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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=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.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4923

AC44894 - Housing Authority v. Parks ("In this summary process action, the plaintiff, Ansonia Housing Authority, appeals from the judgment of dismissal and the denial of its motion to reargue the dismissal. The defendant, Daryl Parks, moves to dismiss this appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the plaintiff failed to timely appeal from the judgment of dismissal pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-35. The plaintiff opposes the motion on the grounds that (1) the five day appeal period set forth in § 47a-35 applies only to an appeal brought by a tenant and is not applicable to an appeal brought by a landlord, and (2) its motion to reargue created a new appeal period for the judgment of dismissal. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that § 47a-35 is applicable to landlords and tenants alike and that the plaintiff's motion to reargue does not save the appeal from dismissal because it was not timely filed.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4868

AC44379 - Tolland Meetinghouse Commons, LLC v. CXF Tolland, LLC ("The present appeal arises out of an action alleging breach of a commercial lease agreement against the defendant CXF Tolland, LLC (Cardio Express), and breach of a guaranty agreement against the defendant Peter A. Rusconi. Rusconi appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Tolland Meetinghouse Commons, LLC (Tolland Meetinghouse), granting Tolland Meetinghouse's motion for summary judgment. 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=4834

AC44500 - Rogalis, LLC v. Vazquez ("The plaintiff, Rogalis, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its summary process action against the named defendant, Michelle Lee Vazquez. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by (1) holding that the plaintiff did not acquire from its predecessor in title, pursuant to a quitclaim deed, the right to evict the defendant, (2) dismissing the summary process action on the ground that the plaintiff's sole member did not have the bona fide intention to use the dwelling as his principal residence, and (3) dismissing the summary process action on the basis of the court's posttrial consideration of extra-record evidence, namely, a prior summary process action brought by the plaintiff's predecessor in title against the defendant and her estranged husband. We conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in taking judicial notice of the prior summary process action without providing the parties an opportunity to address it either at trial or in a posttrial brief. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4822

AC43695 - Freidburg v. Kurtz ("In this landlord-tenant dispute, the defendants, Jo-Ellen Kurtz, Andrew Kurtz, and Janice Levy, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Terrance Mills Freidburg. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred (1) in rendering judgment against them for damages to the property that they leased from the plaintiff without determining its age and condition at the commencement of the tenancy and the relative wear and tear of the items at the termination of the tenancy and (2) in failing to render judgment for the defendants on their counterclaim concerning their security deposit that they paid to the plaintiff when they entered into an agreement to lease the property. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4780

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research has recently published the following reports:

Mobile Manufactured Home Park Residents: Rights and Protections Against Rent Increases - 2021-R-0221 - Discusses the statutory (1) rights of mobile manufactured home park residents who own their mobile manufactured homes and rent a mobile manufactured home park lot and (2) protections against excessive rent increases for these residents. This report updates OLR reports 1994-R-0544 and 2006-R-0438.

States With Rent Control - 2021-R-0211 - Which states have statewide rent control or laws authorizing local governments to adopt rent control ordinances? What are the components and parameters of these ordinances? This report updates OLR Report 2018-R-0081.

Absentee Voting: Summary of Fay v. Merrill (2021) - 2021-R-0191 - Summarizes the Connecticut Supreme Court's opinion in Fay v. Merrill (338 Conn. 1 (2021)), particularly its discussion of whether "sickness," as used in the state constitution's absentee voting section (Conn. Const. art. VI, § 7), applies only to an individual voter's personal sickness or more broadly to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Post-Election Audits in Connecticut - 2021-R-0174 - Summarizes Connecticut’s post-election audit law.

Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs - 2021-R-0044 - Describes (1) student loan forgiveness and repayment programs in current state law, along with their current funding status and (2) examples of programs offered by other states and the federal government. This report updates OLR Report 2019-R-0053.


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4770

AC43471 - Housing Authority v. Stevens (Summary process; subject matter jurisdiction, serious nuisance, implicit bias; "In this summary process action, the defendant, Bruce Stevens, appeals from the trial court's judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the Housing Authority of the City of New London. The defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to deliver to the defendant a pretermination, or Kapa, notice prior to commencing its summary process action against him, (2) improperly found that his conduct constituted a serious nuisance within the meaning of General Statutes § 47a-15 (C), and (3) made certain factual findings that are not supported by the evidentiary record. We 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=4689

AC43489 - Waters Edge 938, LLC v. Mazzarella (Summary process; claim that trial court improperly concluded that statutory (§ 47a-23c) prohibition against landlords dispossessing disabled tenants who reside in complex consisting of five or more units without good cause did not apply to action; "In this summary process action, the defendant Christine Mazzarella appeals from the judgment rendered, following a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Waters Edge 983, LLC. She claims that the court improperly concluded that General Statutes § 47a-23c, which prohibits landlords from dispossessing disabled tenants residing in a complex consisting of five or more units without good cause, did not apply to this action. 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=4664

AC43560 - Herron v. Daniels ("In this landlord-tenant dispute over a security deposit, the defendant landlord, Linda Daniels, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff tenant, Marc Herron. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred when it (1) awarded the plaintiff double damages pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-21 (d), due to her failure to return to the plaintiff a portion of his security deposit, (2) concluded that the her handling of the plaintiff's security deposit and her failure to return a portion of his security deposit violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and (3) awarded punitive damages to the plaintiff under CUTPA.

