*Cited. 13 CA 1.
This chapter and Ch. 830 were passed to aid residential apartment dwellers and do not apply to commercial leases. 36 CS 611.
Sec. 47a-21. Security deposits. (a) Definitions. As used in this chapter:
(1) “Accrued interest” means the interest due on a security deposit as provided in subsection (i) of this section, compounded annually to the extent applicable.
(2) “Commissioner” means the Banking Commissioner.
(3) “Escrow account” means any account at a financial institution which is not subject to execution by the creditors of the escrow agent and includes a clients' funds account.
(4) “Escrow agent” means the person in whose name an escrow account is maintained.
(5) “Financial institution” means any state bank and trust company, national bank, savings bank, federal savings bank, savings and loan association, and federal savings and loan association that is located in this state.
(6) “Forwarding address” means the address to which a security deposit may be mailed for delivery to a former tenant.
(7) “Landlord” means any landlord of residential real property, and includes (A) any receiver; (B) any successor; and (C) any tenant who sublets his premises.
(8) “Receiver” means any person who is appointed or authorized by any state, federal or probate court to receive rents from tenants, and includes trustees, executors, administrators, guardians, conservators, receivers, and receivers of rent.
(9) “Rent receiver” means a receiver who lacks court authorization to return security deposits and to inspect the premises of tenants and former tenants.
(10) “Residential real property” means real property containing one or more residential units, including residential units not owned by the landlord, and containing one or more tenants who paid a security deposit.
(11) “Security deposit” means any advance rental payment, or any installment payment collected pursuant to section 47a-22a, except an advance payment for the first month's rent or a deposit for a key or any special equipment.
(12) “Successor” means any person who succeeds to a landlord's interest whether by purchase, foreclosure or otherwise and includes a receiver.
(13) “Tenant” means a tenant, as defined in section 47a-1, or a resident, as defined in section 21-64.
(14) “Tenant's obligations” means (A) the amount of any rental or utility payment due the landlord from a tenant; and (B) a tenant's obligations under the provisions of section 47a-11.
(b) Amount of security deposit. (1) In the case of a tenant under sixty-two years of age, a landlord shall not demand a security deposit in an amount that exceeds two months' rent.
(2) In the case of a tenant sixty-two years of age or older, a landlord shall not demand a security deposit in an amount that exceeds one month's rent.
(c) Exemption from attachment and execution. Assignment to successor. Any security deposit paid by a tenant shall remain the property of such tenant in which the landlord shall have a security interest, as defined in subdivision (35) of subsection (b) of section 42a-1-201, to secure such tenant's obligations. A security deposit shall be exempt from attachment and execution by the creditors of the landlord and shall not be considered part of the estate of the landlord in any legal proceeding. Any voluntary or involuntary transfer of a landlord's interest in residential real property to a successor shall constitute an assignment to such successor of such landlord's security interest in all security deposits paid by tenants of such transferred residential real property.
(d) Payment of security deposit and interest at termination of tenancy. (1) Not later than the time specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the person who is the landlord at the time a tenancy is terminated, other than a rent receiver, shall pay to the tenant or former tenant: (A) The amount of any security deposit that was deposited by the tenant with the person who was landlord at the time such security deposit was deposited less the value of any damages that any person who was a landlord of such premises at any time during the tenancy of such tenant has suffered as a result of such tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations; and (B) any accrued interest. If the landlord at the time of termination of a tenancy is a rent receiver, such rent receiver shall return security deposits in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (3) of this subsection.
(2) Upon termination of a tenancy, any tenant may notify the landlord in writing of such tenant's forwarding address. Not later than thirty days after termination of a tenancy or fifteen days after receiving written notification of such tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later, each landlord other than a rent receiver shall deliver to the tenant or former tenant at such forwarding address either (A) the full amount of the security deposit paid by such tenant plus accrued interest, or (B) the balance of such security deposit and accrued interest after deduction for any damages suffered by such landlord by reason of such tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations, together with a written statement itemizing the nature and amount of such damages. Any landlord who violates any provision of this subsection shall be liable for twice the amount of any security deposit paid by such tenant, except that, if the only violation is the failure to deliver the accrued interest, such landlord shall be liable for ten dollars or twice the amount of the accrued interest, whichever is greater.
