Connecticut Condominiums: Taming Those Terrible Tenants
As a Connecticut condominium association board, or a property manager, you likely have encountered problems caused by tenants, unless your community is a co-operative (which often have rules requiring owner occupancy). These problems can be particularly difficult for two reasons:
- The owner often is not aware of the problems; and
- The Association may not even be aware that tenants are occupying the unit.
Under the Connecticut Common Interest Ownership Act, it is the responsibility of the Association to address these problems.
The good news is that Connecticut law permits the eviction of tenants for bad behavior (i.e. violating the Declaration, Bylaws, or Rules and Regulations), unlike for with misbehaving owners, who generally can only be fined after proper notice and an opportunity to be heard. Specifically, under Connecticut General Statutes §§ 47-244(d) and (e), tenants may be evicted for violations of the Association’s Declaration, Bylaws, or Rules and Regulations.
We suggest that, before commencing an eviction action based on violations of rules alone, the Board of Directors schedule a meeting with both the tenant and the unit owner. At that meeting, the tenant’s violations should be discussed thoroughly, and the Board may wish to seek an agreement by both the owner and the tenant promising good behavior in the future. Part of any such agreement should be a clear understanding that if more complaints are received about the same violation, the Board will have no choice but to begin eviction proceedings immediately, with no further notice either to the owner or the tenant. The Association may want to consult with a Connecticut condominium lawyer for assistance with such an agreement.
Merely starting an eviction can sometimes solve the problem itself. By starting the eviction, the Association may alert the often-absentee unit owner to the tenant’s bad behavior and the need for closer scrutiny of tenant conduct; and cause the owner to act to stop the misbehavior. Very often, unit owners have no idea that the Association has the power to evict their tenant. Once the unit owner understands that the Association has the power to evict his or her tenant (and source of income), the owner will be motivated either to pressure the tenant to shape up, or to evict the tenant themselves. However, if the owner does nothing, the Association then may move forward with the eviction.