2019 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 47a - Landlord and Tenant
Chapter 832 - Summary Process
Section 47a-23 - (Formerly Sec. 52-532). Notice to quit possession or occupancy of premises. Form. Delivery. Federal termination notice.
(a) When the owner or lessor, or the owner's or lessor's legal representative, or the owner's or lessor's attorney-at-law, or in-fact, desires to obtain possession or occupancy of any land or building, any apartment in any building, any dwelling unit, any trailer, or any land upon which a trailer is used or stands, and (1) when a rental agreement or lease of such property, whether in writing or by parol, terminates for any of the following reasons: (A) By lapse of time; (B) by reason of any expressed stipulation therein; (C) violation of the rental agreement or lease or of any rules or regulations adopted in accordance with section 47a-9 or 21-70; (D) nonpayment of rent within the grace period provided for residential property in section 47a-15a or 21-83; (E) nonpayment of rent when due for commercial property; (F) violation of section 47a-11 or subsection (b) of section 21-82; (G) nuisance, as defined in section 47a-32, or serious nuisance, as defined in section 47a-15 or 21-80; or (2) when such premises, or any part thereof, is occupied by one who never had a right or privilege to occupy such premises; or (3) when one originally had the right or privilege to occupy such premises but such right or privilege has terminated; or (4) when an action of summary process or other action to dispossess a tenant is authorized under subsection (b) of section 47a-23c for any of the following reasons: (A) Refusal to agree to a fair and equitable rent increase, as defined in subsection (c) of section 47a-23c, (B) permanent removal by the landlord of the dwelling unit of such tenant from the housing market, or (C) bona fide intention by the landlord to use such dwelling unit as such landlord's principal residence; or (5) when a farm employee, as described in section 47a-30, or a domestic servant, caretaker, manager or other employee, as described in subsection (b) of section 47a-36, occupies such premises furnished by the employer and fails to vacate such premises after employment is terminated by such employee or the employer or after such employee fails to report for employment, such owner or lessor, or such owner's or lessor's legal representative, or such owner's or lessor's attorney-at-law, or in-fact, shall give notice to each lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy of such land, building, apartment or dwelling unit, at least three days before the termination of the rental agreement or lease, if any, or before the time specified in the notice for the lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy.
(b) The notice shall be in writing substantially in the following form: “I (or we) hereby give you notice that you are to quit possession or occupancy of the (land, building, apartment or dwelling unit, or of any trailer or any land upon which a trailer is used or stands, as the case may be), now occupied by you at (here insert the address, including apartment number or other designation, as applicable), on or before the (here insert the date) for the following reason (here insert the reason or reasons for the notice to quit possession or occupancy using the statutory language or words of similar import, also the date and place of signing notice). A.B.”. If the owner or lessor, or the owner's or lessor's legal representative, attorney-at-law or attorney-in-fact knows of the presence of an occupant but does not know the name of such occupant, the notice for such occupant may be addressed to such occupant as “John Doe”, “Jane Doe” or some other alias which reasonably characterizes the person to be served.
(c) A copy of such notice shall be delivered to each lessee or occupant or left at such lessee's or occupant's place of residence or, if the rental agreement or lease concerns commercial property, at the place of the commercial establishment by a proper officer or indifferent person. Delivery of such notice may be made on any day of the week.
(d) With respect to a month-to-month or a week-to-week tenancy of a dwelling unit, a notice to quit possession based on nonpayment of rent shall, upon delivery, terminate the rental agreement for the month or week in which the notice is delivered, convert the month-to-month or week-to-week tenancy to a tenancy at sufferance and provide proper basis for a summary process action notwithstanding that such notice was delivered in the month or week after the month or week in which the rent is alleged to be unpaid.