(3) (A) Any receiver who is authorized by a court to return security deposits and to inspect the premises of any tenant shall pay security deposits and accrued interest in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection from the operating income of such receivership to the extent that any such payments exceed the amount in any escrow accounts for such tenants. (B) Any rent receiver shall present any claim by any tenant for return of a security deposit to the court which authorized the rent receiver. Such court shall determine the validity of any such claim and shall direct such rent receiver to pay from the escrow account or from the operating income of such property the amount due such tenant as determined by such court.
(e) Liability of successor and receiver re payment of security deposit. A successor, other than a receiver, shall be liable for the claims of tenants of such property for return of any part of such security deposit which is or becomes due to such tenant during the time such successor is a landlord. A receiver's liability for payment of security deposits and interest under this section shall be limited to the balance in any escrow account for such tenants maintained by such receiver in such receivership in accordance with subsection (h) of this section and to the operating income generated in such receivership.
(f) Nonresident landlord. Any landlord who is not a resident of this state shall appoint in writing the Secretary of the State as the landlord's attorney upon whom all process in any action or proceeding against such landlord may be served.
(g) Action to reclaim security deposit. Any person may bring an action in replevin or for money damages in any court of competent jurisdiction to reclaim any part of such person's security deposit which may be due. This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which the landlord or tenant may be entitled.
(h) Escrow deposit. (1) Each landlord shall immediately deposit the entire amount of any security deposit received by such landlord from each tenant into one or more escrow accounts established or maintained in a financial institution for the benefit of each tenant. Each landlord shall maintain each such account as escrow agent and shall not withdraw funds from such account except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection.
(2) The escrow agent may withdraw funds from an escrow account to: (A) Disburse the amount of any security deposit and accrued interest due to a tenant pursuant to subsection (d) of this section; (B) disburse interest to a tenant pursuant to subsection (i) of this section; (C) make a transfer of the entire amount of certain security deposits pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection; (D) retain interest credited to the account in excess of the amount of interest payable to the tenant under subsection (i) of this section; (E) retain all or any part of a security deposit and accrued interest after termination of tenancy equal to the damages suffered by the landlord by reason of the tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations; (F) disburse all or any part of the security deposit to a tenant at any time during tenancy; or (G) transfer such funds to another financial institution or escrow account, provided such funds remain continuously in an escrow account.
(3) (A) Whenever any real estate is voluntarily or involuntarily transferred from a landlord, other than a receiver, to a successor, including a receiver, such landlord shall withdraw from the escrow account and deliver to the successor the entire amount of security deposits paid by tenants of the property being transferred, plus any interest accrued pursuant to subsection (i) of this section. If at the time of transfer of such real estate the funds in such account are commingled with security deposits paid by tenants in real estate not being transferred to such successor, and if at such time the funds in such account are less than the amount of security deposits paid by all tenants whose security deposits are contained in such account, such landlord shall deliver to such successor a pro rata share of security deposits paid by tenants of the real estate being transferred to such successor. (B) Whenever any real estate is transferred from a receiver to a successor, such receiver shall dispose of the escrow accounts as ordered by the court which appointed such receiver. The order of such court shall provide for the priority of the present and future rights of tenants to security deposits paid by them over the rights of any secured or unsecured creditor of any person and shall provide that the funds in such account shall be delivered to the successor of such receiver for immediate deposit in an escrow account for tenants who paid security deposits.
(4) (A) The landlord shall provide each tenant with a written notice stating the amount held for the benefit of the tenant and the name and address of the financial institution at which the tenant's security deposit is being held not later than thirty days after the landlord receives a security deposit from the tenant or the tenant's previous landlord or transfers the security deposit to another financial institution or escrow account.
