Connecticut Eviction Process

Connecticut Eviction Process

Last Updated: April 3, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

Evicting a tenant in Connecticut can take around 4 to 7 weeks, depending on the reason for the eviction. If the tenant requests a continuance or a stay of execution, the process can take longer.

Grounds for an Eviction in Connecticut

In Connecticut, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include:

  • Not paying rent on time
  • Staying after the lease ends
  • Violating lease terms
  • Committing illegal activity

Depending on the grounds for eviction, the landlord needs to give proper notice and provide the tenant a chance to cure the violation.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 3 Days Yes
End of Lease or No Lease 30 Days No
Lease Violations 15 Days Yes
Illegal Activity or Repeat Lease Violations 3 Days No

Nonpayment of Rent

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, a state marshal, proper officer or specially appointed person by the court must first serve the tenant a 3 days’ notice to quit, which gives them an opportunity to pay the balance due or move out.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each month and is considered late in Connecticut if not paid within 4 days of the due date for week-to-week tenancies, and 9 days of the due date for all other tenancies.

If the tenant does not pay the balance due or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

example

If rent is due on September 1st, it will be considered late starting on September 5th for week-to-week tenancies, and September 10th for all other tenancies, unless the lease specifically states there is a grace period.

End of Lease or No Lease

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant who does not have a lease (“tenant at will”) or has a lease that has terminated and continues to remain on the premises (“holdover tenant”). Landlords must first terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant a 30-day notice to move out.

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Lease Violations

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their legal responsibilities under Connecticut landlord tenant law. Landlords must first serve the tenant a 15 days’ notice to comply or vacate, which gives the tenant a chance to fix the issue or move out.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Failing to comply with health and safety standards
  • Using plumbing, electrical or other fixtures in an unreasonable or unsafe manner
  • Committing minor property damage (i.e. small holes in sheetrock or missing blinds)
  • Disturbing the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises
  • Refusing to allow the landlord access to the rental unit

If the tenant does not fix the issue or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

    Illegal Activity or Repeat Lease Violations

    In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant for engaging in illegal activity or repeating a lease violation within 6 months.

    To do so, a state marshal, proper officer or specially appointed person by the court must first serve the tenant a 3 days’ notice to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out within the 3-day period.

    In Connecticut, illegal activity includes:

    • Engaging in or promoting prostitution
    • Selling illegal drugs
    • Posing an immediate or serious danger to the safety of others
    • Threatening or inflicting serious harm on others
    • Causing substantial and willful destruction of the premises

    If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

    If the tenant repeats the same or a similar lease violation within a 6 month period, the landlord is not required to give the tenant a second chance to fix the issue and can instead serve them a 3-day notice to vacate.

    Illegal Evictions in Connecticut

    In Connecticut, there are a few different types of evictions that are illegal. If found liable, the landlord could be required to pay the tenant two months’ periodic rent or double the actual damages sustained, whichever is greater.

    “Self-Help” Evictions

    A landlord is not allowed to attempt to forcibly remove a tenant by:

    • Changing the locks
    • Shutting off utilities
    • Removing tenant belongings
    • Harassing the tenant

    A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

    Retaliatory Evictions

    It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include:

    • Complaining about habitability issues to the landlord or government officials
    • Filing a complaint with the fair rent commission
    • Requesting the landlord to make repairs
    • Joining a tenant’s union or organization

    Read More

    Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

    Steps of the eviction process in Connecticut:

    1. Landlord serves tenant written notice of violations
    2. Landlord files complaint with court due to unresolved violations
    3. Tenant files answer and appearance
    4. Court holds hearing and issues judgment
    5. Writ of execution is issued
    6. Possession of property is returned to landlord

    Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice To Tenant

    A landlord can begin the eviction process in Connecticut by serving the tenant with written notice. However, a state marshal, proper officer, or specially appointed person by the court must serve the 3-day notice to quit for unpaid rent and the 3-day notice to vacate for an incurable breach.

    Landlords can serve the 15-day notice to comply or vacate for a curable lease violation as well as lease termination notices.

    Notices must be delivered using any of the following acceptable methods:

    1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person
    2. Handing the notice to someone of suitable age and discretion on the premises
    3. Posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises, such as the entry door
    tip

    Landlords should always keep the original signed notice and declaration of service as proof of proper service if the case proceeds to court.

    3-Day Notice To Quit

    In Connecticut, if a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial), a state marshal, proper officer or specially appointed person by the court can serve them a 3-Day Notice To Quit.

    The rent is considered late if it’s not paid within 4 days of the due date for week-to-week tenancies or within 9 calendar days of the date it’s normally due for all other tenancies.

    This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 days to pay the balance due or move out.

    30-Day Notice To Vacate

    For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Connecticut, the landlord can serve them a 30-Day Notice To Vacate to terminate the tenancy. This lease termination notice allows the tenant 30 days to move out.