(e) A termination notice required pursuant to federal law and regulations may be included in or combined with the notice required pursuant to this section and such inclusion or combination does not thereby render the notice required pursuant to this section equivocal, provided the rental agreement or lease shall not terminate until after the date specified in the notice for the lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy or the date of completion of the pretermination process, whichever is later. A use and occupancy disclaimer may be included in or combined with such notice, provided that such disclaimer does not take effect until after the date specified in the notice for the lessee or occupant to quit possession or occupancy or the date of the completion of the pretermination process, whichever is later. Such inclusion or combination does not thereby render the notice required pursuant to this section equivocal. Such disclaimer shall be in substantially the following form: “Any payments tendered after the date specified to quit possession or occupancy, or the date of the completion of the pretermination process if that is later, will be accepted for use and occupancy only and not for rent, with full reservation of rights to continue with the eviction action.”
(1949 Rev., S. 8274; 1949, S. 3217d; 1957, P.A. 291, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 130; 1969, P.A. 313, S. 1; P.A. 74-183, S. 115, 291; P.A. 76-95, S. 23, 27; 76-435, S. 75, 82; 76-436, S. 102, 681; P.A. 77-451, S. 5; P.A. 78-280, S. 61, 127; P.A. 79-571, S. 46; P.A. 80-399, S. 1; P.A. 81-237; P.A. 82-274, S. 1; P.A. 86-210; 86-286, S. 2; P.A. 87-507, S. 1; P.A. 89-254, S. 8; P.A. 90-230, S. 98, 101; P.A. 91-5; 91-383, S. 18; P.A. 92-171, S. 1; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-11, S. 38, 70; P.A. 93-185; 93-209, S. 1; P.A. 95-247, S. 1; P.A. 97-231, S. 10; P.A. 99-221; P.A. 04-127, S. 3.)
History: 1959 act made writ, summons and complaint returnable to circuit court rather than to trial justices, alternate trial justices or municipal courts, which have been abolished; 1969 act deleted reference to requirement for “Duplicate” copies in form; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas and added provisions re venue, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-95 deleted reference to leases terminated under provisions of Sec. 47-23 and specified that complaint “shall be returned to court at least three days before the return day”; P.A. 76-435 revised effective date section of P.A. 76-95; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and reference to Sec. 51-156a with reference to Sec. 51-348, effective July 1, 1978; Sec. 52-532 transferred to Sec. 47a-23 in 1977; P.A. 77-451 added references to dwelling units and to lease terminations where Sec. 47a-15 or 47a-11 has bearing; P.A. 78-280 made technical corrections; P.A. 79-571 added references to rental agreements, divided section into Subsecs. and deleted detailed provisions re eviction procedure, reincorporated in statutes as Sec. 47a-23a; P.A. 80-399 required that lessee or occupant receive notice at least eight, rather than ten, days before termination of lease and deleted exception which had required only five days notice where lease is terminated for nonpayment of rent; P.A. 81-237 amended Subsec. (b) to require that the notice to quit contain the reason therefor; P.A. 82-274 amended Subsec. (c) to provide that if the rental agreement or lease concerns commercial property the notice may be left at the commercial establishment; P.A. 86-210 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that notice be given to an occupant “if the owner or lessor knows or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should know the name of such occupant”; P.A. 86-286 repealed provision added by P.A. 86-210 and amended Subsec. (b) to provide that if owner or lessor, or legal