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When does a tenant’s behavior become a “serious nuisance”?

Posted by Kent M. Miller | May 07, 2021 | 0 Comments

Every new tenant creates some risk for their landlord. Someone can have a good rental history and a solid credit score while still being a disrespectful neighbor or destructive tenant. Landlords frequently only take steps to evict those who stop paying rent, but non-payment is not the only reason you may need to terminate a lease.

If a tenant starts affecting the living circumstances of other tenants, the safety of your building or even the property value of the unit, you may have no choice but to take action against them to protect your property and your reputation as a landlord. When does a tenant's behavior make them a serious nuisance under Connecticut rental law?

Breaking the law in a rental unit

The laws regulating rental units in Connecticut specifically reference the use of a residential space for the illegal sale of drugs or for prostitution. If you have documentation of illegal activity occurring on your property, you can use that as grounds for an eviction even if the state has not brought criminal charges against your tenant for their behavior.

Creating a nuisance that affects everyone in the building

Whether you own a duplex or a multi-unit building with a dozen different tenants, each tenant deserves the quiet enjoyment of the unit that they pay to live in. When one tenant affects everyone else in a building or complex, the landlord may need to take action to remove the problem tenant and retain the other people who live in their building.

Documentation, including complaints from other tenants about late-night parties and similar issues can help validate claims of a tenant being a nuisance to others who live at the property. The law also includes violence against the landlord and other tenants, as well as threats of physical violence, in the list of nuisance behaviors.

Causing significant damage to the property itself

When someone lives in a home or apartment, their use of the space will inevitably cause some wear to the carpet, mild discoloration to the paint and other signs of use. Unfortunately, some tenants don't just cause wear and tear but extensive damage to the property.

They could flood the bathroom, smoke cigarettes inside despite rules against doing so or even punch holes in the wall. Those damages require a major investment for you and might even exceed how much they pain in a security deposit.

Establishing a specific tenant as a serious nuisance typically requires some proof but can be a way to remove a tenant who has damaged your space or poses a threat to the ongoing operation of your rental business.


About the Author

Kent M. Miller

Professional Associations Connecticut Bar Association, Member Connecticut Real Estate Investors Association, Member Current Employment Position Principal Attorney Practice Areas Landlord and Tenant Matters Evictions Foreclosures Contract Disputes Collections General Civil Lit...


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