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Landlord / Tenant Law

Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4344

AC43466 - U.S. Bank National Assn. v. Doe (Summary process; whether appeal was moot following defendants' dispossession of property; "In this summary process action, the self-represented defendants, John Doe No. 8, also known as Benjamin Bey, and Jane Doe No. 10, also known as Fabiola Is Ra El Bey, appeal from the judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee, successor to Bank of America National Association, as successor by merger to LaSalle Bank National Association, as trustee for the RAMP SERIES 2007-RS I Trust. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this action because a final judgment had not been rendered in the foreclosure action that had resulted in the plaintiff obtaining title to the property. We conclude that this appeal is moot.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4191

AC42747 - Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. Gabriel (Summary process; return of service; whether trial court properly denied motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; "In this summary process action, the defendants . . . appeal from the judgment of possession rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, as well as from the court's denials of their postjudgment motions to open and to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal, the defendants limit their challenge to the court's denial of their motion to dismiss. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. . .

In the present case, there was no genuine dispute as to any jurisdictional fact necessary to find that the defendants had been served with the notice to quit. The record before the court revealed that all defendants had been served. First, the marshal's return of service was prima facie evidence that each defendant had been served, at a minimum, by abode service.See Jenkins v. Bishop Apartments, Inc., 144 Conn. 389, 390, 132 A.2d 573 (1957) ('[t]he return is prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein'). Second, as a result of the entry of default against the defendants for their failure to plead, all material facts in the complaint were deemed admitted. See Catalina v. Nicolelli, 90 Conn. App. 219, 221, 876 A.2d 588 (2005). Such allegations included the following: 'On January 21, 2019, the plaintiff caused a notice to be duly served on the defendants to quit possession of the premises on or before January 30, 2019, as required by law. The original notice to quit is attached hereto and marked [as] exhibit A.' As the trial court correctly observed, the affidavit of Stephen Gabriel, which was the only evidence that the defendants submitted in support of their motion to dismiss, did nothing to create a genuine dispute as to any pertinent jurisdictional fact. The affidavit merely acknowledges that Stephen Gabriel was in fact served and makes no statement based on any personal knowledge that the other defendants were not served. The averment in the affidavit stating that Stephen Gabriel received only one copy has little, if any, probative value, as only one copy of the notice to quit was necessary to effect service on him, and there was no representation made in the marshal's return of service that seven copies were left with Stephen Gabriel. Finally, and perhaps most notably, there was no affidavit or other documentation from any defendant to demonstrate that he or she had not been served in any manner. In light of the foregoing, the court was not required to hold an evidentiary hearing before ruling on the defendants' motion to dismiss. Because there was ample evidence to support the court's finding that the defendants were served with the notice to quit, the court properly denied the motion to dismiss.

The judgment is affirmed.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4167

SC20397 - Boccanfuso v. Daghoghi ("The issue in this certified appeal is whether the trial court properly rejected the defendants' claim that the doctrine of equitable nonforfeiture should have operated to prevent their eviction in a summary process action for nonpayment of rent under the terms of a commercial lease. The defendants, Nader Daghoghi (Nader), Sassoon Daghoghi (Sassoon), and 940 Post Road East, LLC, doing business as Savoy Rug Gallery, appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial court's judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Dominick Boccanfuso (Dominick), Crescienzo Boccanfuso, and Boccanfuso Bros., Inc. (plaintiff corporation). The defendants claim that the Appellate Court improperly affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying the defendants equitable relief from forfeiture of their tenancy. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court. ")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4127

AC41920 - Josephine Towers, L.P. v. Kelly (Summary process; motion to open judgment; motion to dismiss; claim that plaintiffs served insufficient notice to quit; "In this summary process action, the defendant, Diana Kelly, appeals from the decisions of the trial court denying her motions to open the judgment and to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. She contends that the court lacked jurisdiction and, thus, improperly denied her motions, because the plaintiffs, Josephine Towers L.P., and SHP Management Corporation, served an insufficient notice to quit. She argues that the notice to quit was insufficient to confer jurisdiction because (1) although a pretermination notice previously had been served, the notice to quit alleged new violations that had not been included in the prior pretermination notice, and (2) the notice to quit did not adequately allege a serious nuisance. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4035

