Substitute House Bill No. 5400

Public Act No. 01-133

AN ACT CONCERNING DEATH OF A TENANT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

(NEW) (a) If the sole occupant of a dwelling unit subject to a monthly lease or a lease for a term has died and the landlord has complied with any provisions of any such lease permitting termination upon the death of the occupant, the landlord may elect to act in accordance with the provisions of this section. If the landlord elects to act in accordance with the provisions of this section, such landlord shall send notice to the next of kin, if known, of such occupant at the last-known address both by regular mail, postage prepaid, and by certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that (1) the occupant has died, (2) the landlord intends to remove any possessions and personal effects remaining in the premises and to rerent the premises, and (3) if the next of kin does not reclaim such possessions and personal effects within sixty days after the date of such notice, such possessions and personal effects will be disposed of as permitted by this section. The notice shall be in clear and simple language and shall include a telephone number and a mailing address at which the landlord can be contacted.

(b) (1) If notice is sent by the landlord to the next of kin, if known, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, or (2) if the landlord does not know any next of kin, the landlord shall file an affidavit with the Probate Court having jurisdiction concerning the possessions and personal effects of the deceased occupant. Such affidavit shall include the name and address of the deceased occupant, the date of death, the terms of the lease, and the names and addresses of the next of kin, if known.

(c) If the landlord acts in accordance with the provisions of this section, the landlord shall not be required to serve a notice to quit as provided in section 47a-23 of the general statutes and bring a summary process action as provided in section 47a-23a of the general statutes to obtain possession or occupancy of the dwelling unit. Nothing in this section shall relieve a landlord from complying with the provisions of sections 47a-1 to 47a-20a, inclusive, of the general statutes and sections 47a-23 to 47a-42, inclusive, of the general statutes, if the landlord knows, or reasonably should know, that the dwelling unit has not been abandoned.

(d) On or after thirty days after the date of the filing of the affidavit pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the landlord shall inventory any possessions and personal effects of the deceased occupant in the premises and shall file a copy of such inventory with the Court of Probate under subsection (b) of this section. The landlord may not remove them until fifteen days after such inventory is taken. Thereafter, the landlord may remove and store such possessions and personal effects for an additional fifteen days. The next of kin may reclaim such possessions and personal effects from the landlord within such sixty-day period. If the next of kin does not reclaim such possessions and personal effects by the end of such sixty-day period, the landlord may dispose of them in accordance with section 47a-42 of the general statutes.

(e) If an application for probate of a will or letters of administration is filed with the Court of Probate having jurisdiction concerning the possessions and personal effects of the deceased occupant within fifty-five days of the filing of the affidavit of the landlord as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the Probate Court shall immediately notify the landlord of such filing and any action of the landlord pursuant to the provisions of this section shall cease.

(f) No action shall be brought under section 47a-43 of the general statutes against a landlord who takes action in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Approved June 28, 2001