Your landlord can try to evict you, but there must be a court judgment first. Unless your landlord wins at court, he or she must not take your things or evict you, even if you owe back rent.
Yes, but your landlord must get the court’s permission first. Unless the court agrees with the eviction, your landlord must not
If you do not want to leave, see below to learn how you can try to stop the eviction.
If your landlord wants to evict you, you may get a Kapa Notice or a Notice to Quit.
AKapa Notice is an informal warning letter that
If you fixed the problem within fifteen days, make sure to get as much proof as you can. For example, if you hired someone to fix damage or you bought the parts to fix damage yourself, keep the receipts. If the landlord says you allowed someone to live with you who was not allowed to live there, get proof that the person lived somewhere else.
If the problem is not solved within 15 days, your landlord may send you a Notice to Quit.
A Notice to Quit is a court form that asks you to leave by a certain date because
Important! You do not have to leave on the date listed on the Notice to Quit.
Note: If a housing authority wants to evict you, send a letter to the manager or director asking for a hearing. Keep a copy of the letter.
If the problem is not solved and you do not leave, your landlord may ask the court to evict you. If this happens, a marshal will give you a Summons and a Complaint.
If you get a Summons and a Complaint, call Statewide Legal Services at 800-453-3320.
If you can't get a lawyer to help you, you must follow these steps:
1.Fill out these 2 court forms: Appearance (JD-CL-12) and Answer (JD-HM-5).
2.Make 2 copies of the completed forms.
3.Take the original forms to the court clerk within 2 business days of the Return Date on the Summons.
4. Give (or mail) a copy to your landlord or the landlord’s lawyer.
If you have questions or need help, call Statewide Legal Services at 1-800-453-3320.
Warning! If you do not fill your forms out completely, correctly, and on time, you may lose your case.
The forms are free, and you do not have to pay to file your completed forms at court. You can get the forms at:
The court will mail you a letter with the time and date of your trial. If you do not go to court for your trial, your landlord will probably win and you will be evicted. If this happens, a marshal can make you move out with as little as 24 hours notice.
If you have a very good reason for needing a different court date, you must ask for a continuanc eat least 3 days before your court date. To do that, fill out and file a Motion for Continuance (JD-CV-21).
If you missed your court date but have a very good reason (like being in the hospital), you have 5 days to ask the court to open your case again. To do that, fill out and file a Motion to Open (JD-CV-51). It will help your case if you have documentation of the reason why you had to miss court.
Ask the Court Service Center for help.
You will have a better chance of winning your case if you do these things:
You can prepare for your trial by doing the following:
You and your landlord will speak to a mediation specialist first. The mediation specialist will try to help you and the landlord make an agreement (also called a stipulation) instead of having a trial. If you can come to an agreement, it will be put in writing and you, the landlord, and the judge will sign it. You will each get a signed copy of the agreement.
You can also make an agreement on your own with the landlord, but talk to the housing specialist before you sign it.
Warning! Do not sign an agreement if you cannot do what it says. If you disobey the agreement, you can be evicted very quickly.
You will have a trial and a judge will decide your case. Your trial will probably take about an hour.
If you win, you get possession, which means you can stay in your apartment.
If you lose your case, you will have to move out in as few as five days. Your landlord will get permission from the court to hire a marshal. A marshal must tell you at least 24 hours before he or she comes to remove you and your things from the apartment.
If you do not move out before the marshal comes, the marshal will take your belongings from the apartment (even if you are not there), and the landlord can lock you out.
Warning! You can be evicted even if you have small children, a subsidy, or it is the middle of the winter. Pack your things as fast as you can before the marshal comes back. Start with your medications and important legal documents, like birth certificates and ID cards.
You will automatically get 5 extra days to move out if you are evicted because
Note: You must file something with the court within five days of the judgment if you want
You can ask your landlord for more time, but he or she does not have to give it to you.
You can get 3 extra months to move out if you are evicted because you did not pay the rent, but you must fill out a Stay of Execution (JD-HM-21) form and pay the court all of the rent you owe within 5 days of the judgment. You must be prepared to pay for each month that you stay.
If you are evicted for a reason not listed above, you may ask the court if you can stay up to 6 months by filling out a Stay of Execution Application. The court does not have to let you stay at your apartment, so think about your other options in case the court says no.
A special law called good cause can protect you from eviction in some cases. Get legal help right away so you can tell the court that you are protected by good cause.
To qualify for good cause, you must
Yes. It also protects people
No. The disability must be physical or mental and it must be expected to last at least 12 months.
No. You qualify if your spouse, brother, sister, parent, or grandparent lives with you and is 62 or older.
Important! You may have to prove your disability or age. You can use a medical report or proof of Social Security income.
No. Your landlord can still evict you if you do not
Some towns have a Fair Rent Commission that can decide if a rent increase is fair. You can search the Internet or the government pages of your town’s phonebook to see if there is a Fair Rent Commission in your town.
No. It is against the law for your landlord to
Exception: Your landlord can lock you out if you have another apartment where you usually live.
Call the police right away. A lockout is a crime. Show the police proof that it's your apartment, like a rent receipt, a cancelled rent check, or a utility bill with your name and address on it.
You have the right to have the police call your landlord and order him or her to let you back into your apartment. If the landlord refuses, you can ask the police to arrest your landlord.
Call the police first. Let them talk to your landlord. If the police can’t find your landlord or your landlord won’t let you back in, tell the police you are going in on your own. Try not to break anything unless there is no other way to get back in.
Caution! If you expect trouble from your landlord, ask the police to be there when you go back in. The police should stop your landlord from getting in your way. They should not arrest you unless you break more things than you had to or you fight with the landlord.
You can sue your landlord for an illegal lockout. If you win, the court can make your landlord
It is against the law for the hotel/motel manager to lock you out of your room if
It’s best to talk to a lawyer if you can. If you have very low income, call Statewide Legal Services at 1-800-453-3320.
If you are able to get back into your apartment but some of your property was damaged, lost, or you had expenses because of the lockout, you can sue your landlord for up to $5,000 in Small Claims Court. You do not need a lawyer in Small Claims Court. The staff at the Court Service Center can help you with the court forms. For more information, see Small Claims Court Frequently Asked Questions and the legal aid booklet, Small Claims Court.
To sue your landlord for an illegal lockout, follow these steps:
1. Fill out the court forms. Staff at the Court Service Center or the court clerk can give you the forms and help you fill them out. You can also find the forms online at www.jud.ct.gov/webforms.
2. Bring the forms to the court.
* If you don’t have enough money to pay the filing fee or the marshal’s fee, ask the clerk for an Application for Waiver of Fees (JD-CV-120). See our booklet, Can’t afford to pay court fees? Ask for a fee waiver.
3. The clerk will give your forms to the judge. The judge will decide
4. Go to court on your hearing date and tell the judge what happened.
Your landlord cannot change the locks just because he or she thinks you moved out.The landlord must be sure you have moved out. For example, if
If the landlord is not sure that you have moved out, he or she cannot change the locks, but he or she can ask the court to evict you.
If your landlord locks you out of your apartment and you can not afford a lawyer, this guild will help you represent yourself in court.
By: State of Connecticut Judicial Branch