The plaintiff cross appeals claiming that the court erred in (1) holding that he was not entitled to a return of certain rental payments because, pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-11a, he did not abandon the premises prior to June 30, 2017, and (2) denying his common-law claim for money had and received. 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=4617

AC44042 - Noroton Heights Shopping Center, Inc. v. Phil's Grill, LLC (" In this summary process action, the defendant tenant, Phil's Grill, LLC, appeals from the trial court's judgment of possession rendered in favor of the plaintiff landlord, Noroton Heights Shopping Center, Inc. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court was incorrect in finding that the defendant violated the relocation clause of a commercial lease executed by the parties. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the court's judgment of immediate possession in favor of the plaintiff.")


Landlord and Tenant Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4587

SC20395 - Boardwalk Realty Associates, LLC v. M & S Gateway Associates, LLC (Receiver of rents; whether trial court correctly held that receiver of rents appointed under § 12-163a is not authorized to collect rent or use and occupancy payments from occupants of property when owner of property is not charging rent; "This appeal is the most recent battle in the efforts of the town of Canton (town) to collect unpaid property taxes on a parcel of commercial real property (property) that was effectively abandoned in 2001 by its owner, Cadle Properties of Connecticut, Inc. (Cadle), and on which the defendants, M & S Gateway Associates, LLC (Gateway) and Mitchell Volkswagen, LLC (Mitchell), have operated an automobile dealership since 1995. The plaintiff, Boardwalk Realty Associates, LLC, which is the court-appointed receiver of rents pursuant to General Statutes § 12-163a, appeals from the trial court's judgment, rendered in accordance with the court's granting of the defendants' motion for summary judgment with respect to the plaintiff's complaint seeking rent, as well as use and occupancy payments, from the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the plaintiff lacked authority under § 12-163a to impose and collect rent or use and occupancy payments in the place of Cadle, the tax delinquent owner that effectively abandoned the property in 2001. We conclude that a receiver appointed under § 12-163a is not statutorily authorized to impose and collect rent or use and occupancy payments under the circumstances of this case, when the property has been abandoned by the owner prior to the appointment of the receiver and there is no existing obligation for the receiver to enforce. Accordingly, 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=4458

AC42969 - Fairfield Shores, LLC v. DeSalvo ("The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff landlord, Fairfield Shores, LLC. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the basis of its finding that the plaintiff was exempt, pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-2, from application of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 47a-21, the statute governing security deposits, because it provided housing incidental to the education of the defendant students. Although we conclude that the court improperly considered § 47a-2, we, nevertheless, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4431

AC43759 - Hlinka v. Michaels (Summary process; claim that trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over action; whether record reflected that joint owners of premises were unanimous in desire that defendant be evicted from premises; whether trial court improperly struck, sua sponte, defendant's special defense of laches; "In this summary process action, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of possession rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff . . . . The defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action and (2) erred in striking, sua sponte, the defendant's special defense of laches. We conclude that the court had subject matter jurisdiction over the action, but we agree with the defendant's claim that the court improperly struck, sua sponte, her special defense of laches. Accordingly, 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=4411

AC44441 - Atlantic St. Heritage Associates, LLC v. Bologna (Summary process; motion to open; motion to terminate appellate stay; motion for review; "In this commercial summary process action, the trial court determined that there was no automatic appellate stay that would prevent the execution of the judgment of possession during the pendency of this appeal. Pursuant to Practice Book § 61-14, the defendant, Paul Nicholas Bologna, doing business as Paul N. Bologna & Associates, timely filed a motion for review of that decision. We agree with the defendant that the trial court misapplied our Supreme Court's decision in Young v.Young, 249 Conn. 482, 733 A.2d 835 (1999), in reaching the conclusion that there is no automatic stay in existence. By order dated March 17, 2021, we granted the defendant's motion for review, granted the relief requested, vacated the trial court's decision, and indicated that an opinion would follow. This opinion provides our reasons for that order.

….

The defendant's motion for review is granted, the relief requested is granted, and the trial court's February 4, 2021 order on the plaintiff's motion to terminate the appellate stay is vacated.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4377

AC39693, AC42730 - Carroll v. Yankwitt (Action for return of security deposit; "In this landlord-tenant dispute, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial before an attorney trial referee, in favor of the plaintiff . . . . On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) he violated General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 47a-21, commonly known as the security deposit statute, (2) he violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and (3) he was not entitled to certain damages under the lease agreements between the parties. The plaintiff cross appeals, claiming that the court abused its discretion by (1) declining to award him the full amount of attorney's fees he requested and (2) failing to rule on his request for punitive damages pursuant to CUTPA. With respect to the defendant's claims, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court. With respect to the plaintiff's cross appeal, we vacate the order of the trial court regarding its award of attorney's fees and decline to address the plaintiff's claim regarding punitive damages.")