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Landlord / Tenant Law

Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5890

AC46885 - Altavista Investments, LLC v. Makeeva ("In the underlying summary process eviction action (eviction action), the trial court rendered a judgment of possession against the defendant Leyla Makeeva and seven other defendants, in favor of the plaintiff, Altavista Investments, LLC. . . Baotou Capital, LLC (Baotou), which holds a note secured by a mortgage on residential property located at 969 North Street in Greenwich (property), the property at issue in the eviction action, filed the present appeal from the denial of its postjudgment motion to intervene on the basis of an ownership interest it claims in use and occupancy payments made by the defendants in lieu of bond during the pendency of the prior appeal. See General Statutes § 47a-35a (a). Baotou claims that the trial court improperly determined that, because it lacked any possessory interest in the property, it was not a proper party to the eviction action and, thus, also was not entitled to intervene in postjudgment proceedings pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-35b regarding the final distribution of the use and occupancy payments. We agree that the court improperly failed to permit Baotou to intervene as a matter of right and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5855

SC20769 - Northland Investment Corp. v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (Administrative appeal; Declaratory ruling; "This case resolves the question of whether a landlord of a multiunit residential building may recoup from its tenants the costs for utility services that it is liable to pay to a utility provider when the building does not have individual meters for each unit but, rather, has only a master meter. The plaintiff, Northland Investment Corporation, manages and owns multiunit residential buildings throughout the United States, including Connecticut. In its buildings that have only a master meter for the entire building, the plaintiff employs, or seeks to employ, a recoupment method it refers to as "ratio utility billing" (RUB). Under the RUB method, as developed by the plaintiff, it pays the utility company directly for the building's entire utility bill and then recoups the cost from the tenants in the form of a variable utility payment each month. Under this form of billing, the plaintiff bills each tenant directly for what the plaintiff contends is the tenant's "proportionate share" of utilities based on factors it has chosen (which it can modify in its sole discretion), such as a unit's square footage, number of occupants, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or a combination of these. This method of utility billing is included in a provision of the plaintiff's lease agreements.

The plaintiff sought a declaratory ruling from the defendant, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), that it may use RUB in recouping its costs for utility services from tenants. PURA concluded that the plaintiff was not authorized to do so. In the administrative appeal that followed, the trial court upheld PURA's decision. Both of the parties rely on General Statutes § 16-262e (c) in support of their respective arguments. Section 16-262e (c) governs the liability for payment of utility services provided to residential dwellings. The plaintiff argues that the plain meaning of § 16-262e (c) does not expressly prohibit the use of RUB. Because RUB is not expressly prohibited by law, the plaintiff argues, the method qualifies as a payment of "rent" under General Statutes (Supp. 2024) § 47a-1 (h). PURA disagrees and instead argues that RUB violates the plain meaning of § 16-262e (c) because the provision allows a tenant to be liable for utility costs only if the tenant's unit is individually metered and he or she has exclusively used the utilities so provided. We agree with PURA and conclude that § 16-262e (c) precludes a landlord's use of RUB to recoup utility service charges from tenants.")

  • SC20769 Dissent - Northland Investment Corp. v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5839

AC45761 - U.S. Bank Trust, N.A. v. Healey (Summary process; "The defendants Gregg P. Healey, Bridgette G. Healey, and Claire A. Healey appeal, challenging the trial court's denial of their motion to open and dismiss the judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiff, U.S. Bank Trust, N.A., as trustee for LSF9 Master Participation Trust. On appeal, the defendants claim that the judgment of possession, although valid when originally rendered, is no longer valid as a result of the fact that Connor Healey (Connor), the son of Gregg P. Healey and Bridgette G. Healey, who also resides at the premises, has since turned eighteen years old and was never served with a notice to quit. As a result, the defendants claim that the court was deprived of subject matter jurisdiction with respect to the judgment of possession and that the judgment, therefore, should have been dismissed. We conclude that the defendants are not aggrieved by the denial of their motion to open and dismiss and, accordingly, dismiss their appeal.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5805

AC46942 - Black Rock Gardens, LLC v. Berry ("The defendant, Henry Berry, appeals from the trial court's denial of a special motion to dismiss that he filed pursuant to Connecticut's anti-SLAPP statute, General Statutes § 52-196a, in a summary process action brought against him by the plaintiff, Black Rock Gardens, LLC. Before this court is the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the defendant's appeal in which the plaintiff claims that the defendant has not appealed from a final judgment. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the defendant has failed to assert a colorable claim to the protections afforded by the anti-SLAPP statute and, consequently, pursuant to Smith v. Supple, 346 Conn. 928, 952, 293 A.3d 851 (2023), this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the plaintiff and dismiss the defendant's appeal.")

