice, the tenant may repair and deduct. In other words, the tenant can arrange for the service and deduct the cost from his or her rent. Alternatively, the tenant can get different housing until the landlord addresses the problem. When the failure to provide the service is purposeful, the tenant may terminate the lease and sue for a maximum of two months’ rent.Security Deposits
Rules must be followed after an eviction as well. Generally, a landlord is only allowed to charge two months of rent as a security deposit. The landlord only has the later of 30 days after a tenant moves or 15 days after getting the tenant's forwarding address to return the security deposit.Contact an Eviction Lawyer in Connecticut
Evictions may not be valid when the rules in the Connecticut Landlord and Tenant Act are not followed, but sometimes tenants stay on the premises unlawfully. If you are a landlord or a tenant concerned about an impending eviction, you should consult an experienced attorney to get advice for your situation. Owens, Schine & Nicola represents clients in Trumbull, Fairfield, Norwalk, Milford, and many other communities in Connecticut. Call Owens, Schine & Nicola at (203) 375-0600 or contact us via our online form for an appointment. We also handle matters related to residential and commercial real estate.