Evicting a tenant in Connecticut happens when there is a tenant in possession of a landlord’s property who is either in breach of the lease agreement or whose rental term is ending without renewal. A process server must serve a “Notice to Quit” on the tenant before the landlord can begin the formal eviction process in court. If the tenant does not cure the breach or vacate the property by the deadline stated on the Notice, the landlord will file a Summons and appropriate Complaint with the court.
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – File With the Court
- Step 3 – Court Assigns Return Date
- Step 4 – Appear in Court
- Step 5 – Motion for Default Judgment
- Step 6 – File an Execution for Possession
- Step 7 – Possession of Property
The landlord provides written notice to the tenant that they must leave the premises by the deadline specified on the notice. The landlord cannot serve the notice themselves. They must work with a process server to have it professionally served to the tenant.
- Non-Payment & Non-Compliance (3-Day Notice) – This notice is used when the tenant has failed to pay rent by the due date and/or does not comply with terms of the rental agreement. Rent is considered late nine (9) days after the due date specified in the rental agreement for monthly tenants, and four (4) days after the due date for weekly tenants.1
- Owner’s Personal Use (3-Day Notice) – If the owner wishes to move into the rental unit, they may serve the tenant a 3-day notice to quit whereby the tenant must leave within 3 days.2
- Discontinuance of Rental Unit (3-Day Notice) – If the owner wishes to discontinue renting the property, they can serve the current tenant a 3-day notice which demands the tenant must leave within that timeframe. The owner should not rent the unit again after issuing this notice.2
- Refusal to Accept Rent Increase (3-Day Notice) – If the tenant refuses to accept a legal rent increase, then they may be issued a 3-day notice to quit.2 There is no option to remain on the property after the allotted time once notice has been issued.
- Month-to-Month (30-Day Notice) – Either the landlord or the tenant can serve this notice on the other. It expresses the party’s desire to terminate the lease agreement when permissible. There is no Connecticut state law that establishes a minimum time-frame for sending such a notice, so landlords and tenants should adhere to the language of the specific rental agreement.3
- Average Processing Time – 30-45 days4
- Filing Fee – $1755
- Where To File – Superior or Housing Court of the Judicial District in which the rental property is located5
If the tenant does not pay all rent owed or vacate the property within three (3) days of receiving the notice, the landlord can file an action with the Housing Session of the Connecticut Superior Court in the county where the property is located. The documents that must be included in the filing are:
- Summons (JD-HM-32 Rev. 4-19): The landlord will use this form if the tenant does not vacate the property within the given notice period. They will file the form with the court first, who will then serve the notice on the tenant.
- Complaint (JD-HM-20 Rev. 4-19): This form lays out the reason for which the landlord is suing the tenant. It should also be filed with the court first, then the tenant.
- Complaint for Non-Payment of Rent (JD-HM-8 Rev. 2-19): This notifies the tenant that they have not paid rent on time and have remained on the property beyond the notice period established by the notice to quit. This must be filed with the court and then on the tenant by a process server.
- Copy of the “Notice to Quit” that was served on the tenant
The clerk will set a return date by which the tenant must respond to the landlord’s filing. The landlord must have copies of all court documents served to the tenant by a process server at least four (4) days prior to the return date. The tenant is responsible for filing an Answer to the Complaint and an Appearance within two (2) days of the return date. The court will then set a hearing date for the landlord and tenant to present their cases.5 If the tenant refuses to comply or does not respond to the Summons and Complaint, the landlord must file a motion for default judgment.
Both parties must appear in court on the hearing date with copies of all filed documents. The tenant can contest the action in the Answer to Complaint that they file with the court.
- Landlord did not appropriately maintain the rental property5,7
- Landlord did not follow proper eviction procedures in regards to notice dates and timeframes4
- Landlord can only attempt to evict tenants with a court order. Any attempts to limit utilities or change locks is strictly prohibited8,9
- Landlord discriminated against tenant(s) based on age, disability, familial status, gender, gender identity or expression, legal source of income, marital status, national origin, race, religion, and/or sexual orientation5
If the tenant does not respond to the service within two (2) days of the return date, the landlord can file a Motion for Default Judgment.
- Motion for Default Judgment for Failure to Appear: The landlord can file this motion if the tenant fails to file an Appearance.
- Motion for Default Judgment for Failure to Plead: The landlord can file this motion if the tenant fails to file an Answer to Complaint.
If the tenant does not vacate the property within five (5) days of receiving a losing ruling, the landlord can file a Summary Process Execution for Possession. This provides the tenant with a 24-hour warning from being forcibly removed by the State Marshal.
If the tenant has not left the property within 24-hours of receiving the warning for the Execution for Possession, the State Marshal will forcibly remove the tenant and all of their belongings from the property.
Video: Evictions in Connecticut
- § 47a-15a
- § 47a-23
- § 47a-7
- § 47a-43
- § 47a-13