General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 7091

January Session, 1999

 

LCO No. 5732

   
 

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

 

Introduced by: ( JUD )

An Act Concerning Landlord and Tenant.

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

Section 1. (NEW) If the parties to a summary process action have entered into a stipulation that includes a final stay of execution, the clerk of the court shall not accept any motion that seeks to modify the stipulation and extend the stay of execution.

Sec. 2. Section 47a-26 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

If the defendant does not appear within two days after the return day and a motion for judgment for failure to appear and an endorsed copy of the notice to quit is filed with the clerk, the [court] clerk shall forthwith enter judgment that the complainant recover possession or occupancy of the premises with his costs, and execution shall issue subject to the provisions of sections 47a-35 to 47a-41, inclusive.

Sec. 3. 52-261 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and section 52-261a, each officer or person who serves process, summons or attachments shall receive a fee of not more than twenty dollars for each process served and an additional fee of ten dollars for the second and each subsequent defendant upon whom the process is served. Each such officer or person shall also receive the fee set by the Department of Administrative Services for state employees for each mile of travel, to be computed from the place where he received the process to the place of service, and thence in the case of civil process to the place of return. If more than one process is served on one person at one time by any such officer or person, the total cost of travel for the service shall be the same as for the service of one process only. Each officer or person who serves process shall also receive the moneys actually paid for town clerk's fees on the service of process. Any officer or person required to summon jurors by personal service of a warrant to attend court shall receive for the first ten miles of travel while so engaged, such mileage to be computed from the place where he receives the process to the place of service, twenty-five cents for each mile, and for each additional mile, ten cents. For summoning any juror to attend court otherwise than by personal service of the warrant, such officer or person shall receive only the sum of fifty cents and actual disbursements necessarily expended by him in making service thereof as directed. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, for summoning grand jurors, such officer or person shall receive only his actual expenses and such reasonable sum for services as are taxed by the court. The following fees shall be allowed and paid: (1) For taking bail or bail bond, one dollar; (2) for copies of writs and complaints, exclusive of endorsements, one dollar per page, not to exceed a total amount of nine hundred dollars in any particular matter; (3) for endorsements, forty cents per page or fraction thereof; (4) for service of a warrant for the seizure of intoxicating liquors, or for posting and leaving notices after the seizure, or for the destruction or delivery of any such liquors under order of court, twenty dollars; (5) for the removal and custody of such liquors so seized, reasonable expenses, and twenty dollars; (6) for levying an execution, when the money is actually collected and paid over, or the debt secured by the officer to the acceptance of the creditor, ten per cent on the amount of the execution, provided the minimum fee for such execution shall be twenty dollars; (7) on the levy of an execution on real property and on application for sale of personal property attached, to each appraiser, for each half day of actual service, reasonable and customary expenses; (8) for causing an execution levied on real property to be recorded, fees for travel, twenty dollars and costs; (9) for services on an application for the sale of personal property attached, or in selling mortgaged property foreclosed under a decree of court, the same fees as for similar services on executions; (10) for committing any person to a community correctional center, in civil actions, twenty-one cents a mile for travel, from the place of the court to the community correctional center, in lieu of all other expenses; and (11) for summoning and attending a jury for reassessing damages or benefits on a highway, three dollars a day. The court shall tax as costs a reasonable amount for the care of property held by any officer under attachment or execution. The officer serving any attachment or execution may claim compensation for time and expenses of any person, in keeping, securing or removing property taken thereon, provided he shall make out a bill. The bill shall specify the labor done, and by whom, the time spent, the travel, the money paid, if any, and to whom and for what. The compensation for the services shall be reasonable and customary and the amount of expenses and shall be taxed by the court with the costs.

(b) Each officer or person shall receive the following fees: (1) For service of an execution on a summary process judgment, not more than fifty dollars; and (2) for removal under section 47a-42 of a defendant or other occupant bound by a summary process judgment, and the possessions and personal effects of such defendant or other occupant, not more than seventy-five dollars per hour.

Sec. 4. Section 47a-23 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) When the owner or lessor, or his legal representative, or his attorney-at-law, or in-fact, desires to obtain possession or occupancy of any land or building, any apartment in any building, any dwelling unit, any trailer, or any land upon which a trailer is used or stands, and (1) when a rental agreement or lease of such property, whether in writing or by parol, terminates for any of the following reasons: (A) By lapse of time; (B) by reason of any expressed stipulation therein; (C) violation of the rental agreement or lease or of any rules or regulations adopted in accordance with section 47a-9 or 21-70; (D) nonpayment of rent within the grace period provided for residential property in section 47a-15a or 21-83; (E) nonpayment of rent when due for commercial property; (F) violation of section 47a-11 or subsection (b) of section 21-82; (G) nuisance, as defined in section 47a-32, or serious nuisance, as defined in section 47a-15 or 21-80; or (2) when such premises, or any part thereof, is occupied by one who never had a right or privilege to occupy such premises; or (3) when one originally had the right or privilege to occupy such premises but such right or privilege has terminated; or (4) when an action of summary process or other action to dispossess a tenant is authorized under subsection (b) of section 47a-23c for any of the following reasons: (A) Refusal to agree to a fair and equitable rent increase, as defined in subsection (c) of section 47a-23c, (B) permanent removal by the landlord of the dwelling unit of such tenant from the housing market, or (C) bona fide intention by the landlord to use such dwelling unit as his principal residence; or (5) when a farm employee, as described in section 47a-30, or a domestic servant, caretaker, manager or other employee, as described in subsection (b) of section 47a-36, occupies such premises furnished by his employer and fails to vacate such premises after his employment is terminated by himself or his employer or after he fails to report for employment, such owner or lessor, or his legal representative, or his attorney-at-law, or in-fact, shall give notice to each lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy of such land, building, apartment or dwelling unit, at least three days before the termination of the rental agreement or lease, if any, or before the time specified in the notice for the lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy.

