CHAPTER 830

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF LANDLORD AND TENANT

Table of Contents

Sec. 47a-1. Definitions.

Sec. 47a-7b. Request to change dwelling unit locks when tenant is named as a protected person in a protective or restraining order.

Sec. 47a-9a. (Note: This section is effective July 1, 2022.) Prohibitions re discrimination against prospective or existing tenant for conviction related to cannabis possession; possession or consumption of cannabis; drug tests. Exceptions.


Sec. 47a-1. Definitions. As used in this chapter and sections 47a-21, 47a-23 to 47a-23c, inclusive, 47a-26a to 47a-26g, inclusive, 47a-35 to 47a-35b, inclusive, 47a-41a, 47a-43 and 47a-46 and section 47a-7b:

(a) “Action” includes recoupment, counterclaim, set-off, cause of action and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including an action for possession.

(b) “Building and housing codes” include any law, ordinance or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance of any premises or dwelling unit.

(c) “Dwelling unit” means any house or building, or portion thereof, which is occupied, is designed to be occupied, or is rented, leased or hired out to be occupied, as a home or residence of one or more persons.

(d) “Landlord” means the owner, lessor or sublessor of the dwelling unit, the building of which it is a part or the premises.

(e) “Owner” means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested (1) all or part of the legal title to property, or (2) all or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises and includes a mortgagee in possession.

(f) “Person” means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, the state or any political subdivision thereof, or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, and any other legal or commercial entity.

(g) “Premises” means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant.

(h) “Rent” means all periodic payments to be made to the landlord under the rental agreement.

(i) “Rental agreement” means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under section 47a-9 or subsection (d) of section 21-70 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit or premises.

(j) “Roomer” means a person occupying a dwelling unit, which unit does not include a refrigerator, stove, kitchen sink, toilet and shower or bathtub and one or more of these facilities are used in common by other occupants in the structure.

(k) “Single-family residence” means a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit. Notwithstanding that a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit or has a common parking facility, it is a single-family residence if it has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and does not share heating facilities, hot water equipment or any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit.

(l) “Tenant” means the lessee, sublessee or person entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit or premises to the exclusion of others or as is otherwise defined by law.

(m) “Tenement house” means any house or building, or portion thereof, which is rented, leased 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.

(P.A. 76-95, S. 1, 27; 76-435, S. 75, 82; P.A. 79-571, S. 2; 79-631, S. 96, 111; P.A. 86-267, S. 4; P.A. 89-254, S. 1; P.A. 91-383, S. 13; P.A. 95-79, S. 171, 189; P.A. 10-137, S. 4; P.A. 21-78, S. 21.)

History: P.A. 76-435 deleted provision in Sec. 27 of P.A. 76-95 which specified that the act applied to “rental agreements entered into or extended or renewed on and after” January 1, 1977; P.A. 79-571 added Subdiv. (m) defining “tenement house” and revised list of applicable sections; P.A. 79-631 removed Sec. 47a-26 from list of applicable sections; P.A. 86-267 made definitions applicable to section 47a-23c and rephrased definition of dwelling unit; P.A. 89-254 redefined “dwelling unit” to include realty “designed to be occupied” as a home or residence; P.A. 91-383 amended the definition of “landlord” to include the owner, lessor or sublessor of “the premises”, amended the definition of “rental agreement” to include rules and regulations adopted under “subsection (d) of section 21-70”, and amended the definition of “tenant” to include a person occupying “premises”; P.A. 95-79 redefined “person” to include a limited liability company, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 10-137 applied definitions to Sec. 47a-11e and made a technical change; P.A. 21-78 applied definitions to Sec. 47a-7b.

Sec. 47a-7b. Request to change dwelling unit locks when tenant is named as a protected person in a protective or restraining order. (a) Upon the request of a tenant, a landlord shall change the locks or permit the tenant to change the locks to a tenant's dwelling unit when: (1) The tenant is named as a protected person in (A) a protective or restraining order issued by a court of this state, including, but not limited to, an order issued pursuant to sections 46b-15, 46b-16a, 46b-38c, 53a-40e and 54-1k that is in effect at the time the tenant makes such request of the landlord, or (B) a foreign order of protection that has been registered in this state pursuant to section 46b-15a that is in effect at the time the tenant makes such request of the landlord; (2) the protective order, restraining order or foreign order of protection requires the respondent or defendant to (A) stay away from the home of the tenant, or (B) stay a minimum distance away from the tenant; and (3) the tenant provides a copy of such protective order, restraining order or foreign order of protection to the landlord. A landlord who is required to change a tenant's locks or permit the tenant to change a tenant's locks under this subsection shall, not later than six hours after receipt of the request, inform the tenant whether the landlord will change the locks or permit the tenant to change the locks. If the landlord agrees to change the locks, the landlord shall do so not later than forty-eight hours after the date that the tenant makes such request.

