Location:
EVICTION; LANDLORD - TENANT RELATIONSHIP; MUNICIPALITIES;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


December 29, 2010

 

2010-R-0515

TOWNS STORING EVICTED TENANTS' POSSESSIONS

By: Christopher Reinhart, Chief Attorney

R. F. O'Neil, Research Assistant

You asked us to survey towns with a population over 15,000 about the number of times they stored evicted tenants' possessions in each of five months in 2009 and 2010.

SUMMARY

A landlord who obtains a court judgment to evict a tenant may execute the order by having a state marshal serve notice of the eviction on the tenant. After doing so, the marshal gives the town's chief executive officer 24 hours notice of the time and place of the eviction and the property to be removed. On eviction day, the marshal physically removes the tenant's possessions and delivers them to a town-designated storage facility. If the tenant does not reclaim his or her possessions and pay their storage expenses within 15 days, the town can sell the possessions at a public auction after (1) using reasonable efforts to locate and notify the tenant and (2) posting notice for one week on a public signpost near the eviction location, if any, or at some exterior place near the town clerk's office.

The law regarding handling evicted tenants' possessions changed on July 1, 2010. As described above, the law now requires a state marshal to deliver an evicted tenant's possessions and personal property to a town-designated storage facility. Previously, the marshal left the possessions on the sidewalk or road to be picked up and stored by the town (PA 10-171).

We identified 75 towns with a population of at least 15,000 based on July 1, 2009 estimates from the Department of Public Health. We emailed officials in these towns (primarily public works departments) asking for the number of times each (1) picked up and stored an evicted tenant's possessions in July, August, September, October, and November in 2009 and (2) stored an evicted tenant's possessions during the same months in 2010.

As of December 23, 2010, officials from 38 towns responded to our survey. These towns represent a range of Connecticut towns including small towns (such as Suffield with a population of 15,163), medium size towns (such as Meriden with a population of 59,186), and cities (such as Bridgeport and New Haven, with populations of 137,298 and 123,330 respectively).

These responding towns picked up and stored evicted tenants' possessions 766 times from July to November in 2009 and stored evicted tenants' possession 710 times during these same months in 2010 (a total of 1,476 instances in the five month periods of the two years). For these towns:

1. Bridgeport had the highest number, picking up and storing possessions 272 times in the five months of 2009 and storing possession 221 times in the five months of 2010;

2. Brookfield, Newtown, and Suffield were the only towns that did not store evicted tenant possessions during the months in 2009 and 2010 covered by this report; and

3. 14 of the 38 towns reported storing evicted tenant possessions at least 10 times in either the five month period in 2009 or 2010 (Bridgeport, Bristol, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, Naugatuck, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Norwich, Stamford, Stratford, and Torrington).

TOWNS AND EVICTED TENANTS' POSSESSIONS

We identified 75 towns with a population of at least 15,000 based on July 1, 2009 estimates from the Department of Public Health. As of December 23, 2010, 38 towns responded to our survey. Table 1 displays the number of times each town reported storing evicted tenants' possessions for the months of July through November in 2009 and 2010.

Table 1: Evicted Tenants' Possessions Handled by Towns,
July Through November of 2009 and 2010

Town
(population)

Year

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Total

Avon

2009

1

0

0

0

0

1

(17,357)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bloomfield

2009

1

1

0

0

0

2

(20,696)

2010

4

1

0

2

0

7

Bridgeport

2009

60

57

52

62

41

272

(137,298)

2010

32

48

53

49

39

221

Bristol

2009

2

2

3

2

3

12

(61,027)

2010

6

8

2

4

8

28

Brookfield

2009

0

0

0

0

0

0

(16,680)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cheshire

2009

0

0

0

0

1

1

(29,142)

2010

1

0

1

1

0

3

Colchester

2009

0

1

0

0

0

1

(15,685)

2010

0

2

0

0

1

3

East Lyme

2009

0

0

0

0

0

0

(19,203)

2010

0

0

0

0

1

1

Enfield

2009

0

6

0

2

0

8

(45,259)

2010

2

1

0

1

0

4

Fairfield

2009

0

1

4

1

 

6

(57,578)

2010

0

1

2

1

1

5

Farmington

2009

1

0

0

0

0

1

(25,144)

2010

0

2

0

0

0

2

Groton

2009

3

0

1

0

1

5

(39,551)

2010

2

1

2

2

0

7

Manchester

2009

1

3

4

4

3

15

(56,388)

2010

2

1

0

3

2

8

Meriden

2009

9

10

5

5

12

41

(59,186)

2010

6

5

4

8

8

31

Middletown

2009

4

3

4

5

4

20

(48,383)

2010

6

7

6

6

6

31

Milford

2009

2

2

6

6

1

17

(56,424)

2010

4

2

1

5

4

16

Monroe

2009

0

0

0

1

1

2

(19,435)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

Naugatuck

2009

1

1

1

3

3

9

(32,019)

2010

3

3

4

2

2

14

New Britain

2009

8

7

5

10

1

31

(70,548)

2010

8

5

11

5

8

37

New Haven

2009

20

44

28

30

29

151

(123,330)

2010

27

43

30

22

10

132

Newington

2009

2

0

0

0

0

2

(29,818)

2010

0

1

2

0

1

4

Newtown

2009

0

0

0

0

0

0

(26,842)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

Norwalk

2009

5

7

9

6

4

31

(83,802)

2010

4

1

3

4

2

14

Norwich

2009

4

1

5

1

1

12

(36,639)

2010

2

2

2

3

2

11

Plainville

2009

0

1

1

1

0

3

(17,284)

2010

0

2

0

0

0

2

Shelton

2009

1

4

0

2

1

8

(40,305)

2010

1

0

0

0

1

2

South Windsor

2009

0

0

0

1

0

1

(26,258)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

Southbury

2009

1

0

0

2

1

4

(19,706)

2010

1

0

0

1

1

3

Southington

2009

3

1

0

0

0

4

(42,534)

2010

1

0

1

0

1

3

Stamford

2009

12

13

18

12

8

63

(121,026)

2010

11

16

20

23

9

79

Stratford

2009

5

1

1

6

7

20

(48,952)

2010

2

1

0

2

3

8

Suffield

2009

0

0

0

0

0

0

(15,163)

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

Torrington

2009

0

0

0

2

0

2

(35,408)

2010

3

3

2

1

2

11

Vernon

2009

0

3

3

0

1

7

(30,182)

2010

1

2

0

0

2

5

Watertown

2009

1

0

1

1

0

3

(22,217)

2010

2

0

2

1

0

5

West Hartford

2009

1

1

1

0

0

3

(60,852)

2010

2

3

0

0

0

5

Wilton

2009

0

1

0

0

0

1

(17,771)

2010

1

0

0

0

0

1

Windsor

2009

1

0

3

1

2

7

(29,014)

2010

0

0

3

3

1

7

CR:df