AC45702 - 111 Clearview Drive, LLC v. Patrick ("In this summary process action, the defendants Lois Patrick, Justin Patrick, and Julian Patrick appeal from the judgment of possession rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, 111 Clearview Drive, LLC. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly granted the plaintiff's motion in limine, which precluded them from presenting certain evidence to support their claim that Lois was an omitted party in the related foreclosure action of Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. v. Roundtree, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Docket No. CV-16-6059553-S (Benchmark action and/or Benchmark judgment), and thus maintained a legitimate and legally viable interest in the property in question. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5748

AC46343 - Three Deer Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Johnson (“The self-represented named defendant, DeNette Johnson (Johnson), appeals following the trial court’s denial of her second motion to open a stipulated summary process judgment, rendered after she had entered into a stipulated agreement with the plaintiff, Three Deer Associates Limited Partnership, doing business as Deerfield Apartments, in connection with a summary process action commenced by the plaintiff against Johnson and her son, the defendant Eric Johnson II. On appeal, Johnson raises five claims, namely, that (1) the court improperly denied her second motion to open, (2) the court improperly failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing before acting on her second motion to open, (3) an evidentiary hearing should have been conducted to determine if she was compliant with General Statutes § 47a-39, (4) the court violated her due process rights by failing to hold an evidentiary hearing, and (5) the underlying stipulated judgment should be vacated. We affirm the judgment with respect to Johnson’s first four claims relating to the denial of her motion to open and dismiss the appeal as it pertains to her fifth claim relating to the stipulated summary process judgment.”)


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5735

AC45072 - Dessa, LLC v. Riddle ("The plaintiff landlord, Dessa, LLC, commenced the underlying action against the defendants, Peter Riddle (Peter) and his son, Jonathan Riddle (Jonathan), to collect unpaid rent pursuant to a written lease agreement that was allegedly entered into between the parties. Jonathan appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding the defendants jointly and severally liable for damages in the amount of $11,113.06. Jonathan claims that (1) newly discovered evidence demonstrates that the plaintiff interfered with the court's ability to be impartial and equitable in this case, and (2) the court's findings are clearly erroneous. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Residential Summary Process (Eviction) – Landlord (Video)

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5690

Law Library Services has posted a new video that discusses the basic procedures for a landlord to follow when beginning a Connecticut Residential Summary Process action. The video addresses residential evictions, not commercial evictions. The video can be found on our Representing Yourself web page under Connecticut Civil Lawsuit Videos.

Connecticut Civil Lawsuit – Residential Summary Process (Eviction) – Landlord


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5475

AC44909 - Cody Real Estate, LLC v. G & H Catering, Inc. (Nonpayment of rent under commercial lease agreement, breach of guarantee agreement; "In this action brought by the plaintiff landlord, Cody Real Estate, LLC, against the defendant tenant, G & H Catering, Inc., now known as Garelick & Herbs of New Canaan, Inc. (tenant), for nonpayment of rent due under a commercial lease agreement, and against the defendant guarantors of the lease, Garelick & Herbs of Greenwich, Inc., and Garelick & Herbs, Inc., now known as Garelick & Herbs of Westport, Inc. (corporate guarantors), the corporate guarantors appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered against them, following a trial to the court, in the amount of $362,948.61 for unpaid rent and other charges stemming from the tenant's breach of the lease. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5372

AC45151 - Stamford Property Holdings, LLC v. Jashari ("The present appeal arises out of an action brought by the plaintiff lessor, Stamford Property Holdings, LLC, against the defendant lessees, Dorian Jashari (Jashari) and Ismet Jashari, seeking, inter alia, reformation of a commercial lease between the parties based on unilateral or mutual mistake. The defendants appeal from the trial court's judgment in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, they claim that the court (1) improperly granted reformation of the contract based on the ground of unilateral mistake because, contrary to the court's conclusion, there was no clear, substantial, and convincing proof of inequitable conduct on the part of the defendants, and (2) erred by granting the plaintiff equitable relief because the plaintiff's misconduct before the parties executed the lease barred its claim for reformation. We conclude that the defendants' first claim is moot, and we are not persuaded by their second claim. Accordingly, we dismiss as moot the portion of the appeal related to the first claim and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC45880 - Centrix Management Co., LLC v. Fosberg ("In this summary process action, the plaintiff landlord, Centrix Management Company, LLC, appeals from the trial court's postjudgment award of attorney's fees to the defendant tenant, Donald Fosberg, pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb. The defendant moves to dismiss this appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the plaintiff failed to timely appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-35. The plaintiff opposes the motion, arguing that the applicable appeal period is not five days under § 47a-35 but, rather, twenty days under Practice Book § 63-1, as it is not challenging the judgment of possession. We conclude that the twenty day appeal period set forth in Practice Book § 63-1 applies to a postjudgment award of attorney's fees in the summary process context. We therefore deny the motion to dismiss.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5353