(B) If the commissioner makes a written request to the landlord for any information related to a tenant's security deposit, including the name of each financial institution in which any escrow account is maintained and the account number of each escrow account, the landlord shall provide such information to the commissioner not later than seven days after the request is made.
(i) Payment of interest on security deposits. On and after July 1, 1993, each landlord other than a landlord of a residential unit in any building owned or controlled by any educational institution and used by such institution for the purpose of housing students of such institution and their families, and each landlord or owner of a mobile manufactured home or of a mobile manufactured home space or lot or park, as such terms are defined in subdivisions (1), (2) and (3) of section 21-64, shall pay interest on each security deposit received by such landlord at a rate of not less than the average rate paid, as of December 30, 1992, on savings deposits by insured commercial banks as published in the Federal Reserve Board Bulletin rounded to the nearest one-tenth of one percentage point, except in no event shall the rate be less than one and one-half per cent. On and after January 1, 1994, the rate for each calendar year shall be not less than the deposit index, determined under this section as it was in effect during such year. On and after January 1, 2012, the rate for each calendar year shall be not less than the deposit index, as defined in section 36a-26, for that year. On the anniversary date of the tenancy and annually thereafter, such interest shall be paid to the tenant or resident or credited toward the next rental payment due from the tenant or resident, as the landlord or owner shall determine. If the tenancy is terminated before the anniversary date of such tenancy, or if the landlord or owner returns all or part of a security deposit prior to termination of the tenancy, the landlord or owner shall pay the accrued interest to the tenant or resident not later than thirty days after such termination or return. Interest shall not be paid to a tenant for any month in which the tenant has been delinquent for more than ten days in the payment of any monthly rent, unless the landlord imposes a late charge for such delinquency. No landlord shall increase the rent due from a tenant because of the requirement that the landlord pay on interest the security deposit.
(j) Investigation of complaints by commissioner. Order. Jurisdiction. Regulations. (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the commissioner may receive and investigate complaints regarding any alleged violation of subsections (b), (d), (h) or (i) of this section. For the purposes of such investigation, any person who is or was a landlord shall be subject to the provisions of section 36a-17. If the commissioner determines that any landlord has violated any provision of this section over which the commissioner has jurisdiction, the commissioner may, in accordance with section 36a-52, order such person to cease and desist from such practices and to comply with the provisions of this section.
(2) The commissioner shall not have jurisdiction over (A) the failure of a landlord to pay interest to a tenant annually under subsection (i) of this section, or (B) the refusal or other failure of the landlord to return all or part of the security deposit if such failure results from the landlord's good faith claim that such landlord has suffered damages as a result of a tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations, regardless of whether the existence or amount of the alleged damages is disputed by the tenant. For purposes of this section, “good faith claim” means a claim for actual damages suffered by the landlord for which written notification of such damages has been provided to the tenant in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of this section.
(3) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the purposes of this section.
(k) Penalties. (1) Any person who is a landlord at the time of termination of a tenancy and who knowingly and wilfully fails to pay all or any part of a security deposit when due shall be subject to a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for each offense, provided it shall be an affirmative defense under this subdivision that such failure was caused by such landlord's good faith belief that he was entitled to deduct the value of damages he has suffered as a result of such tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations.
(2) Any person who knowingly and wilfully violates the provisions of subsection (h) of this section on or after October 1, 1979, shall be subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment of not more than thirty days or both for each offense. It shall be an affirmative defense under the provisions of this subdivision that at the time of the offense, such person leased residential real property to fewer than four tenants who paid a security deposit.
(3) Any person who is a landlord at the time an interest payment is due under the provisions of subsection (i) of this section and who knowingly and wilfully violates the provisions of such subsection shall be subject to a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for each offense.
(4) No financial institution shall be liable for any violation of this section except for any violation in its capacity as a landlord.
