FAQs - Direct Services
Can a landlord lock out a tenant or an unauthorized occupant from a rental unit?
Lockouts are illegal in Connecticut. A landlord must obtain a court order through an eviction to remove a tenant or occupant and their belongings. It is against the law for a landlord or any other person to change the locks to a rental unit or room or withhold a tenant’s or occupant’s possessions.
What is an eviction?
Eviction, also known as Summary Process, is a legal process a landlord must follow to remove a tenant or an occupant from a house, apartment, or room.
Can a landlord require a rental security deposit from a tenant?
Yes, a landlord can demand a security deposit in an amount not to exceed two times the monthly rent. Tenants who are 62 years of age or older, can only be charged up to one month's rent as a security deposit.
Do landlords have to pay interest on rental security deposits?
Yes, landlords must pay tenants the accrued annual interest on their security deposit account. Contact HERC to find out the current annual interest rate.
Is a rental security deposit non-refundable?
No, security deposits must be returned to tenants after vacating, unless the landlord is claiming damages against the deposit.
What are the basic responsibilities of a tenant in Connecticut?
- Pay the rent on time before it is legally late.
- Keep the rental unit clean, use all utilities and appliances in a safe and reasonable manner, and remove all garbage and waste to the place designated by the landlord.
- Conduct yourself, have your family and guests conduct themselves, in a manner that will not disturb your neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
- Grant the landlord permission to enter the unit at reasonable times.
- Notify the landlord if you plan to be away from the apartment for an extended period of time.
- Provide the landlord with proper notice when vacating the apartment.
What are the basic responsibilities of a landlord in Connecticut?
- Keep rental units, utility systems and common areas in compliance with all State and local building and housing codes dealing with health and safety.
- Make necessary repairs to keep rental units in a fit and livable condition.
- Provide smoke detectors and warning equipment.
- Provide tenants with a designated area to dispose of trash and arrange for its removal.
- Arrange for extermination services, if the unit is infested.
- Collect the rent.
Is there a maximum amount that a landlord can increase a tenant’s rent?No, there is not a legal limit on rent increases. A tenant can file a complaint with their municipal Fair Rent Commission, if one exists, if the increase is not fair and equitable.
Can a tenant withhold the rent if the landlord is not making necessary repairs?
A tenant should not withhold rent for any reason; doing so puts the tenant at risk of eviction. There are other ways of forcing a landlord to make repairs.
Can a landlord limit the number of children that reside in a rental unit?
Federal and state fair housing laws prohibit disparate treatment of tenants with children. However, if too many persons will be occupying one rental unit, the landlord must comply with health and housing codes and deny the rental to the prospective tenant due to overcrowding.