If you are renting out your place in Connecticut or looking for a place to live, you will probably need the lease agreement at some point.
The lease agreement is an important document that needs to be in line with all the federal and state rules and regulations set for property leasing.
You should pay attention to the mandatory disclosures that must be entered into every Connecticut lease agreement. Besides that, you need to be aware of the maximum security deposit, deadlines for returning it, late fees, and the landlord's right to enter the leased property.
It seems like there are a lot of things to take care of, but don’t worry– this article will tell you exactly what you must do!
Connecticut Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
Renters in the state of Connecticut must have these disclosures included in their lease agreements:
Lead-based paint disclosure. This disclosure is mandatory for any building constructed before 1978. The landlord has to disclose information about the presence of any lead-based paint at the leased property. (U.S. Code § 4852d)
Common-interest community disclosure. Before signing the lease agreement, the landlord must inform the tenant if the leased property is located in a common-interest community. Common-interest communities usually refer to condominium projects, timeshares, co-ops, or other residential developments. (§ 47a-3e)
Fire sprinkler system disclosure. The landlord should highlight in the lease agreement the presence or absence of a sprinkler system on the leased property. If there is a sprinkler system, the landlord should provide information about the last date of the system's maintenance. This disclosure must be written in 12-point font or higher. (§ 47a-3f)
Manager information disclosure. The landlord or his agent should provide information about the current name and address of the property manager and the person responsible for receiving the notifications and requests. (§ 47a-6)
Bed bug infestation disclosure. This disclosure should include guidelines for the tenant in case of a bed bug infestation and a history of any previous bed bug infestation at the leased property. (§ 47a-7a(c))
Connecticut Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
The disclosures listed below, if included in the lease agreement, can provide extra protection for both the landlord and the tenant:
Smoking and pet disclosure. Here, the landlord can define if pets and smoking are allowed at the property. They can also provide detailed rules about keeping pets or smoking on the property and any damage compensation rules.
Mold disclosure. The landlord can provide the mold status of the property in the lease agreement and provide guidelines if mold appears at the property.
Non-refundable fee disclosure. If any fees are not refunded after the lease is over, the landlord should highlight this in the lease agreement.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
Most of the disclosures are set to address safety and health hazards. For example, if the tenant finds out about such hazards or suffers damages from them, the landlord can be held liable and face civil and criminal charges.
The federal law provides for fines of up to $19,507 in cases of lead-based paint disclosure violations. (24 CFR § 30.65)
Connecticut Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
In cases where the tenant is 62 years old or younger, the security deposit is limited to two months' rent. However, if the tenant is older than 62, the security deposit cannot be more than one month's rent. (§ 47a-21(b))
Security Deposit Return
The landlord must return the deposit to the tenant within 30 days of the end of the lease.
If the tenant doesn’t provide the forwarding address for sending the deposit, the landlord will have 15 days to send the deposit from the moment they get informed about the forwarding address. (§ 47a-21(d)(2))
The security deposit has to be kept in a separate escrow account, and the tenant is entitled to interest on the funds kept as a security deposit.
When is Rent Due in Connecticut? (Grace Period)
The rent is due on the day provided in the lease agreement. If there is no such date in the lease agreement, it is at the beginning of the month for long-term leases. However, for the short-term leases, it is at the beginning of each term.
The tenant in Connecticut has a nine-day grace period for a long-term lease. In the case of a week-to-week lease, this period is 4 days. The landlord cannot start the eviction or charge any late fees within that period.
Connecticut Rent Late Fees
The state law does not explicitly provide the maximum cap for the late rent fee. However, based on the case Begin v. Reissman (2005), we can conclude that the reasonable fee should be 5% of the monthly rent amount.
Connecticut NSF Checks
The tenant will not be liable for the damages caused to the landlord by providing a worthless check to pay for the rent as stipulated by § 52-565a(d)
Connecticut Landlord’s Right to Enter
The landlord cannot enter the leased property without the tenant’s consent, except if:
Reasons for Entry
There’s an emergency
There is a court order allowing the landlord to do so
The landlord needs to make necessary repairs or inspect the property
The tenant has abandoned or surrendered the leased property
The landlord should give reasonable notice to the tenant before accessing the property and shall not access the property at unreasonable times except in case of an emergency. (§ 47a-16(c))
Connecticut Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, the lease agreement is a legally binding document. A legally binding lease agreement should be signed by all parties and include elements such as:
Names of the parties
List of fees and deposits
Oral lease agreements can also be legally binding. However, they have many limitations compared to the written agreement and should be used only when no other option exists.
When writing a lease agreement, you should include the following elements:
Information about the landlord and the tenant
Details about the property
Rent amount and dynamics of payment
Security deposit amount
Disclosure about late and non-refundable fees
Other rights and duties of the landlord and tenant
Many people choose not to draft the lease agreement themselves. Yet, hiring a lawyer to draft the lease agreement can often be expensive.
Therefore, you should refer to our website, where you can find a lease agreement template that is affordable, easy to use, and in line with all federal and state regulations.
After having the lease agreement ready, make sure that:
All the parties have signed it and have at least one copy.
The landlord and tenant inspect the property.
Both the landlord and the tenant sign the check-in list.
The tenant has renters insurance.
The tenant pays the first rent and security deposit.
The landlord enables the tenant to move in.