Eviction Laws in Connecticut

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Eviction laws in Connecticut stipulate that landlords must serve a formal “notice to quit” giving three full days’ notice for the tenant to move out for unpaid rent. For breaches of lease terms, tenants are entitled to 15 days’ notice to resolve the issue before being evicted.
Tenants and landlords alike need to understand their rights and the laws around eviction. Given the state of the housing market, rent is becoming harder to meet, and eviction rates have been on the rise in the state.
The team behind Jerry, the comparison app for car and renters insurance, has put together this guide as an introduction to Connecticut eviction laws.
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Connecticut eviction 101: the four ways you can be evicted

There are four types of evictions in Connecticut, each with slightly different requirements and timelines. One thing that is consistent is that landlords must provide a formal notice to quit to the tenant giving them at least three full days to move out. 
Landlords can legally evict a tenant for the following causes:
  • Failure to pay rent: If a tenant fails to pay their rent, then the landlord must give them three days’ notice to pay the due amount to avoid eviction. If the rent is paid within the three days, they cannot be evicted. 
  • Breach of tenant’s statutory duties: Tenants have a legal responsibility to refrain from creating a nuisance or defacing the premises, obey the health and fire codes, and keep the premises clean and safe. If a tenant fails to uphold these responsibilities, they must be given a 15-day notice to rectify the issue. If the issue is resolved, they cannot be evicted.
  • Breach of lease terms: Landlords can impose additional terms on a lease, such as not smoking, not keeping pets, etc. If you breach these terms, you’ll have 15 days’ notice to rectify the issue. If you resolve the issue, you cannot be evicted (unless you commit another breach in the following six months).
  • Illegal conduct or serious nuisance: Conducting illegal activity like gambling, selling drugs, prostitution, or an assault on the landlord or other tenant is grounds for eviction. In this case, the landlord does not have to give notice for the tenant to resolve the behavior. 
If a landlord does not have a valid reason listed above, then the tenant cannot be evicted. However, landlords may choose not to renew your lease when it expires. This is true regardless of whether the lease operates monthly or yearly. 
Connecticut law does not specify any requirements for how much notice a landlord must give to evict a tenant based on lapse of time. However, they must give at three full days, or until the end of the agreed term (whichever is greater) for the tenant to move out.
Tenants that are elderly (62 or older), blind, or disabled, and live in a building with five or more separate dwelling units cannot be evicted because their lease is expiring. The eviction must be for a valid reason.
Regardless of the reason for eviction, landlords must serve a formal notice to quit through the state marshall in order to proceed with the eviction. If the tenant doesn’t move out within the appropriate period, the landlord must file an eviction lawsuit. Even if the landlord wins, the only person that can remove anyone from a rental unit is a sheriff or constable.
Key Takeaway In order to evict a tenant, landlords must have a valid reason or the agreed rental term must be coming to an end.

A timeline of eviction in Connecticut

Tenants are entitled to three days’ notice before an eviction lawsuit can be filed. Here’s what you can expect from the eviction process and some estimates about how long each step takes:
StepHow long it typically takesWhat to expect
Written notice from landlord3-30 daysLandlords must send a formal notice to quit outlining the reasons for eviction.
Summons and ComplaintTypically a few days after filingIf the tenant does not move out, they can be served with an eviction lawsuit. The tenant must return the summons at least three days before the listed return date.
AppearanceWithin two days of return dateWithin two days of the return date, the tenant must respond to the summons by filing an appearance with the court.
Tenant responseWithin two days after the return dateIn addition to filing an appearance, the tenant should file a summary process answer within two days of the return date of the summons.
HearingTypically one to two weeks after the hearing requestAfter the complaint has been answered, a trial will be held if the dispute has not already been settled with a housing mediator.
EvictionWithin five days after hearingIf the landlord wins the lawsuit, the tenant can file for an appeal, or else must pay any dues and move out (or be evicted by the sheriff).
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Evictions can be a lengthy process and usually take over a month from the serving of the notice to the actual eviction. Any failure to show or missed deadlines from the tenant will typically cause the court to favor the landlord.  

How to resist eviction in Connecticut

If your landlord is trying to evict you, there are a few ways you can address the issue:
  • Address the cause of the eviction: The simplest way to fight an eviction is to resolve the reason for the notice. If you can borrow money to pay the owed rent, fix any damaged property, or resolve any behavioral complaints, then your landlord cannot evict you.
  • Do your research: Knowing eviction law will put you in a better position to make sure your rights are being respected, call out any procedural mistakes that your landlord might make, and argue your stance better in court.
  • Seek legal counsel: If you are being unfairly evicted, seeking assistance or advice from experienced lawyers can help you make sure you submit all required documents correctly and give you the best chances at defending yourself successfully.
Remember, you can only be evicted for a few legitimate reasons in Connecticut. If you feel like you are being evicted unjustly or due to discrimination, you can fight the eviction lawsuit or even sue your landlord. If you win the case, you could be awarded court fees and potential damages.

How to save money on car and renters insurance

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