Last Updated on November 6, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Landlord harassment in Connecticut is illegal as per the state’s landlord-tenant law (Connecticut General Statutes Title 47A).
Landlord harassment occurs when the landlord partakes in actions that are meant to intimidate, coerce, or retaliate against a tenant. This can take many forms.
In today’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know regarding landlord harassment in Connecticut.
What are Examples of Landlord Harassment in Connecticut?
The following are some of the things that a landlord cannot do after you start living in your rental home.
#1: Fail to make requested repairs to your unit.
Connecticut landlords have a duty to provide their tenants with a livable home. In other words, the home must meet the state’s basic health, safety, and building codes.
After serving the landlord with proper notification, the landlord must make repairs within 15 days. If they don’t, you may be able to break the lease without penalty, or even sue the landlord for damages in court.
#2: Threaten to evict you from the property.
This is another thing that a landlord cannot do in Connecticut. Your landlord must not threaten to evict you from the property for whatever reason, especially after exercising a legal right such as reporting them to a local government agency for uninhabitability issues.
Furthermore, the landlord cannot try to remove you from the property through illegal means. Such as, locking you out, removing your personal belongings from the property, or shutting down utilities.
#3: Retaliate against you.
It’s illegal for Connecticut landlords to retaliate against their tenants for exercising certain legal rights. Examples of such legal rights include:
- Forming or joining a tenants’ union to advocate for your rights.
- Reporting the landlord for failing to maintain the unit to a habitable condition.
The landlord must not then retaliate against you for exercising such rights by raising the rent amount, reducing services to your unit, or evicting you from the property.
#4: Refuse to return your security deposit back.
Connecticut landlords have certain responsibilities when it comes to a tenant’s security deposit. (Here is a comprehensive guide on landlord responsibilities in Connecticut).
Including, returning the tenant’s security deposit (or whatever portion) remains within 21 days of the tenant moving out. In addition to this, the landlord has a duty to pay you an interest accrued during the period. Also, if there are any deductions made to the deposit, they must be reasonable and for legitimate reasons.
For a basic overview of CT security deposit laws, here is a guide to get you started.
#5: Raise your rent illegally.
Although landlords in Connecticut have a right to raise rent, they must abide by certain rules. For one, the rent raise must not be harsh or unconscionable. If you have a reason to believe that a rent raise has been unreasonable, you can file a complaint with the Fair Rent Commission to contest it.
Two, the landlord must wait until your fixed-term lease ends to raise it. And lastly, the landlord must provide you with an advance notice. State law doesn’t specific how much notice a landlord must give prior to a rent raise, only that it must be “reasonable.”
#6: Discriminate against you.
This is another thing that a landlord cannot do in Connecticut. As a renter, you have a right to fair and equal treatment by your landlord. Your landlord must not try to discriminate against you on the basis of protected classes, such as race, color, ancestry, sex, or nationality.
#7: Entering your rented premises without advance notice.
Connecticut landlords have a duty to notify their tenants before entry. State law requires that the notice be “reasonable,” which is typically taken to mean 24 hours. The landlord must also have a legitimate reason for entry. For instance, the landlord may seek to enter to do things like: inspect the unit, serve an important notice, or show the unit to a prospective buyer or tenant.
Other Examples of Landlord Harassment in Connecticut
The following are other examples of landlord harassment in Connecticut.
- The landlord making sexual advances or comments toward you.
- The landlord taking your pictures without your consent.
- Interfering with your use of essential services like electricity, water, and heat. Speaking of heat, here is a guide on a landlord’s responsibility to provide heat in Connecticut).
- Causing damage to your personal belongings.
- Spreading falsehoods about you to other tenants or neighbors.
- Making threatening or derogatory remarks about you or your guest.
- Not allowing you to have an overnight guest. (Here is a guide to CT guest laws).
- Calling or texting you repeatedly at unreasonable hours. In Connecticut, landlords must call or text tenants only during normal business hours.
What to Do If Your Landlord Harasses You?
If you believe you have been a victim of domestic violence, the following are some of the things you can do.
- Try resolving the issue amicably with the landlord. Explain to them that their behavior is unacceptable and ask them to stop.
- File a complaint with the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. You can do so by calling them at 1-800-477-5737, or by directly visiting their website at https://portal.ct.gov/CHRO.
- Get the police involved. Landlord harassment can be a crime and the police can prove useful in getting the landlord to stop.
Proving landlord harassment can sometimes be a herculean task, though. That’s why it may be in your best interest to have as much documentation as possible. You’ll want to record all interactions you have with the landlord, including the date, time, what was said, and if there was any eye witness.
Also, make sure that you are abiding by all terms of the lease agreement, including paying rent on time.
Landlord harassment in Connecticut is illegal as is the case in all other U.S. states. If you believe you have been a victim of landlord harassment, begin by first letting the landlord know. Next, you could file a complaint with the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities agency or get the police involved.
If you have a specific question regarding the topic, please leave a comment below for expert advice.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.