AC40066 - Sclafani Properties, LLC v. Sport-N-Life Distributing, LLC (Breach of lease; attorney trial referee; attorney's fees; "The plaintiff, Sclafani Properties, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding it damages and attorney's fees for the failure of the defendants, Sport-N-Life Distributing, LLC (lessee), and its president, Gilbert Beck (guarantor), to pay amounts due to the plaintiff under a commercial lease for property located at 482 Glenbrook Road in Stamford (property) The plaintiff claims that the court (1) erred when it failed to include in its judgment for the plaintiff an amount for unpaid real estate taxes and (2) abused its discretion in awarding only $6391.63 in attorney's fees. We reverse in part the judgment and remand the matter to the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3934

AC42379 - Purtill v. Cook (Summary process; motion to open judgment of default; stay of execution; automatic stay; mootness; standing; "This case concerns a summary process action commenced by the plaintiff, George M. Purtill, the successor administrator of the estate of Adelma Grenier Simmons (decedent). The self-represented defendant, Edward Werner Cook, appeals from the judgment of the trial court (1) denying his motion to open a judgment of default for failure to plead, (2) granting a limited stay of execution in his favor, and (3) dismissing a claim for exemption from eviction that he filed on behalf of "Caprilands Institute, Inc." (corporation). We affirm the judgment of the trial court denying the defendant's motion to open and dismiss the remainder of his appeal.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3718

AC41398, AC41543 - Commerce Park Associates, LLC v. Robbins; Robbins Eye Center, P.C. v. Commerce Park Associates, LLC ("The present appeals and cross appeal arise from two actions involving a commercial lease that share a nucleus of operative facts and were consolidated for trial. They raise, among other issues, whether the landlord's failure to take actions to remedy recurrent sewage backups into the leased premises occupied by an eye surgery center resulted in a constructive eviction that excused the tenant from the obligation to pay rent in accordance with the terms of the lease, and whether, as a result of the alleged inaction of the landlord and its property management company, the eye surgery center was entitled to recover compensatory damages for the loss of its use of improvements it previously had made to the premises.

In the action underlying AC 41398 (rent action), Commerce Park Associates, LLC (Commerce Park), sought to recover rent it alleges it was owed by a former tenant, Kim Robbins—an ophthalmologist and the owner of Robbins Eye Center, P.C. (REC). REC had occupied the lower level of a commercial property owned by Commerce Park in Bridgeport pursuant to a commercial lease but vacated the premises prior to the lease's expiration following a series of sewage backups that flooded the premises. Robbins now appeals, and Commerce Park cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in part in favor of Commerce Park. Robbins claims that the court improperly (1) awarded Commerce Park rent for a period of time from November, 2014, through the third full week of April, 2015, and (2) miscalculated the amount of the rent that she owed for that period. Commerce Park claims by way of cross appeal that the court improperly determined that Robbins was constructively evicted from the premises after the third full week of April, 2015, by the sewage backups, and, consequently, Commerce Park was not entitled to recover any rent from Robbins after that date. We affirm the judgment of the court with the exception of its calculation of the amount of the rent awarded to Commerce Park and, accordingly, remand for a new hearing in damages in the rent action.

In the action underlying AC 41543 (tort action), REC sued Commerce Park and its property manager, RDR Management, LLC (RDR), seeking monetary damages for economic injuries that REC suffered as a result of their failure to make necessary repairs to the premises. Commerce Park now appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in part in favor of REC and awarding REC damages of $958,041.92 against Commerce Park. Commerce Park claims that the trial court improperly (1) awarded damages on the basis of gross negligence because (a) Connecticut common law does not recognize distinctions or degrees of negligence and (b) REC never pleaded or otherwise asserted allegations of gross negligence prior to trial; and (2) miscalculated the amount of damages awarded because the court (a) utilized an incorrect measure of damages in determining REC's losses and (b) misconstrued the length of Robbins' expected tenancy under the lease, which was an integral component of the court's calculation of damages. We agree that the court improperly included two unexercised lease extension options in determining the length of Robbins' tenancy and, accordingly, reverse the amount of damages awarded; we otherwise affirm the judgment of the court in the tort action.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3688

AC40559 - Boccanfuso v. Daghoghi (Summary process; "This summary process action involves a lease of commercial premises located at 936-940 Post Road East in Westport (property). The defendants, Nader Daghoghi (Nader), Sassoon Daghoghi (Sassoon) and 940 Post Road East, LLC, doing business as Savoy Rug Gallery (defendant LLC), appeal from a judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Dominick Boccanfuso (Dominick), Crescienzo Boccanfuso (Crescienzo), and Boccanfuso Bros., Inc. (plaintiff corporation). The defendants claim that the trial court (1) applied an incorrect legal standard in determining that they failed to prove their special defense of equitable nonforfeiture; (2) erred in finding that the plaintiffs were unaware of environmental contamination at the property until after July 1, 2014; (3) abused its discretion in finding that the defendants had failed to prove their special defenses of unjust enrichment and violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (4) abused its discretion by not granting the defendants a continuance so that a witness could testify. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3615

