A landlord who wants to evict a tenant in Connecticut must file an eviction lawsuit (also called a summary process action) against the tenant in court. Connecticut law sets forth all the rules and procedures the landlord must follow when evicting the tenant. Because an eviction is a legal matter, the landlord must carefully follow these rules and procedures, or the eviction may not be valid.
This article will explain the basic rules and procedures all landlords and property managers must follow when evicting a tenant in Connecticut.
In order to evict a tenant in Connecticut, a landlord must have legal cause, such as the tenant failing to pay rent or violating the lease or rental agreement. The tenant can also be evicted for prostitution or gambling. Before starting the eviction lawsuit, the landlord must first terminate the lease or rental agreement. This is done by giving the tenant written notice. The type of notice will be determined by the reason for the eviction.
If a landlord does not have cause to evict a tenant but wishes the tenant to move anyway, the landlord must wait until the tenant’s lease or rental agreement has expired. In some cases, the landlord will still need to give the tenant written notice to move.
If a landlord wishes to end a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant a three-day notice to vacate. This notice must inform the tenant that the tenancy will end in three days and the tenant must move out of the rental unit by this time. If the tenant does not move out by this time, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-23). Connecticut Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy and A Landlord’s Guide to Summary Process (Eviction) have more information.
If a landlord wishes to end a fixed-term lease but the landlord does not have cause to evict the tenant, then the landlord must wait until the lease has expired before expecting the tenant to move. The landlord is not required to give the tenant notice unless the terms of the lease specifically require the landlord to do so. Once the lease ends, the landlord can expect the tenant to move.
Even though the landlord may have a valid legal reason to evict the tenant, the tenant may have a valid legal defense and decide to fight the eviction. Legal defenses for the tenant include the landlord discriminating against the tenant or the landlord failing to maintain the rental unit premises. The tenant’s decision to fight the eviction could increase the cost of the eviction lawsuit and allow the tenant more time to remain living in the rental unit.Tenant Defenses to Evictions in Connecticut has more information on this topic.
It is illegal for a landlord to force a tenant to move out of a rental unit. The only way the landlord can remove the tenant is to win an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. Even then, the landlord is not authorized to actually evict the tenant. Only a state marshal with a court order can do that. Illegal Eviction Procedures in Connecticut has more information.
If the landlord wins an eviction lawsuit, the court will set a date and time for a state marshal to remove the tenant from the rental unit. If the tenant has moved out of the rental unit by that date but has left behind personal property, then the only person authorized to move that personal property is the state marshal. The state marshal will give the tenant notice of where the personal property is being stored and allow the tenant 15 days to claim the property after the eviction. If the tenant does not claim the property within that time, then the state marshal can sell the property at auction (see Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47a-42). Handling a Tenant’s Property in Connecticut: After an Eviction has more information for landlords.
Landlords must carefully follow all the rules and procedures required by Connecticut law when evicting a tenant; otherwise, the eviction may not be valid. Although these rules and procedures may seem burdensome to the landlord, they are there for a reason. Evictions often occur very quickly, and the end result is serious: the tenant has lost a place to live. The rules help ensure the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new home.