representative, attorney-at-law or attorney-in-fact does not know or cannot reasonably discover the name of occupant, notice may be addressed to “occupant” or “occupants”; P.A. 87-507 amended Subsecs. (a) and (c) to replace “the lessee” with “each lessee” and amended Subsec. (b) to require the notice to set forth “the address, including apartment number or other designation, as applicable” of the premises and to permit the notice to be addressed to an occupant as “John Doe”, “Jane Doe” or some other alias which reasonably characterizes the person to be served, rather than “occupant” or “occupants”, when the owner or lessor “knows of the presence of an occupant” but does not know and cannot discover his name; P.A. 89-254 amended Subsec. (a) to restructure provisions, to insert Subdiv. indicators, to revise in Subdiv. (1) the reasons for the termination of a rental agreement or lease by inserting Subpara. indicators, by replacing “under the provisions of section 47a-15a” with “(D) nonpayment of rent within the grace period provided for residential property in section 47a-15a” and by adding as reasons Subpara. (C) “violation of the rental agreement or lease or of any rules or regulations adopted in accordance with section 47a-9”, Subpara. (E) “nonpayment of rent when due for commercial property”, and Subpara. (G) “nuisance, as defined in section 47a-15”, to replace in Subdiv. (2) “one who has no right or privilege” with “one who never had a right or privilege” and to add in Subdiv. (3) “other than under a rental agreement or lease”; P.A. 90-230 added “or his legal representative, or his attorney-at-law, or in-fact” to Subsec. (a)(3); P.A. 91-5 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that the reason or reasons for the notice to quit be inserted “using the statutory language or words of similar import”; P.A. 91-383 amended Subsec. (a) by adding reference to Secs. 21-70, 21-83, 21-82(b) and 21-80 in Subparas. (C), (D), (F) and (G), respectively, of Subdiv. (1); P.A. 92-171 amended Subsec. (a) to require notice be given at least five, rather than eight, days before termination of rental agreement or lease or before time specified in the notice to quit possession or occupancy, amended Subsec. (b) to delete requirement that reasonable diligence be exercised to discover the name of an occupant whose presence is known as a condition of addressing the notice to “John Doe”, “Jane Doe” or some other alias, and amended Subsec. (c) to authorize delivery of the notice on any day of the week; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-11 made a technical change in Subsec. (a); P.A. 93-185 added Subsec. (d) re the effect of delivering a notice to quit possession based on nonpayment of rent in the month after the month in which the rent is alleged to be unpaid; P.A. 93-209 added Subsec. (e) to authorize a federal termination notice to be included in or combined with a notice required pursuant to this section and to specify the effect of such inclusion or combination; P.A. 95-247 amended Subsec. (a) to delete in Subdiv. (3) provision that characterized right or privilege to occupy premises as being “other than under a rental agreement or lease” and to add as reasons for notice to quit possession or occupancy Subdiv. (4) re when an action is authorized under certain provisions of Sec. 47a-23c(b) and Subdiv. (5) re when a farm employee or domestic servant, caretaker, manager or other employee fails to vacate premises furnished by his employer; P.A. 97-231 amended Subsec. (a) to require notice be given at least three, rather than five, days before termination of rental agreement or lease or before the time specified in the notice to quit possession or occupancy; P.A. 99-221 made technical changes and amended Subsec. (e) by adding provisions re the use and occupancy disclaimer; P.A. 04-127 amended Subsec. (d) by adding provisions re week-to-week tenancy.
