The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Landlord / Tenant Law

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.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2968

AC38174 - Bridgeport v. Grace Building, LLC (Summary process; "The defendant, Grace Building, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to open the default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the city of Bridgeport. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion in so doing. We agree and, accordingly, reverse 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=2953

AC39978 - Altama, LLC v. Napoli Motors, Inc. (Summary process; "In this commercial summary process action, the defendant Napoli Motors, Inc., appeals from the judgment of possession, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Altama, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) rendered judgment against it on a theory of liability that was not alleged in the complaint, and (2) concluded that the lease had terminated for lapse of time. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord / Tenant Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2942

SC19794 - Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v Muldowney ("This appeal concerns the right of a landlord’s insurer to use the doctrine of equitable subrogation to bring an action against a tenant for damage the tenant caused to the rented property. In DiLullo v. Joseph, 259 Conn. 847, 851, 854, 792 A.2d 819 (2002), this court announced a ‘default rule,’ pursuant to which a landlord’s insurer has no right of subrogation unless the landlord and tenant have made a ‘specific agreement’ otherwise, ‘leaving it to the specific agreement of the parties if they wish a different rule to apply to their, or their insurers’, relationship.’ In the present case, the parties dispute what sort of ‘specific agreement’ is required to overcome DiLullo’s presumption against subrogation. Id., 854. Specifically, they disagree whether the lease must expressly state that a landlord’s insurer has a right of subrogation against the tenant, or whether it is sufficient for the lease to notify the tenant explicitly that he is responsible for any damage to the leased property and to allocate to the tenant the responsibility to provide liability and property damage insurance. The trial court and the Appellate Court both concluded that it was sufficient for the lease to allocate to the tenant responsibility for damage caused by the tenant and to require the tenant to obtain insurance, even without a specific agreement authorizing subrogation. We agree with those courts, and we therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=759

AC39220 - Housing Authority v. Rodriguez ("The defendant Romana Sanchez Rodriguez appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the Housing Authority of the Town of Greenwich (housing authority), on its summary process complaint. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the plaintiff's case because the plaintiff failed to serve her with a second pretermination notice pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-15, and that a grievance hearing decision barred the plaintiff from evicting her on the basis of alleged lease violations described in a prior pretermination notice that the plaintiff served on her within six months of the notice to quit. We disagree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://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

 https://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.")


1 2