AC45330 - Prime Management, LLC v. Arthur ("The defendant Jessica Arthur appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her (1) motion to open a default judgment and (2) motion to dismiss the summary process action filed by the plaintiff, Prime Management, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court incorrectly interpreted Executive Order No. 12D, issued by Governor Ned Lamont on June 30, 2021, in concluding that it had subject matter jurisdiction over the summary process action. 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=5256

AC45077 - J. M. v. E. M. ("In this summary process action based on nonpayment of rent, the plaintiff landlord, J. M., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the action in favor of the defendant tenant, E. M. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the court incorrectly found that he had reinstated the tenancy by accepting the defendant's tendered payments labeled as 'rent' after service of the notice and after the quit date specified in the notice to quit despite the fact that the notice to quit included a use and occupancy disclaimer and (2) the court's determination also was improper because the governor's executive orders affecting eviction proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic required that any use and occupancy disclaimer in the notice to quit not be effective until thirty days after the notice was served and required the plaintiff to accept rent payments during that thirty day period. The plaintiff further requests that this court adjudicate the merits of the defendant's affirmative defenses to the summary process action, notwithstanding that the court did not reach the merits of those defenses. 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=5239

AC45191 - Lawrence v. Gude ("The plaintiff, Dawson Lawrence, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a court trial in an action for damages arising from a residential lease against the married defendants, Roberto Gude (Roberto) and Adriana Gude (Adriana). On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court improperly found that Adriana was not liable for back rent and use and occupancy under the lease pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-37 (b) (3). We agree and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5130

AC42832 - Mention v. Kensington Square Apartments (Housing code enforcement; "In this housing code enforcement action, the defendant, Kensington Square Apartments, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Regina Mention. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider evidence in support of the plaintiff's claim that predated the filing of her complaint with the New Haven Livable City Initiative (Initiative), (2) the court improperly concluded as a matter of law that the defendant violated title V of the New Haven Code of Ordinances (housing code), and (3) the housing code is unconstitutionally vague. The plaintiff also challenges the judgment of the trial court, by way of a cross appeal, claiming that the court erred in calculating rent abatement based on her share of the subsidized rent, rather than the full market rent. 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=5110

AC44860 - Maye v. Canady ("The self-represented defendant, Devonne Canady, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the self-represented plaintiff, Solomon Maye, on his claim of entry and detainer. On appeal, we discern the defendant's claims to be that the trial court erred in finding that (1) there was a landlord-tenant relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant and (2) the plaintiff's damages resulting from the defendant's entry and detainer amount to $10,286.63. We conclude that the record is inadequate for our review as to the defendant's first claim, and, therefore, we decline to review it. As to the defendant's second claim, we conclude that the court improperly awarded a portion of the plaintiff's damages concerning moving expenses. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court only as to the award of damages.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5058

AC43887 - Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities ex rel. Cortes v. Valentin (Housing discrimination; "The defendant, Margaret Valentin, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission), and the intervening plaintiff, Julissa Cortes, in this action alleging housing discrimination in violation of General Statutes 46a-64c (a). The defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support the court's conclusion that she had violated 46a-64c (a) by engaging in discriminatory housing practices, (2) the court abused its discretion in awarding Cortes compensatory damages for emotional distress and (3) the court (a) improperly failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing prior to denying her application for a writ of audita querela and (b) abused its discretion in denying her motion for reargument and reconsideration of that application. 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=5042

AC44178 - Parrott v. Colon (Housing code enforcement; "In this housing code enforcement action, the plaintiffs, John J. Parrott and Solanyi A. Parrott-Rosario, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the defendants, Al L. Colon, Karen J. Colon (landlord), and Robert C. White & Company, LLC (property manager). The plaintiffs claim that the court incorrectly construed General Statutes § 47a-7 when it required them to prove by a fair preponderance of the evidence that their allegations constituted violations of the housing code or materially affected the health, safety and habitability of the premises. 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=4977