(l) Rights not limited. Nothing in this section shall be construed as a limitation upon: (1) The power or authority of the state, the Attorney General or the commissioner to seek administrative, legal or equitable relief permitted by the general statutes or at common law; or (2) the right of any tenant to bring a civil action permitted by the general statutes or at common law.
(P.A. 76-95, S. 5, 27; 76-435, S. 75, 82; P.A. 77-451, S. 3; P.A. 79-559, S. 1; P.A. 80-483, S. 171, 186; P.A. 81-322, S. 8; P.A. 82-162, S. 4; 82-246, S. 1; 82-249; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-3, S. 1; P.A. 84-84, S. 1, 2; 84-504, S. 2, 3; 84-546, S. 105, 166, 173; P.A. 85-231; 85-613, S. 74, 154; P.A. 87-9, S. 2, 3; 87-154, S. 1; 87-348; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-383, S. 17; P.A. 92-4, S. 1; P.A. 93-40; 93-41, S. 2, 3; 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-339, S. 1, 2; 93-435, S. 18, 95; P.A. 94-122, S. 337, 340; P.A. 96-74, S. 8; 96-271, S. 216, 254; P.A. 03-84, S. 36; P.A. 05-109, S. 54; P.A. 11-94, S. 1; P.A. 12-96, S. 32; P.A. 16-65, S. 37; 16-74, S. 2.)
History: P.A. 76-435 revised effective date section of P.A. 76-95; P.A. 77-451 specified in Subsec. (b) that landlord may deduct amount of rent due and owing; P.A. 79-559 essentially replaced existing provisions; P.A. 80-483 substituted “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” for “Hartford county” in Subsec. (j)(2); P.A. 81-322 made technical change; P.A. 82-162 amended Subsec. (i), applying provisions to owners and residents of mobile home parks as well as to landlords and tenants under previously existing provisions; P.A. 82-246 amended Subsec. (i) to increase interest from 4% to 5.25% and to provide that a tenant who makes a late rent payment loses interest for the month of the late payment only where previously all interest was lost; P.A. 82-249 added Subsec. (b)(2) providing for a smaller maximum security deposit for persons 62 years of age or older who meet certain income requirements, amending previous provisions accordingly; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-3 changed term “mobile home” to “mobile manufactured home” in Subsec. (i); P.A. 84-84 amended Subsec. (a)(12) to include utility payments due the landlord in the definition of “tenant's obligations”, amended Subsec. (i) to change the word “lease” to “tenancy” and amended Subsec. (j) to define a good faith claim; P.A. 84-504 amended Subsec. (b) to delete income limitations which qualified tenants 62 years of age or older for a maximum security deposit of one month's rent, effective with respect to any term of tenancy commencing on or after October 1, 1984; P.A. 84-546 made technical change in Subsec. (d)(1) and changed effective date of P.A. 84-504 from October 1, 1985, to October 1, 1984; P.A. 85-231 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to delete limitation that prohibited a landlord demanding a security deposit in excess of one month's rent “for any term of tenancy commencing on or after October 1, 1984” and to require a landlord who has received a security deposit from a tenant 62 years of age or older in excess of one month's rent to refund such excess upon the request of the tenant; P.A. 85-613 made technical changes in Subsec. (j); pursuant to P.A. 87-9 “banking commissioner” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “commissioner of banking”; P.A. 87-154 amended Subsec. (i) to provide that a tenant will not forfeit interest for being delinquent if pursuant to the rental agreement a late charge is imposed for failure to pay rent within the statutory grace period; P.A. 87-348 amended Subsec. (d)(2) by replacing provision which required a landlord to deliver a written notification of damages within 30 days and the balance of the security deposit plus accrued interest and an itemized statement of damages within 60 days after termination of tenancy with a provision requiring the return of the balance of the security deposit plus accrued interest after deduction for damages together with an itemized statement of damages within 30 days after termination of tenancy; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 91-383 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing “As used in this section” with “As used in this chapter”, replacing in the definition of “landlord” the words “living quarters in residential real property” with “residential real property”, adding in the definition of “residential real property” the words “including residential units not owned by the landlord”, and adding the definition of “tenant”; P.A. 92-4 amended Subsec. (i) to require interest at the rate of 4% on and after October 1, 1992, and at the rate of 5.25% on and after October 1, 1994; P.A. 93-40 amended Subsec. (c) to provide that a security deposit is exempt from attachment and execution by the landlord's