- Call2-1-1 or go to http://www.211ct.org to search for Fair Rent Commission office locations. Not all towns have a Commission.
- Ask for a complaint form and fill it out.
- Make two copies of your complaint and keep one for yourself.
- File your complaint at the Commission.
- Take the other copy of your complaint to the Housing Code office and ask them to inspect your apartment as soon as possible.
What happens after I file a fair rent complaint?
The Commission will investigate your complaint and schedule a hearing. But first, they may meet with you and your landlord to see if you can make an agreement on your own.
You do not have to make an agreement with your landlord, but you can if the agreement seems fair to you. If you can’t make an agreement, tell the Commission you want a hearing.
Can my landlord evict me if I file a fair rent complaint?
No.The law says your landlord cannot evict you just because you filed a complaint. But you can be evicted if you don’t pay your rent each month.
If your rent is paid and your landlord tries to evict you after you filed a complaint, call Statewide Legal Services at 860-344-0380 or 1-800-453-3320 and contact the Commission right away.
Do I pay the same rent after I file my fair rent complaint?
Every month until the Commission decides your case, you must pay your landlord
- the old rent amount, or
- a higher rent amount that seems fair to you.
Warning: Always pay by check or money order. Do not pay cash. Write “Rent in full for the month of ____”on your check.
How do I get ready for the hearing?
- Before the hearing, tell the Commission if you want
- copies of city or town documents such as code enforcement reports about your property; or
- a witness such as a repair person, a code inspector, or a town employee to speak at the hearing. If you think the witness won’t want to go to the hearing, ask the Commission to order(or subpoena) the witness to go and to bring the documents you need to help your case.
- Make notes to help you remember what you want to say and practice saying it. If you get nervous, you can read from your notes.
- Describe any unsafe, unhealthy, or unlawful conditions in your apartment such as pests, leaks, or no water. Bring photos that show these problems.
- Make 2 copies of these papers:
- the Housing Code Office’s report;
- the Health Department report, if there is one;
- proof of your income (such as paycheck stubs or welfare forms); and
- copies of your utility bills if you pay utilities and they are high.
You have the right to have a lawyer speak for you at the hearing.
What happens at the hearing?
- You, the landlord, and any witnesses must take an oath to tell the truth.
- You and your landlord will each get a chance to speak, show important papers and photos, and call witnesses.
- You have the right to ask questions of your landlord and the landlord’s witnesses.
- The Commission will record the hearing and decide your case later.
What happens after the hearing?
The Fair Rent Commission will send you a letter with their decision. They can decide that
- the rent increase is fair and order you to pay it. If you do not agree, you can appeal in court. If you want to appeal, contact Statewide Legal Services;
- the rent increase is unfair, lower your rent, and order the landlord to accept that amount;
- the landlord must raise your rent over time so you won’t have to pay the increased amount right away; or
- rent cannot increase until repairs are made. If this happens, you may have to pay your rent to the Commission for a while. They will not give the rent money to your landlord until repairs are made. The Commission may ask another agency to make sure your landlord makes the repairs.
How will the Commission decide?
The Commission considers many things, especially
- the rent for similar units in your area,
- your income and your ability to pay the higher rent,
- if your unit is in good condition or if it needs repairs,
- the landlord’s costs and how the rent increase will be used,
- the amount of the increase and any other recent rent increases,
- damage to the apartment beyond normal wear and tear, and
- if the unit is furnished or includes utilities.
Does the landlord have to obey the Commission?
Yes. If the landlord does not obey the Commission or gives you a hard time because of your complaint, the Commission can fine the landlord and order him or her to act appropriately.
Report any problems to the Commission.