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Landlord / Tenant Law

Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=669

AC38459 - Presidential Village, LLC v. Perkins ("The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its summary process action against the defendant . . . for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendant's motion to dismiss because the court determined that the federal pretermination notice was defective, and the defective notice deprived the court of subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. Because its decision mistakenly rests primarily on its determination that the federal termination notice was defective under the requirements of General Statutes § 47a-23, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=626

AC38879 - Renaissance Management Co. v. Barnes (Summary process; retaliatory eviction; summary judgment; mootness; capable of repetition, yet evading review exception to mootness doctrine; "In this summary process action for possession of an apartment in New Haven, the plaintiff, Renaissance Management Co., Inc., appeals from the summary judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Andre Barnes. The court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff was prohibited by the retaliatory eviction statute; General Statutes § 47a-20; from initiating the action and that the exceptions claimed by the plaintiff under General Statutes § 47a-20a, which would preclude application of § 47a-20 and thereby allow it to initiate the action, did not apply. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it (1) determined that this court's holding in Visco v. Cody, 16 Conn. App. 444, 547 A.2d 935 (1988), was inapplicable to the defendant's special defense of retaliatory eviction under § 47a-20; (2) determined that its complaint did not allege nonpayment of rent; and (3) interpreted the definition of rent in § 47a-20a to include the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's payment of its share of the agreed total rent for the premises such that the total amount of money received by the plaintiff was unaffected by the defendant's alleged underpayment. Following oral argument before this court, but before this court rendered its judgment, the plaintiff obtained possession of the apartment. Notified of this fact, we ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefs on the issue of mootness. Following our review of the parties' supplemental briefs, we dismiss the appeal because it is moot and no exception to the mootness doctrine is applicable to the facts and circumstances of this appeal.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=588

AC38303 - Colonial Investors, LLC v. Furbush (Summary process; nonpayment of rent; "The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiff . . . in this summary process action. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the summary process action due to the legal insufficiency of the notice to quit and (2) improperly held that the defendant's April, 2014 payment to the plaintiff correctly was applied to her past arrearages that were due rather than to her April, 2014 rent obligation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=556

AC38469 - Cathedral Green, Inc. v. Hughes (Summary process; noncompliance with stipulated judgment; "The present appeal arises from a summary process action that initially was settled in November, 2014, by way of a stipulated judgment. In accordance with that stipulation, the court rendered a judgment of possession in favor of the plaintiff, Cathedral Green, Inc., execution of which it stayed through the end of January, 2017. During the stay, the plaintiff agreed to allow the defendant . . . and her minor child to remain in the defendant's apartment provided that, inter alia, the defendant no longer allow . . . her child's father and a nonparty to the lease, to have access to the premises, which included both the apartment and the common areas of the property. The defendant now appeals from the trial court's postjudgment ruling of October 5, 2015, in which the court found that the defendant wilfully had violated the terms of the stipulated judgment. As a result, the court ordered execution of the judgment of possession. The defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly (1) relied upon facts that were not in evidence or that were not supported by the record, and (2) failed to adjudicate properly the defendant's equitable nonforfeiture defense. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=506

AC38178 - Access Agency, Inc. v. Second Consolidated Blimpie Connecticut Realty, Inc. ("The plaintiff, The Access Agency, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Richard Tarascio, Jr. The plaintiff claims the court erred in (1) finding that a guaranty signed in connection with an expired lease did not obligate the guarantor under a new lease and (2) using an exhibit for purposes beyond the limited purpose for which it was introduced. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=428

SC19762 - Presidential Village, LLC v. Phillips ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion by relying on the 'spirit' of certain regulations issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (department), which generally concern accommodations for handicapped persons, in support of an equitable defense to the eviction of a tenant who kept an 'emotional support dog' in her federally subsidized rental apartment in violation of a pet restriction clause contained within her lease. The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the named defendant . . . in this summary process action. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly: (1) relied on the 'spirit' of the department's regulations because the defendant's niece, M, who lived in the defendant's apartment, was not disabled within the meaning of those regulations and, as such, federal disability law did not require the plaintiff to allow M to keep a dog in the apartment as a reasonable accommodation; (2) weighed the equities as a defense to eviction when the plaintiff lacked notice of the defense of equitable nonforfeiture and, thus, could not offer evidence about the purpose of the pet restriction; and (3) admitted into evidence, over the plaintiff's hearsay objection, a letter signed by a physician and social worker who had provided services to M. In response, the defendant contends to the contrary, and also argues that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because this appeal was rendered moot when the plaintiff commenced an ancillary summary process action against the defendant. We conclude that the plaintiff's appeal is not moot, and further conclude that the trial court abused its discretion by relying upon an improper ground in determining that the defendant was entitled to equitable relief from the forfeiture of her tenancy in accordance with Fellows v. Martin, 217 Conn. 57, 66–67, 584 A.2d 458 (1991). Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new hearing with regard to the defendant’s equitable defense.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=384