creditors and is not part of the landlord's estate; P.A. 93-41 amended Subsec. (j) to give the banking commissioner authority to receive and investigate complaints about violations of the law limiting the amount of security deposit a landlord can demand, effective May 5, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 93-339 amended Subsec. (i) by requiring that on and after July 1, 1993, the interest rate be not less than the average rate paid as of December 30, 1992, on savings deposits by insured commercial banks and that on and after January 1, 1994, the interest rate for each calendar year be not less than the deposit index, with a minimum rate of 1.5%, and by adding Subdiv. (2) to require the commissioner to publish the rate that takes effect July 1, 1993, no later than July 15, 1993, and to determine and publish the deposit index for each calendar year no later than December fifteenth of the prior year and disseminate the rates in a manner designed to come to the attention of landlords and tenants, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-435 amended Subsec. (i) by making a technical change, effective June 28, 1993; (Revisor's note: In 1995, the word “subsections” in Subsec. (j)(1) before the words “(d), (h) or (i) of this section” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “subsection”); P.A. 94-122 amended Subsec. (j)(1) by subjecting landlords to the provisions of Sec. 36a-17, authorizing commissioner to issue cease and desist orders under Sec. 36a-52, deleting the hearing provisions in Subsec. (j)(2), and making technical changes, effective January 1, 1995; P.A. 96-74 amended Subsec. (d)(2) to add provision limiting landlord's liability to twice the amount of the accrued interest when the violation is the failure to deliver such accrued interest; P.A. 96-271 amended Subsec. (f) to delete provision that specified “foreign corporation” as used in Subsecs. (a) and (c) of Sec. 33-400 includes any such landlord, effective January 1, 1997; P.A. 03-84 changed “Commissioner of Banking” to “Banking Commissioner” in Subsec. (a)(1), effective June 3, 2003; P.A. 05-109 amended Subsec. (c) by replacing reference to Sec. 42a-1-201(37) with reference to Sec. 42a-1-201(b)(35); P.A. 11-94 amended Subsec. (i)(1) by deleting provisions re 1.5% minimum interest to be paid by landlords on security deposits and by making technical changes, effective January 1, 2012; P.A. 12-96 amended Subsec. (i)(1) by replacing “January 1, 2012” with “January 1, 1994” re requirement that rate not be less than deposit index, adding exceptions to existing rate requirements re rate not to be less than one and one-half per cent, adding provision re rate not to be less than deposit index on and after January 1, 2012, and making a technical change, effective June 8, 2012; P.A. 16-65 amended Subsec. (a) by defining “accrued interest” and redefining “escrow account”, “escrow agent”, “landlord”, “security deposit” and “successor”, amended Subsec. (b) by replacing “amount or value in excess of” with “amount that exceeds” and deleting provisions re periodic rent, amended Subsec. (c) by deleting references to successor and replacing “residential real estate” with “residential real property”, amended Subsec. (d) by adding “or fifteen days after receiving written notification of such tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later” and replacing “liable for twice the amount of such accrued interest” with “liable for ten dollars or twice the amount of the accrued interest, whichever is greater” in Subdiv. (2), and deleting former Subdiv. (4) re landlord who does not have written notice of tenant's forwarding address, amended Subsec. (e) by deleting reference to landlord's interest in residential real property, amended Subsec. (h) by deleting provision re landlord to be escrow agent of account and provision re landlord to deliver requested information to commissioner in Subdiv. (1), adding new Subdiv. (2) re withdrawal of funds from escrow account, deleting provision re successor to landlord in Subdiv. (3) and, in Subdiv. (4), replacing former provisions re withdrawal of funds with provisions re written notice to be provided to tenant and information to be provided to commissioner, amended Subsec. (i) by replacing reference to Subdiv. (2) with reference to Sec. 36a-26 re definition of deposit index, deleting reference to time period provided by Sec. 47a-15a and deleting former Subdiv. (2) re deposit index, amended Subsec. (j) by adding exception re Subdiv. (2) and deleting provisions re commissioner's jurisdiction in Subdiv. (1) and adding new Subdiv. (2) re commissioner's jurisdiction, amended Subsec. (k) by deleting reference to successor to landlord's interest in Subdiv. (4), and made technical and conforming changes throughout, effective July 1, 2016; P.A. 16-74 amended Subsec. (a)(10) to redefine “security deposit”.
