Before signing the lease on your rental in Connecticut, it’s best to familiarize yourself with some basic points about your rights as a tenant. Here is an overview of what you need to keep in mind about landlord tenant law in CT.
The right to fair housing
A landlord has the right to select their tenants based on standards that apply to all tenants. A landlord cannot discriminate or refuse rent to a tenant based on the following, according to the Federal Fair Housing Act:
- Disability (physical and mental)
- Familial status
- National origin
Additionally, tenants are also protected by Connecticut’s Fair Housing Law, which safeguards against discrimination based on the following:
- Gender identity or expression
- Lawful source of income
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
Required Landlord Disclosures
A landlord must disclose the following information in the tenant’s lease or rental agreement:
- Security deposit details. In Connecticut, a landlord can only charge a tenant a maximum of two months’ rent as a security deposit. If the tenant is 62-years-old and above, a landlord can only charge them one month’s rent as security deposit. A landlord must place a tenant’s security deposit in an interest-bearing account within the state. The interest on this account must be paid to the tenant annually. See Connecticut Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines for more information.
- Existing damages to the rental property. A landlord may be able to provide a check-in list to the tenant prior to move-in.
- Shared utility arrangements. This applies when a tenant is required to pay a portion of a master metered utility.
- Identity of the landlord/authorized person acting on behalf of the landlord. A landlord must disclose other persons authorized to manage the premises; the property manager or building supervisor, for example.
- Presence of environmental health hazards. The use of lead-based paint on the property, mold, radon, and bed bugs.
- Location in a flood zone. A landlord must also disclose to the tenant if the rental has been subjected to recent flooding.
- Details on installed alarms. A landlord must also disclose details regarding the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms.
For a full list of other disclosure requirements, see Connecticut Required Landlord Disclosures.
Rent disclosure rules
A landlord is required to disclose the following rules regarding rent:
- Rent due date. For weekly tenants, rent is due at the beginning of the week. For monthly tenants, it’s due at the beginning of the month, unless the lease states otherwise.
- Forms of payment accepted. A landlord may accept cash as payment for tent as long as they provide a receipt. A landlord cannot exclusively require a tenant to use electronic deposit to pay the rent.
- Grace period for rent due date. A landlord must offer a tenant a grace period when paying their rent. Weekly tenants are given four days after the rent due date to settle the current rent. Monthly tenants are given nine days grace period after the due date.
Landlord entry and access
Tenants have the right to reasonable notice if and when a landlord will need to enter a tenant’s apartment.
Some reasons a landlord will need to enter an apartment include:
- Making repairs, alterations, or improvements
- Delivering large packages
- Providing services
- Showing the apartment to prospective renters
- Performing a move-out inspection
A landlord is required to only enter a tenant’s apartment during normal business hours or between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If a landlord has entered a tenant’s apartment illegally, the tenant could be granted injunction relief, as well as monetary damages.
Terminating a lease agreement
A tenant may be legally allowed to terminate a lease agreement early in the following circumstances:
When the landlord:
- Fails to supply necessary and required services, or violates housing codes
- Harasses a tenant
If the tenant is a:
- Victim of domestic violence
- A member of the military and has received notice for active duty
Connecticut landlord tenant law
For the full text of Connecticut’s landlord tenant law, you may review the Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenant.
Should you need to find out more about tenant rights in CT, you may reach out and consult with an experienced real estate professional who is familiar with the specifics of landlord-tenant statutes. Call Kathleen Harrison at 860.307.7203 or 860.354.0479, or send her an email at kharrison(at)fazzoneandharrisonrealty(dotted)com.
You can count on Fazzone & Harrison Realty’s combined real estate experience of 45 years to help answer your questions. Their extensive knowledge of the surrounding communities and years in the real estate business make them the best professionals to help you with your real estate concerns.