AC37930 - Friedman v. Gomez (Summary process; "The defendants . . . appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff . . . on his summary process complaint and against the defendants on their special defenses and counterclaims. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court (1) improperly limited its jurisdiction when it concluded that it did not have the authority to determine title to the subject property, (2) improperly determined that Guillermo Sanchez, Sr. (Sanchez Sr.), was no longer a party to this action, and (3) abused its discretion in finding that the defendants failed to prove that they had an equitable interest in the subject property. The plaintiff claims that the defendants' appeal is moot and must be dismissed because they voluntarily vacated the premises after the appeal was filed. We conclude that the appeal is not moot, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=279

AC37929 - Pedrini v. Kiltonic ("In this landlord-tenant case, the plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court returning to her $1094.81, a portion of her security deposit plus interest. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by: (1) failing to award her double the amount of her security deposit pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 47a-21 (d) (2); (2) failing to find that the actions of the defendant . . . constituted a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and, therefore, failing to assess punitive damages and to award the plaintiff attorney's fees pursuant to § 42-110g (a) and (d); and (3) finding that the plaintiff was entitled to only a portion of her security deposit plus interest. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. . .

The plaintiff's argument that the defendant was not entitled to deduct $527.55 from the security deposit rests on the assumption that the court allowed the deduction as a setoff for any property damage. The plaintiff cites our Supreme Court's decision in Expressway Associates II v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp. of Connecticut, 218 Conn. 474, 590 A.2d 431 (1991) for the proposition that '[a] landlord['s] claim for property damage, like back rent claims, usually arise[s] either as part of a suit for damages or as a setoff or counterclaim to a tenant's action for return of a security deposit.' The plaintiff's characterization of the court's award is mistaken. Under the lease, the plaintiff was obligated to pay the water and sewer bills, and to maintain the exterior of the property. The court heard evidence from the defendant that the plaintiff failed to comply with her obligations, and the court was entitled to credit such testimony. On the basis of the statute, the defendant was entitled to withhold damages suffered by the tenant's failure to comply with the lease agreement. The plaintiff's characterization of this amount as a setoff, counterclaim, or special damage is misplaced. The court correctly followed the dictates of § 47a-21 (d) (1) in deducting from the security deposit the damages suffered by the defendant as a result of the tenant's failure to comply with her obligations under the lease. Accordingly, the court's findings were not clearly erroneous.

The judgment is affirmed.")


Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: Connecticut

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=159

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a Connecticut specific web page about Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections. Besides linking to our Law about Landlord/Tenant web page, this informational page also links to relevant agencies and organizations who can provide guidance to tenants about housing discrimination laws and other matters. To find even more information, visit the HUD in Connecticut web page.


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=133

AC38057 - Tomey Realty Co. v. Bozzuto’s, Inc. ("The plaintiff in this breach of contract action, Tomey Realty Co., Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment on the plaintiff's complaint in favor of the defendant, Bozzuto's, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment because, in doing so, it ignored the operative language of the parties' integrated contractual agreement regarding the lease of commercial property and determined the amount of base rent owed under the lease, as amended, by improperly relying on a "whereas" clause in the preamble of the lease assignment.We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")



FAQ: Smoking Policies for Apartments and Condominiums

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=84

The Connecticut Department of Public Health's Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing web page provides extensive information on and tips about the legality and implementation of smoke free policies. The documents below answer many frequently asked questions about this topic.


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=63

AC37841 - Meeker v. Mahon ("The plaintiff, Alan Meeker, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the defendants Cecile Mahon and David Mahon, Sr., nontenant cosigners of a lease between the plaintiff and the defendant lessees, David Mahon, Jr., and Melissa Choquette (tenants). The court determined that the defendants were not liable for damages caused and rent owed by the tenants occurring after September 30, 2012, the expiration date of the lease. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred (1) in concluding that the defendants, as cosigners of the lease, were responsible to the plaintiff for any unpaid damages and rent incurred only during the specifically defined term of the lease; and (2) in considering evidence extrinsic to the lease in order to discern the parties’ intent when the court determined that the intent of the parties was fully reflected in the four corners of the lease and no ambiguity has been claimed or identified. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=55

AC37344 - Holdmeyer v. Thomas (Summary process; retaliatory eviction; "The defendant tenant . . . appeals from the trial court's judgment of possession in favor of the plaintiff landlord . . . in a summary process action.The defendant claims that the plaintiff did not meet his burden of rebutting the presumption of retaliatory eviction because he did not prove any of the four statutory exceptions enumerated in General Statutes § 47a-20a. We agree and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=183

July 2015 - July 2016 (reverse chronological order)

