The state of Connecticut passed a set of rules aimed at protecting landlords and tenants. These laws can be found under Title 47a of Connecticut’s General Statutes. The goal of these rules is to define the rights and responsibilities of both parties in rental related activities. Learn eight rights of Connecticut landlords and tenants.
The Right to Fair Housing in Connecticut
A landlord has the right to select a tenant based on qualifying standards that they have for all tenants. This could include qualifications such as income or number of people per bedroom.
A landlord is not allowed to discriminate against a tenant. Discrimination means refusing to rent to a tenant or attempting to evict a tenant because they are a member of a certain class of people.
The Federal Fair Housing Act was created to protect certain classes of people from being discriminated against in housing-related activities. The seven protected classes include:
- Disability (physical and mental)
- Familial status
- National origin
Tenants in Connecticut are protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act, as well as by 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:
- Gender identity or expression
- Lawful source of income
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
Connecticut's Security Deposit Law
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.
Rent Disclosure Rules in Connecticut
Sec. 47a-1; 47a-4c; 47a-15a.; 47a-23-to 47a-23e
Landlords are required to disclose certain things about the rent in Connecticut. This includes:
- When Rent is Due:
- 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.
- Forms of Payment the Landlord Will Accept as Rent:
- Landlords may accept cash as long as they provide a receipt and cannot exclusively require tenants to use electronic deposit to pay the rent.
- Grace Period:
- 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.
A Tenant’s Rights After Landlord Retaliation
Sec. 47a-20 - 47 a-20a; 47a-33.
Connecticut's 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 as if the issue the tenant was complaining about was caused by the tenant’s own negligence or deliberate act.
Rights of Domestic Violence Victims in Connecticut
Sec 46b-38a; 47a-11e; 53a-70; 53a-70a; 53a-70b; 53a-71; 53a-72a; 53a-72b; 53a-73a
Connecticut landlord tenant law allows tenants 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 occurred. Connecticut law includes protections for those who have been victims of family violence, as well as those who have been victims of sexual assault.
The Right to Landlord Entry in Connecticut
Sec. 47a-16; 47a-16a.; 47a-18; and 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.
Withholding Rent for Repairs in Connecticut
Sec. 47a-4a;. 47a-7. and 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 they must pay their weekly or monthly rent amount into the court. The court will go over the complaint and will rule in favor of the landlord or tenant. The tenant may be entitled to additional monetary damages.
Right to Terminate a Lease Agreement
Sec. 47a-12.;47a-13.;47a-16; 47a-16a.; 47a-18.; 47a-18a.; 46b-38a,; 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.
- 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.
The information contained in this article is not tax or legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law. For current tax or legal advice, please consult with an accountant or an attorney.