Cited. 5 CA 118; 32 CA 133 44 CA 381; 45 CA 686.
Cited. 35 CS 126; 37 CS 27; 39 CS 289; 44 CS 544.
Relates only to residential real property and, therefore, is inapplicable to case concerning commercial property. 74 CA 460.
Because plaintiff did not provide defendant with a forwarding address, as is required by the clear language of section, court properly granted defendant's motion to strike in regard to a claim for double damages. 80 CA 155. Landlord who mishandled tenant's security deposit and camouflaged the mishandling by giving tenant a fabricated accounting of damages instead of returning the actual security deposit is liable for double damages under Subdiv. (2); trial court misread Subdiv. (4) re notice of tenant's forwarding address to avoid sanction of double damages under Subdiv. (2). 141 CA 299.
Trial court erroneously calculated interest award by excluding advance rental payment for last month's rent from basis for calculation, since such advance rental payment is included in definition of “security deposit”. 141 CA 299.
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Sec. 47a-22. (Formerly Sec. 47-23a). Advance rental payments or security deposits for residential units; escrow deposit, interest payable. Section 47a-22 is repealed.
(P.A. 73-607, S. 2, 3; P.A. 75-197; 75-385, S. 3; P.A. 78-113; P.A. 79-559, S. 2; 79-571, S. 37.)
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Sec. 47a-22a. Interest payable on security deposits of senior citizens and disabled persons in public housing. Payment of security deposit in installments. (a) Any housing authority, community housing development corporation, or other corporation approved by the Commissioner of Housing for state financial assistance to provide public housing for senior citizens and disabled persons under the provisions of part VI or VII of chapter 128 shall return any security deposit with interest, to any tenant or former tenant at the time the tenancy is terminated in accordance with the provisions of section 47a-21.
(b) Any housing authority, community housing development corporation or other corporation approved by the Commissioner of Housing for state financial assistance to provide public housing for senior citizens and disabled persons under the provisions of part VI or VII of chapter 128 shall, pursuant to a written agreement, permit the payment of a security deposit in installments that are reasonable in light of the income of the tenant. Such written agreement shall include the schedule of installment payments and a determination of the tenant's ability to pay under such a schedule. Such installments shall be payable in equal amounts at approximately equal intervals not exceeding one month over a period of at least twelve months. Interest payable pursuant to section 47a-21 shall not begin to accrue until the security deposit, including all installments due if applicable, has been paid in full. Nothing in this section shall preclude any such housing authority or corporation from waiving the payment of the security deposit, or agreeing to extend the installment payments over a period of more than twelve months.
(P.A. 79-371; P.A. 82-246, S. 2; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 12-24, S. 1; P.A. 16-74, S. 1.)
History: P.A. 82-246 amended section to change interest rate from 4% to 5.25%; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 12-24 added provision re calculation of interest rate on and after January 1, 2013; P.A. 16-74 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to replace “Commissioner of Social Services” with “Commissioner of Housing” and replace provisions re calculation of interest to be provided to tenant who resided in housing at least one year with provisions re interest to be provided to tenant or former tenant at the time tenancy is terminated, and added Subsec. (b) re installment payments for security deposit, effective October 1, 2016, and applicable to any tenant who first commenced occupancy on or after October 1, 2016.
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