THE PANDEMIC’S LINGERING EFFECT ON CONNECTICUT’S HOUSING COURTS
At the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Landlords in Connecticut were faced with an onslaught of new restrictions and requirements from federal, state, and local governments, making the already complicated arena of Housing Court even more difficult to navigate. While most of the COVID specific rules have expired, there are still some lingering requirements that must be met in order to be successful in a Summary Process (Eviction) action.
Connecticut Right to Counsel Program: The Connecticut Right to Counsel Program went into effect in January 2022. This program is designed to provide free legal counsel to tenants facing eviction and has proven to be successful in preventing evictions.
Because this program provides tenants a right to legal representation, landlords are now required give notice of the program to tenants, by attaching a Connecticut Right to Counsel Form in English and Spanish to the Notice to Quit, Summons and Complaint. If this form is not attached each and every time it is needed your case will be dismissed by the court.
C.A.R.E.S. Act Affidavit of Compliance: If you ever received a $1,200 stimulus check from Uncle Sam, then you are already familiar with at least one portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020. While most folks have already spent their stimulus money and forgotten about the CARES Act, Landlords in Connecticut need to be aware of how this act is still affecting procedure in Connecticut Housing Court Sessions.
In addition to providing stimulus money to thousands of Americans, the CARES Act provided additional protections to tenants living in federally subsidized or federally backed housing. In Connecticut, some of the restrictions put in place in 2020, are still in effect. This means that if any of your tenants in the building receive rental assistance from the federal government or if the rented property has a federally backed mortgage you must provide your tenant with additional time, thirty days or more, to quit possession and once in court you must file a CARES Act Affidavit of Compliance Form (linked here) with the Court before your case can proceed to trial or judgment.
Housing Court has long been identified as one of the more complicated areas of the law; the COVID-19 Pandemic has muddied the waters more. If you are a landlord in need of representation in a Summary Process (Eviction) Action, our experienced Landlord/Tenant attorneys can help make sense of a complicated process.
Visit the Landlord/Tenant Tab on our website or Contact Attorney Santolo L. Odierna to schedule a consultation today.