CHAPTER 368o

TENEMENT AND LODGING HOUSES

Table of Contents

Sec. 19a-355. (Formerly Sec. 19-342). Definitions.

Sec. 19a-356. (Formerly Sec. 19-348). Application of act.

Sec. 19a-357. (Formerly Sec. 19-351). Location of building. Elevator.

Sec. 19a-358. (Formerly Sec. 19-362). Size of rooms.

Sec. 19a-359. (Formerly Sec. 19-363). Bathrooms and water closets.

Sec. 19a-360. (Formerly Sec. 19-364). Arrangement of rooms.

Sec. 19a-361. (Formerly Sec. 19-365). Basement living rooms.

Sec. 19a-362. (Formerly Sec. 19-371). No recovery of rent during unlawful occupation. Exception.

Sec. 19a-363. (Formerly Sec. 19-372). Powers of local authorities not abrogated.

Sec. 19a-364. (Formerly Sec. 19-373). Enforcement.

Sec. 19a-365. (Formerly Sec. 19-374). Penalties.

Secs. 19a-366 to 19a-369. Reserved


PART I*

GENERAL PROVISIONS

*Annotations to former part I of chapter 352:

Cited. 95 C. 368. Three-family dwelling house held a tenement house and subject to provisions of chapter. 108 C. 404. Cited. 111 C. 25; 117 C. 351; Id., 626; 121 C. 260; Id., 456.

Sec. 19a-355. (Formerly Sec. 19-342). Definitions. (a) As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Tenement house” means any house or building, or portion thereof, which is rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied, or is arranged or designed to be occupied, or is occupied, as the home or residence of three or more families, living independently of each other, and doing their cooking upon the premises, and having a common right in the halls, stairways or yards;

(2) “Lodging house” or “boarding house” means any house or building or portion thereof, in which six or more persons are harbored, received or lodged for hire, or any building or part thereof, which is used as a sleeping place or lodging for six or more persons not members of the family residing therein;

(3) “Apartment” means a room or suite of rooms occupied or designed to be occupied as a family domicile;

(4) “Yard” means an open, unoccupied space, on the same lot with a tenement, lodging or boarding house, between the rear line of such house and the rear line of the lot;

(5) “Court” means an open, unoccupied space, other than a yard, on the same lot with a tenement house;

(6) “Basement” means a story partly, but not more than one-half, below the level of the grade; and

(7) “Cellar” means a story more than one-half below the level of the grade.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, the word “shall” is mandatory and not directory, and denotes that the house shall be maintained in all respects according to the mandate, as long as it continues to be a tenement house.

(c) In determining the number of stories in a tenement house, a basement or an attic shall be counted as a story if it is occupied or designed to be occupied for living purposes.

(1949 Rev., S. 4049; P.A. 74-345, S. 1; P.A. 01-195, S. 141, 181.)

History: P.A. 74-345 added Subdiv. (11) defining “enforcing agency”; Sec. 19-342 transferred to Sec. 19a-355 in 1983; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes, effective July 11, 2001.

Annotations to former section 19-342:

Three-family dwelling house held a “tenement house” and subject to provisions of chapter. 108 C. 404. Hallway on each floor was a “public hall” within section; Id.; also a stairway leading only to plaintiff’s apartment; 117 C. 352. Outside steps were not a “public hall”; 121 C. 261; nor was an open cellar. 111 C. 26. Vacant rooms and testimony warranted finding that building was a “tenement house”. 117 C. 352. If the space falls within definition of a “yard” and is used in common by the tenants, it becomes an element in determining whether the building is a “tenement house”. Id., 353. Definitions indicate a legislative intent to impose obligation to keep building in repair as distinguished from separate apartments in it. Id., 627. Cited. 137 C. 632; 153 C. 91.

Cited. 22 CS 182; 31 CS 197.

PART II*

THE TENEMENT HOUSE ACT

*Annotations to former part II of chapter 352:

Construction requirements impose duty on owner, not contractor. 82 C. 255. Cited. 95 C. 368; 117 C. 626; 121 C. 260; Id., 456.

Annotation to present part:

State Tenement House Act cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-356. (Formerly Sec. 19-348). Application of act. This part may be cited as the “Tenement House Act”, and its provisions shall apply to all cities, boroughs and towns, except its provisions concerning water closets, which provisions shall apply to all cities, boroughs and towns which have a water supply and a sewer system; and its provisions shall apply, except as herein specially provided, only to buildings to be erected, altered or converted to use as tenement houses.

