Most people have had to enter into a lease or rental agreement with a landlord at some point in their lives. Some of us have also been the landlord. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant it’s important to know your legal rights and duties. When you sign a lease, you are agreeing to its terms, which can vary. If a term is prohibited by law (such as “tenant agrees to have no Muslims enter the apartment”), then it’s unenforceable.
For tenants, some of the biggest problems often involve getting repairs done and getting their security deposit back. For landlords, receiving the rent on time and no major damages to the unit are important. Many states, including Connecticut put limits on the amount and return of the security deposit, as well as time limits on when repairs must be made. The most important things to remember as a tenant is to pay your rent on time, even if repairs haven’t been made, and make your repair requests in writing.
The following table outlines some of the main lease and rental agreement laws in Connecticut.
|Code Sections||Connecticut General Statutes, Title 47: Landlord and Tenant and
Section 46a-64c: Discriminatory Housing Practices Prohibited
|Terms of Leases||When a tenant overstays their lease, he or she is considered a “holdover tenant.” This isn’t evidence of a new lease, instead the rental converts to a month-to-month tenancy.|
|Security Deposits||Security deposits in Connecticut are usually limited to two months’ rent. However, for tenants over 62, the limit is one month’s rent.
Connecticut law requires interest is paid on security deposits. For 2015, the interest rate is 0.08%. Previously, the law required a higher interest rate of 5.25% for seniors and disabled persons, but that was changed in 2013.
In addition, the deposit must be refunded in full or with a list of itemized deductions taken from it and any remaining funds within 30 days. It’s the tenant’s responsibility to provide a forwarding address before they move out. If provided after the move out, the security deposit isn’t due until within 15 days of receiving the tenant’s new address.
|Discrimination||Federal and state fair housing laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of:
|Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act||Connecticut has adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act.|
If you’re having problems with your landlord or you’re interested in evicting your tenant, you should consult with an experienced Connecticut landlord/tenant lawyer. If you’re low-income and can’t afford a lawyer, you can contact your local Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut office.
Note: State laws are revised frequently, contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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