AC41225 - Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. v. Bolton Works, LLC (Summary process; "The issue in this appeal is whether, pursuant to General Statutes § 52-72, the return date of a summary process complaint can be amended to correct the plaintiff's failure to return the complaint at least three days before the return date as required by General Statutes § 47a-23a. The defendant, Bolton Works, LLC, appeals from the judgment of possession rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. The defendant claims that the trial court improperly concluded that § 52-72 permits the amendment of the return date in the context of summary process actions and that the court therefore erred in denying its motion to dismiss the plaintiff's amended complaint for failure to comply with § 47a-23a. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3540

AC41276 - 1916 Post Road Associates, LLC v. Mrs. Green's of Fairfield, Inc. (Guarantee of commercial lease; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant United Natural Foods, Inc. The plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment because two separate letters sent by the defendant create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant's guarantee of the terms of a commercial lease continued through an optional extension period following the expiration of the original lease term. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3526

SC20043 - Presidential Village, LLC v. Perkins (Summary process; motion to dismiss; "This summary process action concerns the degree of specificity required in the pretermination notice that, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), must be provided to a tenant who resides in federally subsidized housing before the landlord may commence an eviction proceeding against that tenant. Specifically, the issue presented is whether a pretermination notice asserting nonpayment of rent as the ground for the proposed termination of the tenancy is jurisdictionally defective if it includes either rent charges that cannot serve as a basis for termination of the tenancy under state summary process law or undesignated charges for obligations other than rent. The trial court concluded that the inclusion of both types of charges renders the notice jurisdictionally defective. The Appellate Court concluded that state law is irrelevant to the legal sufficiency of such a notice, and that the inclusion of charges other than for rent is not a material defect under federal law. Presidential Village, LLC v. Perkins, 176 Conn. App. 493, 500, 506, 170 A.3d 701 (2017).

The defendant tenant, Tonya Perkins, appeals, upon our grant of certification, from the Appellate Court's judgment reversing the judgment of the trial court dismissing the summary process action initiated by the plaintiff landlord, Presidential Village, LLC. We conclude that the inclusion of undesignated charges for obligations other than rent rendered the notice jurisdictionally defective. Accordingly, we reverse the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Landlord / Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3425

AC41034 - Garden Homes Profit Sharing Trust, L.P. v. Cyr ("The plaintiff, Garden Homes Profit Sharing Trust, L.P., appeals from the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant, Robert Cyr. The plaintiff claims that the court erred by (1) concluding that the plaintiff lacked statutory authority to proceed with the summary process action against the defendant in the absence of Susan Scribner, the owner of the mobile home where the defendant resides, (2) rendering judgment in favor of the defendant after concluding that the owner of the mobile home where the defendant resides was a necessary party to the action, and (3) denying the plaintiff's Practice Book § 11-11 motion to reargue the court's initial decision to dismiss the plaintiff's action. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3414

AC41198 - A1Z7, LLC v. Dombek (Unjust enrichment; application for prejudgment remedy; whether trial court properly concluded that statute (47a-26b) awarding use and occupancy payments in summary process actions did not prohibit recovery of retroactive use and occupancy payments in separate action; "General Statutes § 47a-26b permits a property owner in a summary process action to seek the fair rental value of the premises occupied by a defendant during the pendency of a summary process action. The central issue in this case is whether § 47a-26b provides the exclusive remedy and, therefore, preempts an owner's ability to seek payment from the occupier for unjust enrichment for the reasonable value of the premises occupied for a time period for which § 47a-26b would not permit an order of use and occupancy payments. Because the language of the statute does not plainly and unambiguously foreclose other common-law remedies such as unjust enrichment and an exercise of that common-law remedy would not conflict with the purpose of the statute, we conclude that it is not foreclosed.