SC20625 - AGW Sono Partners, LLC v. Downtown Soho, LLC (Commercial lease; "In the earliest months of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Ned Lamont issued numerous executive orders that closed or severely restricted the operation of various businesses, including bars and restaurants, in order to stem the spread of the virus at that time. This appeal requires us to consider how those executive orders affected the enforceability of a commercial lease agreement for premises in South Norwalk that the defendants, Downtown Soho, LLC (Downtown Soho), and Edin Ahmetaj, leased from the plaintiff, AGW Sono Partners, LLC, for their fine dining restaurant. The defendants appeal, and the plaintiff cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court awarding the plaintiff $200,308.76 in damages for the defendants' breach of that lease agreement. In their appeal, the defendants claim, inter alia, that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the common-law doctrines of impossibility and frustration of purpose did not relieve them of their obligations under the lease agreement, given the damaging economic effects of the various executive orders on their restaurant's business. In its cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that, in calculating the damages award, the trial court improperly allocated the burden of proof in determining whether the plaintiff had mitigated its damages when it leased the premises to a new tenant at a lesser rent than the defendants had paid. We conclude that the trial court correctly determined that the economic effects of the executive orders did not relieve the defendants of their obligations under the lease agreement but that a new damages hearing is required because the trial court improperly allocated the burden of proof as to mitigation in determining the damages award. Accordingly, we reverse in part 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=4975

AC44657 - Robbins Eye Center, P.C. v. Commerce Park Associates, LLC ("The defendants, Commerce Park Associates, LLC (Commerce Park), and RDR Management, LLC (RDR), appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting a postjudgment motion of the plaintiff, Robbins Eye Center, P.C., seeking an order compelling Commerce Park to deliver to the plaintiff's counsel certain escrowed funds and future payments received by Commerce Park vis-a-vis an account receivable. The dispositive issue raised by the defendants on appeal is whether a provision in a commercial lease executed by Commerce Park and Kim Robbins, who owns the plaintiff and is a nonparty to this matter, precludes the plaintiff from collecting the escrowed funds and payments at issue. We conclude that the lease provision does not bar the plaintiff's collection efforts, and, therefore, we 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=4944

SC20574 - Lopez v. William Raveis Real Estate, Inc. ("In this appeal, we consider the standard for determining whether a statement made in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling violates General Statutes § 46a-64c (a) (3) by indicating a 'preference, limitation, or discrimination,' or an 'intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination,' on the basis of an individual's 'lawful source of income . . . .' The plaintiff, Carmen Lopez, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, William Raveis Real Estate, Inc. (Raveis), Sarah Henry, a licensed real estate salesperson, and Anthony Vaccaro and Eve Vaccaro, in this action alleging housing discrimination in violation of § 46a-64c (a). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court, in considering whether Henry violated § 46a-64c (a) (3) by making certain statements in the course of renting an apartment owned by the Vaccaros, improperly considered whether Henry had the subjective intent to discriminate on the basis of lawful source of income when she made those statements. The plaintiff specifically contends that she is entitled to judgment in her favor because (1) Henry's statements were facially discriminatory, rendering her subjective intent irrelevant as a matter of law, and (2) even if we were to conclude that Henry's statements were not facially discriminatory, the trial court nevertheless incorrectly determined that the statements, considered in context, did not convey an impermissible preference. We conclude that, although the trial court applied the proper legal standard in considering the plaintiff's claims under § 46a-64c (a) (3), its ultimate conclusion as to liability on the facts of this case was clearly erroneous with respect to Henry. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4941

AC44177 - Bernblum v. The Grove Collaborative, LLC ("In this action arising out of negotiations over a potential commercial lease, the defendants, The Grove Collaborative, LLC (The Grove), and its sole member, Slate Ballard, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Steven Bernblum, and from the court's denial of the defendants' motion to reconsider/reargue. The defendants claim on appeal that the court improperly (1) concluded that the plaintiff had standing to bring those counts of the complaint sounding in breach of contract, 'breach of lease,' and 'detrimental reliance' (contract counts), because he, individually, was not a party to any purported lease or the lease negotiations that underlie the allegations with respect to those counts and (2) concluded that the plaintiff had established those counts sounding in negligent misrepresentation. We conclude that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the contract counts and that he failed to meet his burden of proof with respect to the negligent misrepresentation counts. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the court.")

AC44720 - Housing Authority v. Neal ("In this summary process action brought by the plaintiff, the Housing Authority of the City of New Britain, against the defendant, Calvin W. Neal, the plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a hearing, denying its affidavit of noncompliance with stipulation, sustaining the objection of the defendant and requiring the parties to continue to perform their respective obligations pursuant to a stipulated agreement of the parties. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred (1) in finding that the defendant was not a tenant at sufferance, (2) in concluding that the requirements of General Statutes § 47a-11 did not apply to the defendant, and (3) in concluding that the filing of an affidavit of noncompliance was not the proper vehicle for addressing the alleged serious nuisance committed by the defendant after judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff, but before the plaintiff obtained possession of the premises occupied by the defendant. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")