(1949 Rev., S. 4055.)

History: Sec. 19-348 transferred to Sec. 19a-356 in 1983.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-357. (Formerly Sec. 19-351). Location of building. Elevator. No tenement house shall be erected upon the rear of a lot when there is a tenement house on the front of such lot, nor upon the front of any such lot upon the rear of which there is such a tenement house unless the distance between the two tenement houses is at least thirty feet. No tenement house, not existing or actually under construction on July 1, 1929, shall be over four stories in height unless it is equipped with a passenger elevator.

(1949 Rev., S. 4067.)

History: Sec. 19-351 transferred to Sec. 19a-357 in 1983.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-358. (Formerly Sec. 19-362). Size of rooms. In each tenement house, all rooms, except water-closet compartments, bathrooms and kitchenettes, shall be of the following minimum sizes: In each apartment there shall be at least one room containing not less than one hundred and twenty square feet of floor area, and each other room shall contain at least seventy square feet of floor area. Each room shall be in at least seventy-five per cent of its area not less than seven feet eight inches high from the finished floor to the finished ceiling, except attic rooms, which shall be at least seven feet four inches high in one-half of its area. A kitchenette with less than seventy square feet of floor area need not be considered a separate room but shall comply with section 19-359.

(1949 Rev., S. 4069; 1967, P.A. 180, S. 2.)

History: 1967 act added provision re kitchenettes with less than 70 square feet of floor area and deleted provision that alcove rooms be considered separate rooms; Sec. 19-362 transferred to Sec. 19a-358 in 1983.

See Sec. 29-267 re inapplicability of this section to construction or alteration of building pursuant to State Building Code.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-359. (Formerly Sec. 19-363). Bathrooms and water closets. In each tenement house erected or subdivided after June 30, 1941, there shall be a water closet in each apartment of two or more rooms. In each tenement house erected after August 31, 1930, and prior to July 1, 1941, there shall be a water closet in each apartment of three or more rooms and at least one water closet for each two apartments of less than three rooms each. Each water closet shall be in a separate compartment or bathroom, upon the same floor with the apartment which it accommodates. Each bathroom, toilet room or other room containing one or more water closets or urinals, which is placed in any building, shall be at all times provided with adequate lighting and shall be ventilated in at least one of the following ways: (1) By a window opening directly upon a street or other open public space or upon a court located on the same lot as the building, and having, between stop beads, an area not less than ten per cent of the floor area nor less than three square feet in any case and a width of not less than one foot; (2) by a window of the size specified in subdivision (1) of this section, or a register, opening on a vent shaft which extends to and through the roof or into a court conforming to the requirements of this section for courts and which has a cross-sectional area of not less than one-fifth of a square foot for each foot of height but not less than nine square feet and a width of not less than sixteen inches in any case, and, unless open to the outer air at the top, a net area of louvre openings in the skylight equal to the maximum required shaft area; (3) by an individual vent flue or duct extending independently of any other flue or duct to and above the roof and having a cross-sectional area of not less than one square foot for two or fewer water closets or urinal fixtures and one-third of a square foot additional for each additional water closet or urinal fixture; (4) by a skylight in the ceiling, having a glazed surface of not less than three square feet and arranged so as to provide ventilating openings of not less than three square feet to the outer air above the roof of the building or into a court conforming to the requirements of this section for courts, for two or fewer water closets or urinal fixtures and two square feet additional for each additional water closet or urinal fixture; or (5) by some approved system of mechanical exhaust ventilation of sufficient capacity to provide not less than four changes of air per hour. Each vent shaft in a tenement house erected after August 31, 1930, shall be constructed of fire-proof material. Not more than two water closets or bathrooms shall open upon such a shaft on one floor of a tenement house, and no two water closet or bathroom windows opening upon such shaft on the same floor shall be opposite each other.

(1949 Rev., S. 4072; P.A. 01-195, S. 142, 181.)

History: Sec. 19-363 transferred to Sec. 19a-359 in 1983; P.A. 01-195 substituted alphabetic Subdiv. designators for numeric Subsec. designators, effective July 11, 2001.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-360. (Formerly Sec. 19-364). Arrangement of rooms. In each apartment of three or more rooms in a tenement house, access to each living room and bedroom and to at least one water-closet compartment shall be had without passing through any bedroom.

