The Connecticut residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a written document outlining the terms and conditions between a landlord and tenant to rent real property for a fee. Once endorsed by the landlord and the tenant, the agreement becomes legally binding.
Connecticut Lease Agreement Disclosures
The following disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Connecticut.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in Connecticut.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Connecticut.
Landlords, owners, or any individual authorized to manage the rental property must disclose their name and address so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. Typically, this information is provided in the rental agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.
Common Interest Community Notice
Applicable to all rental units located in a common interest community.
If a rental property is located in a common interest community (such as a rental where the tenant pays fees for shared amenities), this must be disclosed in the rental agreement.
The following notice is an example of sufficient disclosure:
NOTICE OF COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY. This property is located in a common interest community, which means that Tenant may be subjected to fees associated with the support of common interests such as amenities.
Operative Fire Sprinkler System Notice
Applicable to all rental units.
All rental agreements in Connecticut must include a notice that is written in 12-point, boldface and uniform font about whether or not the property has a functioning operative fire sprinkler system. If there is a system in place, the lease must include the maintenance and repair history.
Bed Bug Disclosure
Applicable to all units.
Landlords may not offer a unit for rent that is suspected of or currently infested with bedbugs. If there is an adjacent or contiguous property that is infested, the landlord must provide notice of the infestation. If asked, the landlord must also disclose the last date of inspection for bed bugs in the prospective or adjacent rental units.
An example of a bed bug addendum or section would be:
BED BUGS. At the time of presenting this agreement, Landlord certifies:
[ ] There is no known current infestation or history of bed bugs in this property.
[ ] There is no known current infestation, but there is a history of infestation in this property.
[ ] There is no known current infestation, but there is a nearby infestation or history of infestations which may place the property at risk.
See attached addendum for more information.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. Paint, paint chips or dust may cause lead-based paint exposure. This law requires landlords in Connecticut to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Connecticut law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Connecticut law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke to not interfere with other tenants.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious and negligent damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. Connecticut does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They may also only be charged after a nine-day grace period.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981, there might be a higher risk for asbestos exposure when the insulated material is disturbed. It is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property to lower the risk of exposure.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to a tenant’s negligence during the lease term.