Connecticut
Eviction Process

The CDC issued a halt on evictions until Dec. 31 for qualifying renters. Click here

Timeline. 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 (read more).

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

Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in Connecticut.

Step 1: Notice is Posted

Landlords in Connecticut can begin the eviction process for several reasons, including:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice must be served on the tenant prior to proceeding with the eviction process.
  2. Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, depending on the type of violation, the landlord may or may not be required to give the tenant the option to correct the issue.
  3. No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
  4. Owner’s Personal Use of Rental Unit – If the owner/landlord wishes to use the rental unit for their own personal use, they must provide written notice to the tenant prior to moving forward with the eviction process.
  5. Discontinuance of Use of Rental Unit – If the landlord/owner no longer intends to rent out the rental unit, tenants must receive prior written notice.
  6. Refusal to Accept Rent Increase – If a tenant refuses to accept a reasonable and fair rent increase, the landlord may evict them with proper written notice.
  7. Illegal Activity – If a tenant or any other occupant of the rental unit is engaged in illegal activity, notice may or may not be required, depending on whether there is a conviction.
NOTES
  • Retaliatory Evictions. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining to the landlord or to the appropriate local or government agency regarding the property. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for joining, supporting, or organizing a tenant organization or union.
  • Evicting a Squatter. If the individual occupying the property never had the right or privilege to live in the rental unit (through a verbal/written agreement with the landlord or another tenant), landlords would follow the summary process (eviction) procedures under Connecticut law (read more).

Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.

Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.

According to Connecticut law, rent is considered late if it is paid 4 days after the due date for a one-week tenancy, or 9 days after the due date for all other tenancies.

Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Quit if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant 3 days to move out in order to avoid eviction.

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

Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement

A tenant can be evicted in Connecticut if they do not uphold their responsibilities under the terms of a written lease/rental agreement.

Connecticut landlords must allow tenants to correct a material noncompliance with the lease/rental agreement by providing them with a 15-Day Notice to Comply, giving tenants 15 days to correct the issue in order to avoid eviction.

Typical lease violations under this category could include things like damaging the rental property, having too many people residing in the rental unit, having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy, and material health/safety violations.

Examples of material health/safety violations could include letting trash pile up inside the rental unit, providing a harbor for rodents or bugs, or even things like damaging the electrical wiring in the rental unit.

For all other (minor) lease violations (except nonpayment of rent), landlords are required to provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Quit, giving tenants 3 days to move out of the rental unit.

Note that illegal activity is not included in this category.

If the tenant fails to correct the violation/remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease

In the state of Connecticut, if tenants “hold over,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord must give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.

Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.

Regardless of the length or type of tenancy, landlords are required to give all tenants 3 days’ written notice to vacate the rental unit.

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

Eviction Process for Owner’s Personal Use of the Rental Unit

If the landlord/owner decides that they no longer want to rent out the unit, and instead want to live in the rental unit/property themselves, then the landlord must give their tenant 3 days’ written notice to vacate the rental unit.

Tenants do not have an option to remain in the rental unit in these cases 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 Process for Discontinuance of Use of the Rental Unit

If the landlord/owner decides that they no longer want to rent out the rental property, and the property is going to sit unused, then the landlord must give their tenants 3 days’ written notice prior to proceeding with the eviction process.

Tenants do not have an option to remain in the rental unit in these cases 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 Process for Refusal to Accept Rent Increase

If tenants in Connecticut refuse to accept a fair, equitable rent increase, landlords may give their tenants 3 days’ written notice to vacate the rental unit.

Tenants do not have an option to remain in the rental unit in these cases 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 Process for Illegal Activity

Tenants of a rental unit who are involved in illegal activity must be given 3 days’ written notice before the landlord can proceed with an eviction action.

In Connecticut, illegal activity includes :

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

However, no written notice is required if a tenant is convicted of using the rental unit for prostitution or illegal gaming. In these cases, the landlord may proceed directly to step 2 below without giving tenants prior written notice.

For all other types of illegal activity, if the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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

Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

As the next step in the eviction process, Connecticut landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate court. In the state of Connecticut, this costs $175 in filing fees statewide.

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 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.

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

Step 3: Appearance / Answer is 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 acknowledging the tenant has received the complaint and is aware of the court case against them.

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 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 no answer 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 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 tenants only file an appearance, or only file an answer but not an appearance, the court will rule in the landlord’s favor and the eviction process will continue.

2-5 days. Tenants must file their appearance and answer within 2 days of receiving the summons. Tenant will have 3 days after receiving a motion for default judgment to file their answer if they fail to file it with the appearance.

Step 4: Court Hearing and 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 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.

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

Step 5: Writ of Execution Is Issued

The writ of execution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit, and gives 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/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.

5 days. The writ of execution may be issued 5 days after a judgment in favor of the landlord.

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 6 months for all evictions except:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Nuisance
  • Serious nuisance
  • Squatters

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

24 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 3-6 months to the process.

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

Connecticut Eviction Process Timeline

Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in Connecticut. With that being said, these estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.

  1. Initial Notice Period – between 3 and 15 days, depending on the notice type and reason for eviction.
  2. Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint – 12 days prior to the hearing.
  3. Appearance/Answer Filed – 2-5 days prior to the hearing.
  4. Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – 7-10 days after the tenant’s answer is received by the court.
  5. Issuance of Writ of Execution – 5 days after the judicial officer rules in favor of the landlord.
  6. Return of Possession – 24 hours; longer if a stay is granted.

Flowchart of Connecticut Eviction Process

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.