Annotations to former section 52-532:
Statute is to be strictly construed. 12 C. 259; 14 C. 277. Termination of lease. 12 C. 559. Lessor need not directly authorize the particular person who leaves the notice to do so. 14 C. 276. Pleading. Id.; 32 C. 348. Landlord has no right to enter peaceably in tenant's absence and afterward hold possession by force. 23 C. 310; 52 C. 16. When statutory notice supersedes 6 months' notice in estates from year to year. 23 C. 317. Statute supersedes no common-law remedies except the notice to quit and the form of procedure. 29 C. 337. Writ issued by one justice may be made returnable to another. 36 C. 205. Judgment for plaintiff is conclusive evidence that defendant was his tenant. 48 C. 22. Conservator may bring action of summary process in his own name. 55 C. 116. Terms of notice held sufficient. 66 C. 438. Error in year stated for return day held immaterial. 70 C. 348. Character of possession held admissible under the issue. 73 C. 86. Purpose of act. 79 C. 308. Trustee may bring action to free trust from an encumbrance at a time after he is required to convey the property in fee. 91 C. 667. Waiver in lease of demand for rent and reentry; effect of justice judgment and record; waiver of forfeiture relied on as a defense. 92 C. 144. When equity will enjoin prosecution of summary process action. 93 C. 638; 96 C. 630; Id., 645. That action is brought on behalf of one who has agreed to purchase property, nil. sig. 94 C. 452. When statutory procedure of limited application lies. 95 C. 69; 102 C. 694. Duplicate, not attested copy, of notice to quit is necessary. 97 C. 66. History of statute. Id., 72. Tenancy at will terminated by reasonable notice to quit. 102 C. 640. Should be returned to justice in town where land lies, thereafter transferable to justice in town where either party resides; informalities in adjournment waived if parties eventually appear and are heard; action could be transferred by stipulation of parties under former Sec. 51-99. 104 C. 294. Necessary and only basis of summary process is that lease has terminated, not that rent is unpaid in itself. 125 C. 550. Notice may be signed by lessor's attorney. Id., 552. Defendant may not interpose counterclaim for declaratory judgment and damages and thereby secure transfer to Superior Court. 131 C. 528. Delay in bringing action after effective day of notice, if not unreasonable, will not prevent its maintenance. 132 C. 622. Notice describing property by wrong street number is invalid. 133 C. 95. Relief demanded in complaint is the determinative factor concerning the right of appeal. 134 C. 649. It is essential that lease should have terminated in one of ways specified. 135 C. 364. Cited. Id., 392; 144 C. 80. Essential to action that there has been a lease between parties and that it has terminated. 138 C. 474; 139 C. 598. Duplicate copy provision satisfied when original and duplicate differ merely in circumstantial discrepancies. 141 C. 247. Cited. 159 C. 64. Despite purpose of summary process to avoid delay loss and expense, stay of proceedings is not a “final judgment” and therefore not appealable. 164 C. 287.
Cited. 6 CS 156; 8 CS 389. Notice to quit possession equally valid whether served 10 days before termination of the lease or at least 10 days before the time specified in the notice for the lessee to quit possession. 12 CS 264. Cited. 13 CS 441. Nature of summary process discussed. 15 CS 141. Notices to quit which are served on two or more tenants need not be identical; statute merely requires that they be duplicates of their originals; a notice addressed specifically to one tenant and another notice addressed specifically to another tenant met the statutory requirements. 23 CS 291. Summary process is available only where there is a lease and it has been terminated; action is limited to cases where the issue of the expiration of the lease is simple issue of fact, not complicated by questions as to the proper legal construction of the lease. Id., 388. Quasi-public landlord must conduct informal hearing before commencing summary process action; section discussed and constitutionality questioned. 33 CS 15.
Period of “at least ten days” excludes both terminal days. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 385. After making use of the benefits of summary process, defendant could not then disclaim its applicability to him when it appeared to be to his disadvantage. Id., 561, 564. Cited. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 265. Notice to quit to be served 10 days before date of expiration of lease if one exists; if not, 10 days before time specified by notice to quit. Id., 419. Action for possession for nonpayment of rent must be based on lease and will not be successful when plaintiff and defendant had not agreed on any terms. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 1.
Annotations to present section:
Cited. 202 C. 128; 209 C. 724; 215 C. 701; 225 C. 600; 231 C. 213; Id., 923; 233 C. 213. Landlord, after withdrawing its complaint in a summary process action, is required to serve a new notice to quit prior to commencing a new summary process action against a tenant under Sec. 47a-23a. 292 C. 459.