    For tenants that don’t pay rent monthly, the amount of notice does not change.

    15-Day Notice To Comply or Vacate

    In Connecticut, if a tenant commits a lease violation, the landlord can serve them a 15-Day Notice To Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 15 days to fix the issue or move out.

    If the tenant repeats the same or a similar lease violation within a 6 month period, the landlord does not have to offer them a second chance to fix the issue and can instead serve them a 3-day notice to vacate.

    3-Day Notice To Vacate

    In Connecticut, if a tenant commits an illegal activity, repeats a lease violation within a 6 month period or commits any other incurable breach, a state marshal, proper officer or specially appointed person by the court can serve them a 3-Day Notice To Vacate.

    This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

    Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

    Step 2: Landlord Files Complaint with Court

    If the notice period ends and the tenant remains on the property, the next step in the eviction process allows the landlord to file a complaint and summons with the court. The proper jurisdiction will be in the county in which the property is located.

    The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by the state marshal, constable, or other “proper” officer at least 12 days prior to the eviction hearing through one of the following methods:

    1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person
    2. Leaving a copy at the tenant’s usual residence
    note

    Connecticut law does not require a copy of the summons and complaint to be mailed to the tenant if the copies are left at the tenant’s residence. However, it does require a signature on the summons for the county clerk to record.

    Eviction Answer Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

    Step 3: Tenant Files Appearance and Answer

    Connecticut tenants must file an appearance, or the court will issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord. If the tenant hasn’t filed an appearance 2 days after the date listed on the summons, the landlord may request a default judgment against the tenant, meaning no hearing will be held and the court will order the tenant to move out of the rental unit.

    Tenants must also file a written answer along with the appearance if the tenant wants a chance to object or contest the eviction. It’s not enough for tenants to file an appearance with the court if they want to attend the eviction hearing; they must also file a written answer.

    Tenants have 2 days after the date listed on the summons to file an answer. If there is no answer that is received by that date, but the appearance has been received, landlords must file a motion for default judgment which is also served on the tenant.

    If the tenant still has not filed an answer to the complaint 3 days after the motion for default judgment is filed with the court, the judicial officer will rule against the tenant, meaning no hearing will be held and the court will order the tenant to move out of the rental unit.

    If a tenant only files an appearance, or only files an answer and not an appearance, the court will rule in the landlord’s favor and the eviction process will continue.

    Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

    Step 4: Court Holds Hearing and Issues Judgment

    A hearing will be held only if tenants file both their appearance and their answer by the court-ordered deadlines. The hearing will be held 7-10 days after the answer is received by the court.

    If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a summary possession execution will be issued and the eviction process will proceed.

    Tenants will have 5 days to appeal the judicial officer’s decision. If an appeal is filed, the eviction will be stopped until a final ruling is made on the appeal. Otherwise, the eviction process will continue.

    Eviction Writ of Execution on iPropertyManagement.com

    Step 5: Writ of Execution Is Issued

    The writ of execution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and allows them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff returns to the property to forcibly remove them.

    The writ will be issued at least 5 days after judgment has been entered in favor of the landlord. This means the tenant will have 5 days to move out before law enforcement delivers or posts the writ on the premises.

    If the tenant remains in the rental unit after the writ is issued, possession of the rental unit will be forcibly returned to the landlord.

    Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

    Step 6: Possession of Property is Returned

    Tenants will have 24 hours once the writ of execution is posted or delivered to move out of the rental unit before the sheriff returns to forcibly remove them.

    However, tenants may request a stay of execution not to exceed 6 months for all evictions except:

    • Nonpayment of rent
    • Squatters
    • Nuisance
    note

    For nonpayment of rent, tenants may request a stay of execution not to exceed 3 months.

    Connecticut Eviction Process Timeline

    In Connecticut, an eviction can be completed in 4 to 7 weeks, but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

    Below are the parts of the Connecticut eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

    Step Estimated Time
    Initial Notice Period 3-15 Calendar Days
    Court Issuing/Serving Summons 12 Calendar Days
    Tenant Response Period 2-5 Business Days
    Court Ruling 7-10 Business Days
    Court Serving Writ of Possession 5 Business Days
    Final Notice Period 24 Hours

    Flowchart of Connecticut Eviction Process

    Connecticut Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

    Connecticut Eviction Court Fees

    The total cost of an eviction in Connecticut for all filing, court, and service fees is $355. However, the total cost can vary by service and eviction enforcement fees. Eviction lawsuits shall be filed in the Superior Court.

    Fee Superior
    Initial Court Filing $175
    Summons Service ~$30
    Writ of Execution Service $50
    Writ of Execution Enforcement $100+
    Notice of Appeal Filing (Optional) $175

    Read more

    Sources