Connecticut Landlord Tenant Laws

This is a summary of Connecticut Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the General Statutes of Connecticut and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Connecticut landlord-tenant laws, Connecticut eviction laws, and Connecticut renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing Connecticut Landlord-Tenant Laws

Connecticut Lease Terms Provisions

Security Deposits

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
    The security deposit cannot exceed two month’s rent for tenants under 62 years old, and it cannot exceed one month’s rent for tenants over 62 years old. If tenant turns 62 after paying security deposit what is more than one month’s rent, tenant has right to get refund of excess upon request. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(b)).
  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

Yes. Landlords must pay interest at a rate set annually by the Banking Commissioner on security deposits.  Landlords shall not increase the rent because of the requirement to pay interest on the deposit. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(i))

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

Yes. Landlords must immediately deposit the entire amount of any security deposit received by such landlord from each tenant into one or more escrow accounts established or maintained in a financial institution for the benefit of each tenant. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(h))

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There is no Connecticut law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge. 

  • How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

30 days after the termination of the tenancy, or 15 days after the tenant provides a forwarding address, whichever is later. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(d)(2))

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover accrued rent and to repair any damages to the property caused by tenants’ failures to comply with their duties (see Tenant’s Duties). (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(d))

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. A written statement itemizing the nature and amount of damages deducted from the security deposit must be delivered with the same time frame as the returned portion of the security deposit. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(d)(2))

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

Yes, for cash payments only, landlords must provide a receipt stating the date of the payment, the amount received, and the purpose for which the payment was made. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-3a(c))

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no Connecticut law specifying record-keeping requirements.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

If the landlord violates the rules for security deposits, the landlord is liable for twice the amount of any security deposit, except that, if the only violation is the failure to deliver the accrued interest, the landlord will only be liable for ten dollars or twice the amount of the accrued interest, whichever is greater.  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-21(d)(2))

Connecticut Rent Laws

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. There are no rent control laws in Connecticut. However, town, city or borough may, through its legislative body, create a fair rent commission to make studies and investigations, conduct hearings and receive complaints regarding rental charges on housing accommodations. ( Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 7-148b).  

  • When is rent due?

Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. Unless they agree to a different arrangement, rent is payable at the dwelling unit, at the beginning of the month and will be paid in equal monthly installments. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-3a(a)-(b))

Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

Rent does not need to be paid using a certain method of payment, but landlords cannot require that tenants pay rent or a security deposit using electronic funds transfer as the exclusive form of payment.  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-4c)

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. There is no Connecticut law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

Yes. Landlords may not charge a late fee until 9 days (in the case of a one-week tenancy-4 days) after rent is due. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-15a, Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-4(8))

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no Connecticut law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Can landlords charge returned check fees?

Yes. There is no Connecticut law forbidding returned check fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

Connecticut Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?

No. There is no Connecticut law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. However, landlords cannot raise your rent in the middle of your lease. Landlord can increase rent if condition of dwelling unit was caused by the lack of due care by tenant or another person of tenant’s household, or if property taxes or other maintenance or operating costs substantially increased. Such increase must not exceed the prorated portion of the net increase in taxes or costs. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-20a(b)).  If tenant resides in a building consisting of 5 or more separate dwelling units and he/she is 62 years or older, or an individual with mental or physical disability, he/she can bring an action to Superior Court to contest a rent increase (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-23c(c)).

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no Connecticut law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

  • What notice is required to terminate a lease?

Yes, landlords must provide 3-days notice for termination of leases of any term(Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-23)

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in Connecticut law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
    • To inspect the premises. 
    • To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
    • To supply necessary or agreed services. 
    • To show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-16(a))
  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

Landlords must give tenants reasonable written or oral notice and may enter only at reasonable times. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-16(c))

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?

Landlord’s Duties  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-7(a))

  • Landlords must comply with applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition.
  • Landlords must keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
  • Landlords must maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
  • Landlords must provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste and arrange for their removal.
  • Landlords must supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-7(a))
  • Upon tenant’s request, landlord shall change locks to a tenant’s dwelling unit or permit tenant to change them when tenant is named as a protected person in state or foreign protective or restraining order (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-7b).

Tenant’s Duties  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-11)

  • Tenants must comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
  • Tenants must dispose of all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste cleanly and safely to the place provided by landlord.
  • Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures and appliances as clean as their condition permits.
  • Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
  • Tenants must not willfully or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises; or permit any person to do so.
  • Tenants and their guests must conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises or constitute a nuisance or serious nuisance.
  • Tenants must not permit a member of their household who has a judgment entered for serious nuisance by using the premises for the illegal sale of drugs to resume occupancy without consent of the landlord. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-11)
  • Tenants must promptly notify landlord orally or in writing when tenants know or reasonably suspect that his/her dwelling unit is infected with bed bugs. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-7a(b)).

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and addresses of: 
    • the person authorized to manage the premises.
    • the person authorized to receive all notices, demands, and service of process. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-6)
  • Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65)

Connecticut Renters’ Rights

If a landlord’s failure to comply with the rental agreement or the landlord’s duties materially affects health and safety, the renter may deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the issue(s). If the landlord does not remedy the breach within 15 days of receiving notice,  the lease will terminate.  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-12(a))

  • Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

Yes. If a landlord fails to supply running water, hot water, heat, sanitary facilities, or other essential services, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may immediately procure reasonable amounts of the essential service(s) and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-13(a), Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-4a, Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-14h).

  • What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Connecticut renter’s rights?

Connecticut law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or maintaining an action for possession if the tenant has complained to a governmental agency, requested the landlord to make repairs, or instituted an action in court against the landlord for failing to meet the landlord’s duties; or if any municipal agency or official has filed a notice, complaint;  or if the tenant becomes a member of a tenant’s union or similar organization. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-20)

Connecticut Eviction Laws

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Connecticut eviction laws?
    • Nonpayment of rent 
    • Violation of the lease terms / rental agreement 
    • Intentional misrepresentation of a material fact in a rental agreement or application
    • Illegal activity
    • Owner’s personal use of the rental unit
    • Discontinuance of use of the rental unit
    • Refusal to accept a rent increase
    • The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-23)
  • What notice must landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process in Connecticut?
    • For all evictions except those based on material noncompliance with the lease/rental agreement, the landlord must give a 3-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-23)
  • For evictions based on material noncompliance with the lease/rental agreement. the landlord must give a 15-day notice to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-15)
  • Are landlords permitted to recover damages from an evicted tenant?

Yes.  In Connecticut, if a landlord terminates a lease because the tenant committed a breach of the rental agreement, the landlord may recover damages including the amount of rent agreed to by the parties but unpaid by the tenant.  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-11c)

  • Are landlords permitted to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. If a landlord willful fails to supply essential services, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement and recover an amount not more than two months’ periodic rent or double the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security and prepaid rent and interest required. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-13(a))

COVID-19 Changes to Connecticut Landlord-Tenant Laws

Squatter’s rights in Connecticut

Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.

Connecticut has no specific laws recognizing squatters.

If squatter possesses the property for 15 years then he/she may claim adverse possession (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §52-575).

Government 

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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