Cited. 4 CA 162; Id., 627; 5 CA 101; 6 CA 373; 7 CA 301; Id., 639; 9 CA 477; 11 CA 360; 13 CA 150; 16 CA 574; 18 CA 384; 19 CA 483; Id., 564; 20 CA 159; 27 CA 530; 28 CA 684; 31 CA 575. The covenant of quiet enjoyment operates as a shield for the lessee in protecting his possessory interests in his leasehold; it does not serve as a sword of the landlord to terminate a lease agreement. 35 CA 185. Cited. 36 CA 432. Legislature did not intend to give an owner and lessor, but not a sublessor, an expeditious means of obtaining possession of the premises from a commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent; thus, plaintiff, as sublessor, could avail itself of section. 81 CA 486. Property owner may bring summary process action against one who has no right or privilege to occupy the premises without having to allege that the occupier is a tenant; furthermore, because statute requires party seeking summary process only to allege and prove ownership of the subject property and to assert a demand for possession, defendants could not prevail on their claim that plaintiff failed to prove that it was in possession of the premises or that it sought possession. 88 CA 661. Court order restoring tenant to possession in entry and detainer action did not create a new tenancy and plaintiff in summary process action was not required to serve a new notice to quit possession. 121 CA 790. The use of “or” indicates the disjunctive, therefore notice need not reflect both the owner's identity and the identity of the owner's legal representative, attorney-at-law or attorney-in-fact. 128 CA 805. Property manager's statements, including those of wanting to avoid court and attorneys and willingness to forgive 2-months unpaid rent, rendered previous unequivocal notice to quit equivocal, and was contrary to goal of insulating tenant from confusion and uncertainty. 132 CA 582. Although notice to quit did not set out the specific violation of the lease, it stated that defendant had to quit the premises due to violations of the lease and tracked the language of Subsec. (a), which met the requirements of Subsec. (b) re notices to quit. 133 CA 1.
Sovereign immunity to action under statute claimed; not waived by entering into lease under former Sec. 4-128; nonpayment of rent not a “taking” in constitutional sense which would nullify defense of sovereign immunity. 35 CS 180. Statute does not require the existence of a landlord-tenant relationship or consistency of ownership for an owner to evict. Id., 233. Defendant to tenant's unsolicited mailing of money order for next month's rent to landlord after issuance of notice to quit and prior to issuance of complaint and plaintiff's mere retention of money order was insufficient to constitute acceptance of rent; to constitute acceptance, retention requires demonstration of ownership such as endorsement or actual cashing of check; issuance of complaint one day after receipt of rental offer was unequivocal manifestation of plaintiff's rejection of tenant's rental offer. Id., 258. Cited. Id., 274; Id., 297. Notice to quit may be signed by duly authorized attorney. Id., 549. Discovery is available in summary process proceedings; summary process deemed and intended by legislature to be civil action. 36 CS 47. Cited. Id., 626; 37 CS 654; 38 CS 1; Id., 8; Id., 70; Id., 341; 40 CS 4; Id., 100.
Where notice to quit provided wrong year for date to quit, trial court properly found that defect was circumstantial under Sec. 52-123 and that defendant had received actual notice in accordance with Subsec. 292 C. 381. Notice to quit signed by associate in lead attorney's name followed by associate's initials and with the explicit authorization of lead attorney satisfied requirement that notice to quit be given by owner's legal representative. 315 C. 387.
If lease is subsequent to mortgage, foreclosure extinguishes lease. 52 CA 37. Reasons for issuing a notice to quit set forth in Subsec. are the only reasons that an owner may rely on for issuing a valid notice to quit; where owner relies on Subdiv. (4) in notice to quit, but fails to show that tenant was member of the class described in Sec. 47a-23c, the notice is invalid; prefatory language in Subdiv. (4) indicates that legislature intended Subdiv. to apply only to summary process actions authorized by Sec. 47a-23c(b) and only to the protected class of tenants described therein. 68 CA 638. Where legal title to real property rested with estate of decedent, it was within executor's power, as fiduciary and legal representative of the estate, to maintain summary process action on behalf of estate. 118 CA 577. Subdiv. (3): Valid notice to quit can occur simultaneously with termination of right or privilege to occupy. 144 CA 188.