AC37174 - Elliott Enterprises, LLC v. Goodale (Summary process; equitable nonforfeiture; "In this summary process action, the defendant tenants . . . appeal from the judgment of the trial court in which the court found that the defendants had violated their lease agreement (lease) and granted possession of the leased premises to the plaintiff landlord . . . The trial court rendered judgment of possession in favor of the plaintiff on the ground that the defendants had failed to pay sewer charges and late fees due under the lease. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court erred by failing to consider that they had overpaid the plaintiff real estate taxes, which were a component of the rent pursuant to the lease, in an amount greater than what the plaintiff claimed they owed for the sewer charges and late fees. The defendants also claim that the trial court erred in determining that they had failed to prove the defense of equitable nonforfeiture. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC36966 - Housing Authority v. Weitz ("In this summary process action, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of immediate possession rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff . . . after she was defaulted for failure to appear at trial. The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court erred in ‘ordering a default judgment for failure of the defendant to appear at trial where the defendant appeared by counsel, counsel requested a continuance, and when the continuance was denied, [counsel] stated he was ready to proceed on trial, no motion was made for default, counsel indicated that the defendant was not personally present due to illness, and the court had already indicated that the case would have to be sent to Stamford for scheduling a trial.’ We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC36954 - Pollansky v. Pollansky ("This appeal is the latest skirmish in the ongoing dispute between the plaintiff, Steven Pollansky, and his mother, the defendant Anna Pollansky, concerning the plaintiff's claim of entitlement to real property allegedly promised to him by his father, Andrew Pollansky, many years ago. Anna Pollansky previously had initiated a summary process action against the plaintiff and his family seeking immediate possession of three parcels of property located in Coventry, which they occupied. The plaintiff's primary claim in the summary process action, raised by way of special defense, was that he occupied the Coventry property pursuant to an ownership interest that was orally promised to him by Andrew Pollansky. After a trial, the court in the summary process action rendered judgment in favor of Anna Pollansky, and this court affirmed that judgment. See Pollansky v. Pollansky, 144 Conn. App. 188, 71 A.3d 1267 (2013). . . . We reverse the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants on the plaintiff's counts of unjust enrichment and quantum meruit. We affirm the judgment in all other respects.")

AC37213 - 136 Field Point Circle Holding Co., LLC v. Razinski ("The issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred when it rendered a judgment of possession for the plaintiff . . . in a summary process action without first conducting the hearing prescribed by General Statutes § 47a-26b (d). We conclude that the court erred and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court.


The defendants . . . appeal from the judgment of possession. On appeal, they claim that the judgment was ultra vires because rendering it violated § 47a-26b (d). The plaintiff responds that the self-executing provision of § 47a-26b(d) did not apply at the phase of the proceedings in which the court rendered a judgment of possession. The plaintiff also claims that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal because it is moot. We agree with the defendants.")

AC37396 - Kenosia Commons, Inc. v. DaCosta ("The plaintiff, Kenosia Commons, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Cynthia DaCosta and Candra DaCosta, in this summary process action. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that by virtue of Cynthia DaCosta’s ownership of shares of stock in the plaintiff corporation she is not subject to summary process proceedings pursuant to General Statutes § 21-80. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC36519 - Lee v. Stanziale (In this landlord-tenant case, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding the plaintiff . . . a total of $18,122.50 in attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to General Statutes § 52-251a. The defendant contends that the court abused its discretion in so doing. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC36458 - Success, Inc. v. Curcio ("In this summary process action, the defendants Gus Curcio, Jr., and Theresa Smyers appeal following the trial court’s denial of their motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and the rendering of judgment of immediate possession of premises located in Stratford in favor of the plaintiff, Success, Inc. The defendants claim that the court erred in: (1) denying their motion to dismiss and finding that the plaintiff had standing as the legal owner of the property to pursue its summary process action, (2) improperly rendering judgment of immediate possession in favor of the plaintiff because Curcio, Jr., is the beneficial owner of the property, and (3) improperly failing to impose a constructive trust in favor of the defendants. We agree with the defendants that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently prove legal ownership of the premises and, as a result, lacked standing to initiate the summary process action. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the court and remand this case with direction to dismiss the plaintiff’s action.")

AC35834 - Southhaven Associates, LLC v. McMerlin, LLC (Breach of commercial lease agreement; "The defendant Francis G. Linn, guarantor of a commercial lease agreement, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiff landlord . . . in this action brought against the defendant tenant and the defendant guarantors of the lease. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in its factual findings with regard to his special defense of failure to mitigate damages and in its calculation of damages. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion - 6/20/2016

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=24

AC37174 - Elliott Enterprises, LLC v. Goodale ("of the trial court in which the court found that the defendants had violated their lease agreement (lease) and granted possession of the leased premises to the plaintiff landlord, Elliott Enterprises, LLC. The trial court rendered judgment of possession in favor of the plaintiff on the ground that the defendants had failed to pay sewer charges and late fees due under the lease. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court erred by failing to consider that they had overpaid the plaintiff real estate taxes, which were a component of the rent pursuant to the lease, in an amount greater than what the plaintiff claimed they owed for the sewerthe trial court erred in determining that they had failed to prove the defense of equitable nonforfeiture. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


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