(1949 Rev., S. 4073.)

History: Sec. 19-364 transferred to Sec. 19a-360 in 1983.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-361. (Formerly Sec. 19-365). Basement living rooms. In tenement houses, no room in the cellar or in the basement shall be constructed, altered, converted or occupied for living purposes, unless all of the following conditions are complied with: (1) Such room shall be at least seven feet six inches high, in each part, from the floor to the ceiling; (2) the ceiling of such room shall be at least four feet and six inches above the surface of the street or ground outside of or adjoining the same; (3) all walls surrounding such room shall be damp-proof; (4) the floor of such room shall be damp-proof and waterproof.

(1949 Rev., S. 4074; P.A. 88-70.)

History: Sec. 19-365 transferred to Sec. 19a-361 in 1983; P.A. 88-70 amended Subdiv. (1), reducing the minimum ceiling height from 8 feet 6 inches to 7 feet 6 inches.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-362. (Formerly Sec. 19-371). No recovery of rent during unlawful occupation. Exception. (a) If any building constructed as, or altered into, a tenement house is occupied in whole or in part for human habitation in violation of the provisions of the state building code, effective at the time of such construction or alteration, during such unlawful occupation no rent shall be recoverable by the owner or lessee of such premises for such period and no action or special proceedings shall be maintained therefor.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to buildings owned by a housing authority organized under the provisions of chapter 128, which have been constructed or altered pursuant to contracts with the federal government or the state providing for annual contributions or other financial assistance.

(1949 Rev., S. 4080; 1969, P.A. 443, S. 14; 1971, P.A. 413, S. 2.)

History: 1969 act referred to violations of state building code rather than of Sec. 19-370; 1971 act added Subsec. (b); Sec. 19-371 transferred to Sec. 19a-362 in 1983.

Annotations to former section 19-371:

Disability to recover rent not confined to the person who was owner at time of completion but applied to subsequent purchaser. 121 C. 458. Constitutional aspects considered. Id., 459. Cited. 136 C. 276; 149 C. 740. Statute does not authorize action by tenant for recovery of rent voluntarily paid during period of violation. 150 C. 702.

Statute in barring landlord from collecting rent in effect relieved tenants of obligation to pay; landlord had no cause of action to collect rent or for eviction, nor to rent premises to others in absence of certificate. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 360.

Sec. 19a-363. (Formerly Sec. 19-372). Powers of local authorities not abrogated. Nothing in this part shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of a local department of health, the fire department or the courts or any other lawful authority to enforce any provision of any city charter or building ordinance or regulation not inconsistent with this part or to prevent or punish for violations thereof.

(1949 Rev., S. 4081.)

History: Sec. 19-372 transferred to Sec. 19a-363 in 1983.

Annotations to former section 19-372:

Cited. 111 C. 450.

Cited. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 243.

Annotation to present section:

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-364. (Formerly Sec. 19-373). Enforcement. Each inspector of buildings, fire marshal or other person authorized to issue building permits shall enforce the provisions of this part and report all violations thereof to the proper prosecuting officer. When no other officer is authorized to issue building permits, the director of health of each town shall be charged with the duties assigned by this part to building inspectors.

(1949 Rev., S. 4082.)

History: Sec. 19-373 transferred to Sec. 19a-364 in 1983.

Cited. 13 CA 1.

Sec. 19a-365. (Formerly Sec. 19-374). Penalties. Any owner or lessee of any building which was not used as a tenement house prior to April 24, 1913, who allows such building to be occupied or used as a tenement house without making such building conform in all respects with the requirements of this part, and any owner or lessee of land, and any builder or architect who authorizes, makes or approves any construction or alteration of any building or any reduction in court or yard spaces, in violation of the provisions of this part, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both and, if any violation of any of said provisions remains uncorrected, the violator shall be subject to a renewal of the foregoing penalty every thirty days until the violation is corrected.

(1949 Rev., S. 4083; P.A. 79-346.)

History: P.A. 79-346 allowed imprisonment for violation or imposition of fine and imprisonment; Sec. 19-374 transferred to Sec. 19a-365 in 1983.

Annotation to former section 19-374:

Cited. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 359.

Secs. 19a-366 to 19a-369. Reserved for future use.