2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 47a-20. (Formerly Sec. 19-375a). Retaliatory action by landlord prohibited.

      Sec. 47a-20. (Formerly Sec. 19-375a). Retaliatory action by landlord prohibited. A landlord shall not maintain an action or proceeding against a tenant to recover possession of a dwelling unit, demand an increase in rent from the tenant, or decrease the services to which the tenant has been entitled within six months after: (1) The tenant has in good faith attempted to remedy by any lawful means, including contacting officials of the state or of any town, city or borough or public agency or filing a complaint with a fair rent commission, any condition constituting a violation of any provisions of chapter 368o, or of chapter 412, or of any other state statute or regulation, or of the housing and health ordinances of the municipality wherein the premises which are the subject of the complaint lie; (2) any municipal agency or official has filed a notice, complaint or order regarding such a violation; (3) the tenant has in good faith requested the landlord to make repairs; (4) the tenant has in good faith instituted an action under subsections (a) to (i), inclusive, of section 47a-14h; or (5) the tenant has organized or become a member of a tenants' union.

      (1971, P.A. 852, S. 1-4; 1972, P.A. 160, S. 5; 186, S. 13; P.A. 76-95, S. 19, 27; 76-435, S. 75, 82; P.A. 79-571, S. 17; P.A. 83-510, S. 6, 9.)

      History: 1972 acts included filing complaint with fair rent commission as remedy in Subsec. (a)(1) and added reference to violations of Ch. 412 and other statutes and regulations; P.A. 76-95 added Subdiv. (4) in Subsec. (a) forbidding landlord's action to recover dwelling unit, increase rent or decrease services within six months after tenant organizes or becomes a member of a tenant's union; P.A. 76-435 revised effective date section of P.A. 76-95, see history for Sec. 47a-1; Sec. 19-375a transferred to Sec. 47a-20 in 1977; P.A. 79-571 rephrased provisions and deleted former Subsecs. (b) to (d), reincorporated in statutes as Sec. 47a-20a by the same act; P.A. 83-510 inserted a new Subdiv. (4) to include an action brought in good faith by a tenant under Subsecs. (a) to (i) of Sec. 47a-14h.

      See Sec. 7-148f re penalty for violation of order of rent reduction or rent suspension.

      See Sec. 47a-20a re actions deemed not to be retaliatory.

      See Sec. 47a-33 re defense that action is retaliatory.

      Annotations to former section 19-375a:

      Cited 34 CS 594-597. Defense of retaliatory eviction not available in summary process action for nonpayment of rent. Id.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 217 C. 313, 318.

      Cited. 4 CA 608, 609. Cited. 16 CA 444-447, 449-451, 453, 454. Cited. 32 CA 133, 136. Cited. 45 CA 46.

      Cited. 35 CS 233, 236. Retaliatory eviction defense is not a right given to tenants, rather a limitation upon remedies of landlord intended to protect tenant who had complained of housing code violation. Tenant's request to landlord to unclog bathtub drain does not constitute a "repair" sufficient to raise the presumption of retaliatory defense. Repairs required to conform a dwelling to basic structural, mechanical and housing code regulations raise the presumption of retaliatory defense. Id., 261-264, 266. Cited. 36 CS 47, 53. Cited. 38 CS 370-372; Id., 683, 685. Cited. 40 CS 470-475.

      Former Subsec. (a):

      Retaliatory eviction defense is not a right given to tenants, but a limitation upon remedies of landlord. Establishment of prima facie case by tenant gives rise to presumption of retaliatory action by landlord. Prima facie case results when tenant has produced sufficient evidence to bring himself within one or more of the specified acts. Presumption of retaliatory action is rebuttable. To rebut, landlord is required to establish legitimate interest in the eviction. Landlord has burden of producing substantial countervailing evidence and of proving facts which fairly put in issue the presumed fact. 35 CS 261, 264. Subdivision (1) contains language nearly identical to that of section 47a-33. This subdivision and three others in this subsection are intended to trigger defense of retaliatory action. Id. Under subdivision (3) "repairs" means repairs of substantial code violations; those required to conform a dwelling unit to basic structural, mechanical and housing code regulations are the types contemplated to raise presumption of retaliatory defense. Id., 267.

      Former Subsec. (b):

      Subdivision (4) cited. 35 CS 261, 265.

      Subdiv. (1):

      Cited. 16 CA 444, 454.

      Cited. 40 CS 470, 472, 473.

      Subdiv. (3):

      Protection of statute not invoked unless repair requested is necessary to maintain premises in a fit and habitable state. 16 CA 444, 450, 454.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Connecticut may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.