Tenants' Rights in Connecticut

8 Rights of Tenants in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut has certain rules which apply to landlords and tenants. These landlord tenant laws encompass Title 47a of Connecticut’s General Statutes. The purpose of these laws is to make it clear as to what is expected of both parties in the landlord tenant relationship and what rights each party has in specific situations. Here are eight rights of tenants in Connecticut.

Connecticut Tenant’s Right to Fair Housing

A landlord owns the rental property, therefore, the landlord should be allowed to place whatever tenant he or she chooses into the property, right? This is true to a certain extent. The landlord has the right to place a tenant based on qualifying standards that he or she has for all tenants. This could include qualifications such as income or number of people per bedroom. The landlord, however, is not allowed to discriminate against a tenant.

Discrimination means refusing to rent to a tenant or attempting to evict a tenant because he or she is a member of a certain class of people. The Federal Fair Housing Act is a nationwide law that was enacted in 1968. The purpose of this act is to protect certain classes of people from being discriminated against in housing related activities. These activities include renting or buying a home, as well as obtaining a mortgage. The seven classes of people protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act include:

  • Color
  • Disability (Physical and Mental)
  • Familial Status
  • National Origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex

Tenants in the state of Connecticut are not only protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act, but they are also protected under Connecticut’s own Fair Housing Law. Connecticut’s law protects seven classes in addition to the seven already protected under Federal Fair Housing. These classes include:

  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Creed
  • Gender Identity or Expression
  • Lawful Source of Income
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation

See Also:

Connecticut Tenant’s Right to the Security Deposit

Connecticut tenants have certain rights when it comes to their security deposits. These rights are included in the state’s landlord tenant statutes. Landlords in Connecticut must follow strict requirements when it comes to how much they can collect from a tenant, how they must store the deposit and when the landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit.

For example, in Connecticut, a landlord can only charge a tenant a maximum of two months’ rent as a security deposit. An exception to this rule is for tenants over the age of 62. In this case, the landlord can only charge a maximum of one month’s rent as a security deposit.

Another right of tenants in Connecticut when it comes to the security deposit is the way it is stored. The deposit must be placed in an interest bearing account in the state and the interest on the account must be paid to the tenant yearly. In addition, landlords must usually return the tenant’s security deposit, minus any lawful deductions, within 30 days of tenant move-out.

Connecticut Tenant’s Right to Rent Disclosure

Sec. 47a-1.- Sec. 47a-4c; Sec. 47a-15a.; Sec. 47a-23-to 47a-23e

Connecticut landlord tenant law grants tenants certain rights when it comes to required rent disclosures. This includes when the rent is due, forms of payment the landlord will accept as rent and grace period.

In Connecticut, rent is due at the beginning of the week for weekly tenants, and beginning of the month for monthly tenants, unless the lease states differently. Landlords may accept cash as long as they provide a receipt and cannot exclusively require tenants to use electronic deposit to pay the rent. Connecticut offers tenants a grace period when paying their rent. Weekly tenants have four days after the due date to pay their rent and monthly tenants have nine days after the due date to make sure the rent is current.

See Also: Connecticut Tenant's Right to Rent Disclosure

Connecticut Tenant’s Rights After Landlord Retaliation

Sec. 47a-20- Sec. 47 a-20a; Sec. 47a-33.

Connecticut’s Landlord Tenant Statutes aim to clearly define what is lawfully expected of both landlords and tenants in the state. The laws on retaliation serve a three-fold purpose.

First, it lists five legally allowed actions of a tenant, such as complaining about a substantial health violation, that could trigger a landlord to retaliate against the tenant. Second, it lists several actions of a landlord that could be classified as retaliatory, such as increasing a tenant’s rent, if the landlord’s action occurs within six months of the tenant’s complaint. Finally, the law explains the situations where a landlord’s action, such as increasing the rent, would not be classified as retaliation, such is the case if the issue the tenant was complaining about was caused by the tenant’s own negligence or deliberate act.

See Also: Connecticut Tenant's Rights After Landlord Retaliation

Connecticut Tenant’s Rights After Domestic Violence

Sec 46b-38a; Sec. 47a-11e; 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-73a

Connecticut landlord tenant law allows tenant who have been victims of domestic violence to terminate their lease agreement. Certain conditions must still be met, such as giving the landlord proper written notice and providing the proper documentation to prove the violence or assault did occur. Connecticut law includes protections for those who have been victims of family violence, as well as those who have been victims of sexual assault.

See Also: Connecticut Tenant's Rights After Domestic Violence

Connecticut Tenant’s Rights When Landlord Requests Entry

Sec. 47a-16, Sec. 47a-16a., Sec. 47a-18. and Sec. 47a-18a.

Connecticut has rules in place for when and why landlords can enter a tenant’s apartment. Tenants have the right to notice in the state in most situations. There are certain times, such as during an extended absence or an emergency, that a landlord does not have to give this advanced notice. If a landlord enters a tenant’s unit illegally, the tenant could be granted injunctive relief, as well as monetary damages.

Connecticut Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent for Repairs

Sec. 47a-4a., Sec. 47a-7. and Sec. 47a-14h.

If a landlord in Connecticut violates a building or housing code, the tenant may have the right to withhold rent for repairs. The tenant must first file the proper complaints, then must pay their weekly or monthly rent amount into the court. The court will go over the complaint and will rule in the favor of the landlord or tenant. The tenant may be entitled to additional monetary damages.

Connecticut Tenant’s Right to Terminate Lease Agreement

Sec. 47a-12. , Sec. 47a-13., Sec. 47a-16, Sec. 47a-16a., Sec. 47a-18., Sec. 47a-18a.

Sec 46b-38a,, Sec. 47a-11e.  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. App. §§535.  

Under certain circumstances, a tenant in Connecticut may be legally allowed to terminate their lease agreement early. These situations include when a landlord fails to supply necessary services or otherwise violates substantial building and housing codes, if the landlord is harassing the tenant, if the tenant is a victim of domestic violence and if the tenant is a member of the military who has received an active duty notice.

Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law

To view the text of Connecticut’s landlord tenant law, please consult Connecticut General Statutes Annotated §§ Sec 47-a1 through 47a-74.