A Tenant’s Guide On Breaking A Lease In CT Without Any Expenses
There are different valid reasons to decide to break the lease on your rental unit, but irrespective of the reason, it is a difficult situation for you and the landlord. If done incorrectly, breaking a lease in CT could have severe personal and financial consequences.
If you're unsure how to go about it or are having a hard time breaking your lease the right way, it might be in your best interest to let DoNotPay help out. DoNotPay is a legal application that makes it easy for tenants to break a lease in CT. It also provides insights into other leasing issues, like the cost of breaking a lease and whether breaking a lease could hurt your credit.
Tenants Rights and Responsibilities When Breaking a Lease in Connecticut
In Connecticut, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Title 47a, tenants have a right to:
- Live in a habitable rental unit that adheres to the local housing and safety rules.
- Seek housing without property owner's discrimination.
- Request repairs for damages that exceed normal wear and tear in your rental unit. If your landlord fails to provide these repair services, you may have a right to partially stop paying rent to perform the needed repairs or issue the landlord a court order.
Connecticut's laws also obligate tenants to responsibilities like:
- Maintaining the rental unit and ensuring it's in proper condition at all times. This involves fixing minor issues and performing routines needed to keep the property working optimally.
- Pay rent on time, every time.
- Not make noise that disturbs other tenants and neighbors.
- Offer needed minor fixes to general plumbing and fixtures.
When Breaking a Lease Is Justified in Connecticut
There are many cases where you can legally break a lease in Connecticut without a fine. These include:
- Early termination clause: Some leases offer specific terms that let you end tenancy prematurely in exchange for a penalty fee. Your lease may use terms like the amount of notice required (like 30 days) or amount of fee (like equal to 2 months' rent), which, if met, would not attract any extra penalty fee.
- Active military duty: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) covers uniformed members who are relocated because of permanent change of station or deployment. The protection starts when you enter duty and ends between 30 and 90 days after discharge. To break the lease, you have to prove that you signed the lease before entering active duty and that you'll remain on active duty for 90 days or more. You also have to deliver a written notice to the landlord along with a letter from your commanding officer or copy of orders to deploy, indicating your pending deployment. This will end your lease 30 days after the start of the next rent period.
- Uninhabitable unit: Connecticut has specific health and safety rules that dictate minimum rental units' standards. If these standards are unmet, you can serve the landlord with proper notice. If the landlord still fails to make changes within the allowed time, you could be considered "constructively evicted," in which case your obligations won't be required since the landlord hasn't met their responsibilities under Connecticut state law §§ 47a-7(a).
- Domestic violence: Connecticut has a special rental provision for tenants who are victims of domestic or sexual violence. If you're experiencing any form of domestic violence, including stalking, and want to relocate, you can use the Early Termination Rights statute, which allows you to end a tenancy without penalty with written notice of at least 30 days. You'll need to include a statement proving that you're a domestic violence victim, along with a copy of a court record or police report highlighting an act of violence §§ 47a-11e.
- Health issue or senior citizen: You may qualify to break a lease without having to pay rent balance if you face a serious mental or physical issue. In Connecticut, you can end a lease if you're disabled or a senior and are accepted into a state-subsidized or federal apartment, as long as you provide 30 days written notice to the landlord, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 8-116d.
- Landlord harassment or privacy violation: In Connecticut, your landlord must provide an oral or reasonable written notice to enter your rental unit at reasonable times §§ 47a-16(c). If they continually violate your privacy rights or remove doors or windows, change locks, or turn off your utilities, you'd be considered "constructively evicted."
- Violation of lease agreement: If the landlord fails to supply essential services or violates the lease agreement terms, it might be enough reason to end a tenancy without obligations. According to Sec. 47a-13, if a landlord doesn't supply essential services like supplying running water, electricity, hot water, and gas, and it's within their control, you may issue a notice indicating the break. If the landlord refuses to supply the service willfully, you may break the lease and collect an amount of not more than two months' rent or twice the actual damages you sustained. If the lease breaks, you'll receive total security and prepaid rent as well as interest as specified in section 47a-22, recoverable under section 47a-21.
Lease Termination Notice Requirements
If a landlord wants to evict you on a periodic lease in CT, or if you want to break a lease, there must be the following amounts of notice:
|Rent Payment||Notice Time||Statute|
|Week-to-week||3 days||§§ 47a-23|
|Month-to-month||3 days||§§ 47a-23|
|Quarter-to-quarter||No statute||No statute|
|Year-to-year||No statute||No statute|
Consequences of Illegally Breaking a Lease in Connecticut
There are scenarios where you can break your lease legally. However, if you go ahead and break yours illegally, you may face serious legal consequences, like:
- Getting an eviction on record can affect your credit score and ability to get a new rental unit in the future
- Being sued for rent owed or for breach of contract and damages. This exposes you to more personal and financial problems
- Having a hard time finding a new apartment because of poor credit score or eviction
Reasons That Can't Be Used to Break a Lease
Some reasons aren't sufficient for lease-breaking in Connecticut. They, therefore, don't offer any legal cover against penalties and fines for not honoring the lease. Such reasons include:
- Buying a house
- Moving in with your partner
- Relocating for a new school or job
- Moving to be closer to family
- Downgrading or upgrading
Breaking a Lease in CT by Yourself
If you are familiar with the process, you should have no problem breaking a lease in Connecticut. It gets complex if you're doing it for the first time or have no idea how to go about the process. You'll have to provide a 3-day written notice for week-to-week, month-to-month, and fixed end date leases (§§ 47a-23).
Here's how to break your lease:
- Check your lease: Find the section that details how to get out of it. You may also find clauses that show your landlord violated the lease terms. But it's essential to get legal advice about the same, lest you end up in an expensive legal dispute.
- Understand potential penalties: You can get out of a lease without penalty for legal reasons. But if you don't have one, you may have to pay a financial penalty, which could be a percentage of your remaining rent. You may also have to pay the rest of the rent for the remaining lease period. Otherwise, you could face a lawsuit, the loss of your security deposit, and a dent in your credit report.
- Talk to your landlord: Some landlords are understanding. If you're breaking a lease for reasons that aren't supported legally, your landlord may be willing to work something out. For example, if your roommate moved out or you've lost your job, they may be motivated to find a new tenant to avoid missed payments.
- Offer to find a new tenant: You can also help your landlord find a new tenant or someone to re-rent/sublet the unit. This will save you from having to pay rent.
If you cannot find someone to occupy the unit or have to leave the unit immediately, you may need to consider a termination offer. Usually, you'll need to pay two months' rent and forfeit your security deposit. DoNotPay can help you break a lease easily and quickly without penalty or minimal losses.
Breaking a Lease in Connecticut With the Help of DoNotPay
DoNotPay takes the stress out of breaking a lease in CT. Through our Break My Lease product, we will write a demand letter and deliver it to your landlord, demanding that you be allowed to break your lease under Connecticut law applicable in your situation. All you have to do is:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference, and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
DoNotPay will solve your problem in one of the following ways:
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
DoNotPay Works Across Many Issues Relating to Renting and Breaking Your Lease
DoNotPay makes it easy and convenient to break a lease in Connecticut, but that's not the only thing DoNotPay does. We can also provide insights into things like:
- Avoiding credit score damage by avoiding an eviction
- Breaking a lease without penalty
- Legal reasons to break a lease
- What happens if you break a lease
Find More Solutions to Your Problems From DoNotPay
DoNotPay can also help with a range of other solutions in different industries, including:
- Breach of contract
- Power of attorney
- Changing mailing address
- Reducing property taxes
- Canceling subscriptions
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