Connecticut Eviction Process

Connecticut Eviction Process

Last Updated: October 31, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

Steps of the eviction process in Connecticut:

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

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

Questions? To chat with a Connecticut eviction attorney, click here

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, discontinuance of use of rental property, illegal activity, and more. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 3 Days No
End of / No Lease 3 Days No
Lease Violation 15 Days Maybe
Owner’s Personal Use 3 Days No
Discontinuance of Use 3 Days No
Refusal to Accept Rent Increase 3 Days No
Illegal Activity 15 Days No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 3 days’ notice to vacate the premises. The tenant does not have the opportunity to fix the issue and must move out.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Connecticut 4 days after the due date for a one-week tenancy, or 9 days after the due date for all other tenancies.  So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month for a month-to-month tenant, it is considered late starting on the 10th of the month (if not paid in full).

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (3 days for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Connecticut a landlord can evict a tenant for a common nuisance or a serious nuisance.  Some nuisances allow the tenant to fix (“cure”) the issue to avoid removal and other nuisances do not allow the tenant to fix the issue (“incurable”) and must vacate.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Complying with all building, housing or fire codes that materially affect health and safety.
  • Keeping the premises clean and safe.
  • Removing ash, garbage, rubbish and other wase in a clean and safe manner.
  • Keeping all plumbing fixtures and appliances clean.
  • Using all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner.
  • Not willfully or negligently destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the premises.
  • Not disturbing the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Curable Nuisance

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant if the tenant commits a nuisance. To do so, a landlord must provide a 15 day notice to comply. The tenant has the option to fix the issue and remain at the property. If the tenant does not fix the issue within that timeframe, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.

Examples of curable nuisances include:

  • Having an unauthorized pet or guest.
  • Parking in an unauthorized area.
  • Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.

If the tenant commits the same nuisance within a six-month time frame, the landlord may end the lease without notice.

Incurable Nuisance

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant if the tenant commits an incurable nuisance. To do so, a landlord must give a 15 days’ notice to vacate. Tenants do not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

Examples of incurable nuisances include:

  • Illegal sale of drugs on the premises.
  • Creating/causing a nuisance.
  • Causing substantial, willful property damage.
  • Endangering the health or safety of others.
  • Inflicting/threatening bodily harm on another tenant/landlord.

If the tenant remains on the premises after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Owner’s Personal Use of the Rental Unit

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant if the owner decides that they no longer want to rent out the dwelling unit, and instead want to live in the dwelling unit themselves. To do so, the landlord/owner must give the tenant a 3 days’ notice to vacate. Tenants do not have the option to remain in the dwelling unit and must move out.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Discontinuance of Use of the Rental Unit

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant if the owner decides that they no longer want to rent out the dwelling unit and the property is going to sit unused. To do so, the landlord/owner must give the tenant a 3 days’ notice to vacate. Tenants do not have the option to remain in the dwelling unit and must move out.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Refusal to Accept Rent Increase

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant if the tenant refuses to accept an increase in rent that is fair and equitable. Landlords may give the tenant a 3 days’ notice to vacate. Tenants do not have the option to remain in the dwelling unit and must move out.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Illegal Activity

In Connecticut, a landlord can evict a tenant if the tenant commits an illegal activity. No notice is required if a tenant is convicted of using the rental unit for prostitution or illegal gaming. In these situations, the landlord may proceed directly to filing an eviction lawsuit.

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Illegal Evictions in Connecticut

In Connecticut, any of the below is illegal.

“Self-Help” Evictions

No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed 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. 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. The tenant may also terminate the lease agreement and the landlord must return all security deposit funds plus interest.

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 officials tasked to enforce the law.
  • Filing a complaint with the fair rent commission.
  • Requesting the landlord to make repairs.
  • Joining a tenant’s union or organization.

If the landlord is found liable, the court will decide the tenant’s remedies.

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Notice is Posted

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Connecticut by serving the tenant with written notice. In Connecticut, a notice to vacate must be served formally by a state marshal, officer, or a person specially appointed by the court. If the notice is to comply or vacate, the landlord may serve the tenant.

The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
  2. Handing the notice to someone of suitable age and discretion at the premises;
  3. Posting the notice in a conspicuous place at the premises.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice. 

3-Day Notice to Quit (Nonpayment of Rent)

If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Connecticut, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out

3-Day Notice to Quit (End of Lease/No Lease)

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Connecticut, the landlord must serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 3 calendar days to move out.

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

15-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate (Lease Violation)

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

3-Day Notice to Quit (Discontinuance of Use)

In Connecticut, if a landlord wants to use the property for his/her own personal use or they no longer want to rent out the dwelling unit and the property is going to sit unused, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

3-Day Notice to Quit (Rent Increase Refusal)

In Connecticut, if a tenant refuses to accept an increase in rent that is fair and equitable, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

15-Day Notice to Quit (Illegal Activity)

In Connecticut, if a tenant commits an illegal activity, the landlord can serve them a 15-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 15 calendar days to vacate. The tenant does not have the option to fix the issue and must move out.

No Notice Required

In Connecticut, if a tenant commits the same lease violation within a 6-month time frame or if the tenant uses the rental unit for prostitution or illegal gaming. The landlord may proceed directly to filing an eviction lawsuit without prior notice.

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Complaint with Court

As the next step in the eviction process, Connecticut landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate court. In the state of Connecticut, the filing fee is $175, payments must be made at the time of filing by cash or check payable to “Clerk, Superior Court.”

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; or
  2. Leaving a copy at the tenant’s usual residence.

It is important to note that 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.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com 12 days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant at least 12 days prior to the hearing date.

Eviction Answer Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Answer & Appearance are Filed

Connecticut tenants must file an appearance, or the court will issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord. An appearance is a written document that acknowledges that the tenant has received the complaint and is aware of the court case against them.

If the tenant hasn’t filed an appearance two 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 to (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 hasn’t filed an answer to the complaint three 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.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com2-5 days. Tenants must file their appearance and answer within two days of receiving the summons. Tenant will have three days after receiving a motion for default judgment to file their answer if they fail to file it with the appearance.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 4: Court Holds Hearing & 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 tenant fails to appear for the hearing, it will not be continued and the judge will make a ruling on the eviction that day.

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 five 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.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com 7-10 days. The eviction hearing will generally be held within 7-10 days after the tenant’s answer is received by the court.

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 five days after judgment has been entered in favor of the landlord.

This means the tenant will have five days to move out before law enforcement delivers/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.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comFive days. The writ of execution may be issued five days after a judgment in favor of 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/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 six months for all evictions except:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Squatters
  • Nuisance
  • A serious nuisance

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

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com24 hours. Tenants will have 24 hours to move out of the rental unit once the stay of execution is posted; however, if the tenant requests a stay, it could add another three to six months to the process.

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
Questions? To chat with a Connecticut eviction attorney, click here

Flowchart of Connecticut Eviction Process

Connecticut Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Connecticut, please refer to the official legislation, Connecticut General Statutes §47a-1 to 47a-42a, and §52-45a to 52-72, for more information.

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