The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting a prejudgment remedy in favor of the plaintiff, A1Z7, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the plaintiff's application for a prejudgment remedy because (1) § 47a-26b prohibits the recovery of use and occupancy payments in this action, (2) the prior pending action doctrine is a bar, and (3) res judicata and collateral estoppel warranted dismissal of the application. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3370

AC40484 - Canton v. Cadle Properties of Connecticut, Inc. (Petition for appointment of receiver of rents; "On April 26, 2011, the plaintiff, the town of Canton (town), filed a petition for an appointment of a receiver of rents after the named defendant, Cadle Properties of Connecticut, Inc. (Cadle), failed to pay property taxes on real property it owns at 51 Albany Turnpike in Canton. The court granted the petition on June 20, 2011. In this appeal, the intervening defendant, M & S Associates, LLC, which currently occupies the subject property, appeals from the trial court's postjudgment order approving an interim accounting filed by the receiver of rents, Boardwalk Realty Associates, LLC (receiver). The defendant claims that the trial court erred in granting the receiver's motion for approval of the interim accounting by misconstruing General Statutes § 12-163a and finding that the receiver is not required to pay, from the date of the receiver's appointment, the defendant's utility costs at the subject property. We disagree.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3295

AC40627 - Federal National Mortgage Assn. v. Buhl ("The present appeal in this summary process action stems from the foreclosure of real property located at 12 Casner Road in East Haddam. The self-represented defendants, Paul Buhl and Luce Buhl, appeal from the judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Federal National Mortgage Association. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court (1) improperly determined that they did not commence an action pursuant to General Statutes § 47-36aa (a), (2) improperly determined that the deed to the subject property was valid despite notarial defects, (3) abused its discretion by allowing the plaintiff's counsel to give unsworn testimony, and (4) abused its discretion by rendering a default judgment against Luce Buhl for failure to appear at trial. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3182

AC40187 - Kaye v. Housman ("In this housing court matter, the defendant, Douglas Housman, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Richelle Kaye, following a hearing in damages. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly held a hearing in damages in view of his operative answer and four special defenses and (2) denied him the right to due process because the court did not adjudicate fully his timely filed answer and four special defenses. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Law About Landlord and Tenant Law - Updated

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3160

Our Law About Landlord/Tenant Law web page has been updated to include the fifth edition of Housing Issues in the Small Claims Division of the Superior Court (2018).

This publication covers claims by the tenant for return of a security deposit, claims by the landlord for back rent, and other claims such as property damage, attorney's fees, and punitive damages.


Landlord / Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3100

AC39847 - Magee Avenue, LLC v. Lima Ceramic Tile, LLC ("The plaintiff, Magee Avenue, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Moufid Makhraz, on the plaintiff’s complaint alleging two counts of breach of contract and one count of unjust enrichment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) rendered summary judgment because the defendant’s affidavit in support of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment was untimely and insufficient; (2) permitted and considered the defendant’s testimony during the hearing on the motion; and (3) permitted the defendant to amend orally his motion for summary judgment to include all counts when the written motion only sought relief from the two counts of breach of contract. We agree with the plaintiff’s claims and reverse the judgment.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3055

AC39924 - Federal National Mortgage Assn. v. Farina ("In this summary process action, the plaintiff, Federal National Mortgage Association, appeals from the judgment of dismissal in favor of the defendant Richard Farina. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that it lacked standing to bring the present action. The plaintiff contends that, pursuant to a judgment of strict foreclosure, title to the subject property vested absolutely in the plaintiff on April 25, 2016, and, therefore, as the owner of the property, it had standing to prosecute the summary process action. The defendant, by contrast, claims that title never passed to the plaintiff in the foreclosure action because an appellate stay was in effect that prevented the law days from passing and, thus, the defendant is still the title holder of the property. We agree with the plaintiff and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40196 - Kargul v. Smith (" The self-represented defendants, Mika-Ela Smith and Mark DeGale, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Aloysius Kargul and Barbara Greczkowski. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this summary process action. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

. . . [W]e conclude that when the plaintiffs withdrew the first action against the defendants prior to the commencement of a hearing on its merits, the continuation of the agreement between the parties was restored. Housing Authority v. Hird, supra, 13 Conn. App. 157. The trial court, therefore, did not lack subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' subsequent summary process action.

The judgment is affirmed.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3048

AC39940 - Lyons v. Citron (Summary process; notice to quit; "This is a case involving multiple notices to quit. The defendants in this summary process action, Robert Citron and Gail Citron, appeal from the trial court's judgment of possession in favor of the plaintiff, Cyndi Lyons. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erroneously rendered judgment for the plaintiff on the ground of nonpayment of rent when the plaintiff prematurely served the defendants with the underlying notice to quit on the day she withdrew her first summary process action, instead of waiting nine days after rent became due to serve the notice, as required by General Statutes § 47a-15a. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


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