(b) If a landlord has informed the tenant that the tenant is responsible for changing the locks, fails to change the locks, or fails to permit a tenant to change the locks within the timeframe prescribed under subsection (a) of this section, the tenant may proceed to change the locks. If a tenant changes the locks, the tenant shall ensure that the locks are changed in a workmanlike manner, utilizing locks of similar or improved quality as compared to the original locks. The landlord may replace a lock installed by or at the behest of a tenant if the locks installed were not of similar or improved quality or were not installed properly. If a tenant changes the locks to his or her dwelling unit under this subsection, the tenant shall provide a key to the new locks to the landlord not later than two business days after the date on which the locks were changed, except when good cause prevents the tenant from providing a key to the landlord within the prescribed time period.

(c) When a landlord changes the locks to a dwelling unit under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the landlord (1) shall, if using a professional contractor or locksmith, be responsible for payment to such contractor or locksmith, (2) shall, at or prior to the time of changing such locks, provide a key to the new locks to the tenant, and (3) may charge a fee to the tenant not exceeding the actual reasonable cost of changing the locks. If the tenant fails to pay the fee, such cost may be recouped by suit against the tenant or as a deduction from the security deposit when the tenant vacates the dwelling unit, but shall not be the basis for a summary process action under chapter 832. For purposes of this subsection, “actual reasonable cost” means the cost of the lock mechanism, as well as the fee paid by the landlord for professional contractor or locksmith services.

(d) A landlord may reprogram a digital or electronic lock with a new entry code to comply with the provisions of this section.

(e) If a tenant residing in the dwelling unit is named as the respondent or defendant in an order described in subsection (a) of this section and under such order is required to stay away from the dwelling unit, the landlord shall not provide a key to such tenant for the new locks. Absent a court order permitting a tenant who is the respondent or defendant in such order to return to the dwelling unit to retrieve his or her possessions and personal effects, the landlord has no duty under the rental agreement or by law to allow such tenant access to the dwelling unit once the landlord has been provided with a court order requiring such tenant to stay away from the dwelling unit, and the landlord shall not permit such tenant to access the dwelling unit. Any tenant excluded from the dwelling unit under this section remains liable under the rental agreement with any other tenant of the dwelling unit for rent or damages to the dwelling unit.

(f) A landlord may not require a tenant who is named as a protected person under an order described in subsection (a) of this section to pay additional rent or an additional deposit or fee because of the exclusion of the tenant who is named as the respondent or defendant in such order.

(g) Any landlord or agent of such landlord who denies a tenant named as a respondent or defendant in an order described in subsection (a) of this section access to the dwelling unit pursuant to this section shall be immune from any civil liability arising from such denial, provided the landlord or agent complies with the provisions of this section and any applicable court order.

(P.A. 21-78, S. 20.)

Sec. 47a-9a. (Note: This section is effective July 1, 2022.) Prohibitions re discrimination against prospective or existing tenant for conviction related to cannabis possession; possession or consumption of cannabis; drug tests. Exceptions. (a) As used in this section, “tenant”, “landlord” and “dwelling unit” have the same meanings as provided in section 47a-1. Except as provided in this section, a landlord or property manager may not refuse to rent to a prospective tenant or an existing tenant, or otherwise discriminate against a prospective tenant or an existing tenant, based on a past conviction for possession of a cannabis-type substance under section 21a-279a or for a past conviction for possession of four or fewer ounces of cannabis plant material, and any equivalencies and combinations thereof, pursuant to subsection (i) of section 21a-279a in any other jurisdiction.

(b) Except as provided in this section, in the case of the rental of a dwelling unit, a landlord or property manager may not prohibit the possession of cannabis or the consumption of cannabis, except a landlord or property manager may prohibit smoking of cannabis or use of an electronic cannabis device or cannabis vapor product, as such terms are defined in section 19a-342a.

(c) A landlord or property manager may not require a tenant to submit to a drug test.

(d) The provisions of this section do not apply if:

(1) The tenant is a roomer who is not leasing the entire residence;

(2) The residence is incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar service;

(3) The residence is a transitional housing or sober living facility; or

(4) Failing to prohibit cannabis possession or consumption or failure to require a drug test would violate federal law or regulations or cause the landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

(June Sp. Sess. P.A. 21-1, S. 90.)

History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 21-1 effective July 1, 2022.