(b) The notice shall be in writing substantially in the following form: "I (or we) hereby give you notice that you are to quit possession or occupancy of the (land, building, apartment or dwelling unit, or of any trailer or any land upon which a trailer is used or stands, as the case may be), now occupied by you at (here insert the address, including apartment number or other designation, as applicable), on or before the (here insert the date) for the following reason (here insert the reason or reasons for the notice to quit possession or occupancy using the statutory language or words of similar import, also the date and place of signing notice). A.B.". If the owner or lessor, or his legal representative, attorney-at-law or attorney-in-fact knows of the presence of an occupant but does not know the name of such occupant, the notice for such occupant may be addressed to such occupant as "John Doe", "Jane Doe" or some other alias which reasonably characterizes the person to be served.

(c) A copy of such notice shall be delivered to each lessee or occupant or left at his place of residence or, if the rental agreement or lease concerns commercial property, at the place of the commercial establishment by a proper officer or indifferent person. Delivery of such notice may be made on any day of the week.

(d) With respect to a month-to-month tenancy of a dwelling unit, a notice to quit possession based on nonpayment of rent shall, upon delivery, terminate the rental agreement for the month in which the notice is delivered, convert the month-to-month tenancy to a tenancy at sufferance and provide proper basis for a summary process action notwithstanding that such notice was delivered in the month after the month in which the rent is alleged to be unpaid.

(e) A termination notice required pursuant to federal law and regulations may be included in or combined with the notice required pursuant to this section and such inclusion or combination does not thereby render the notice required pursuant to this section equivocal, provided the rental agreement or lease shall not terminate until after the date specified in the notice for the lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy or the date of completion of the pretermination process, whichever is later.

(f) When a termination notice required pursuant to federal law and regulations is included in or combined with the notice required pursuant to this section, as provided in subsection (e) of this section, language included in the notice required pursuant to this section to the effect that payments received after service of such notice will be accepted for use and occupancy only, with full reservation of rights to continue with the summary process action, does not thereby render the notice required pursuant to this section equivocal.

Sec. 5. Section 8-45a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

A housing authority, as defined in subsection (b) of section 8-39, in determining eligibility for the rental of public housing units may establish criteria and consider relevant information concerning (1) an applicant's or any proposed occupant's history of criminal activity involving: [(1)] (A) Crimes of physical violence to persons or property, [(2)] (B) crimes involving the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution or use of, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, use or distribute, a controlled substance, as defined in section 21a-240, or [(3)] (C) other criminal acts which would adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of other tenants, (2) an applicant's or any proposed occupant's abuse, or pattern of abuse, of alcohol when the housing authority has reasonable cause to believe that such applicant's or proposed occupant's abuse, or pattern of abuse, of alcohol may interfere with the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents, and (3) an applicant or any proposed occupant who is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under section 54-252 on account of being convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of a sexually violent offense. In evaluating any such information, the housing authority shall give consideration to the time, nature and extent of the applicant's or proposed occupant's conduct and to factors which might indicate a reasonable probability of favorable future conduct such as evidence of rehabilitation and evidence of the willingness of the applicant, the applicant's family or the proposed occupant to participate in social service or other appropriate counseling programs and the availability of such programs.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) In any summary process action, if the defendant appears and pleads a defense, the defendant shall pay to the plaintiff for deposit into an attorney's clients' funds account or an escrow account established in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, payments for use and occupancy in an amount equal to the last agreed-upon rent or, in the absence of a prior agreed-upon rent, in an amount equal to the fair rental value of the premises during the pendency of such action. The clerk of the court shall notify the defendant of such requirement in the summons.

(b) The plaintiff shall deposit all payments received from the defendant pursuant to this section in an attorney's clients' funds account or an escrow account established by such plaintiff in a financial institution authorized to do business in this state. The plaintiff shall not withdraw any money from such account except upon order of the court as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(c) If the defendant fails to make such payments, judgment shall forthwith be entered for the plaintiff.

(d) At the time of entering final judgment, the court shall determine the amount due each party from the accrued payments for such use and occupancy and order distribution in accordance with its determination. Such determination shall be based upon the respective claims of the parties arising during the pendency of the proceedings and shall be conclusive of such claims only to the extent of the total amount distributed.

Statement of Purpose: To prohibit modification or extension of a final stay of execution, authorize the court clerk to enter judgment when the defendant fails to appear, standardize sheriffs' fees for executing a summary process judgment, provide that the combination of a federal termination notice and a use and occupancy disclaimer does not render the notice to quit equivocal, allow housing authorities to consider alcohol abuse and status as a lifetime registered sexual offender in determining eligibility to rent a public housing unit, and require tenants to deposit use and occupancy payments into an escrow account during the pendency of a summary process action.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]