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Substitute House Bill No. 5454

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-74

AN ACT CONCERNING LANDLORD AND TENANT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (a) A tenant is guilty of criminal damage of a landlord's property in the first degree when, with intent to cause damage to tangible property of the landlord of the premises and having no reasonable ground to believe that he has a right to do so, he damages such property in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars.

(b) For the purposes of this section, "tenant", "landlord" and "premises" shall have the meanings set forth in section 47a-1 of the general statutes.

(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution of a person under any other provision of the general statutes.

(d) Criminal damage of a landlord's property in the first degree is a class D felony.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (a) A tenant is guilty of criminal damage of a landlord's property in the second degree when, with intent to cause damage to tangible property of the landlord of the premises and having no reasonable ground to believe that he has a right to do so, he damages such property in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.

(b) For the purposes of this section, "tenant", "landlord" and "premises" shall have the meanings set forth in section 47a-1 of the general statutes.

(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution of a person under any other provision of the general statutes.

(d) Criminal damage of a landlord's property in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. Sec. 3. Section 47a-35 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Execution shall be stayed for five days from the date judgment has been rendered, provided any Sunday or legal holiday intervening shall be excluded in computing such five days. [, except that in an action for nonpayment of rent, if within five days of the date judgment is rendered the defendant deposits with the clerk of the court the full arrearage then the defendant may apply for a stay of execution in accordance with section 47a-37. Notwithstanding the provisions of said section no such stay may exceed three months in the aggregate. The clerk shall distribute such arrearage to the landlord in accordance with an order of the court.]

(b) [An] NO appeal shall [not] be taken except within such FIVE-DAY period. If an appeal is taken within such period, execution shall be stayed until the final determination of the cause, unless it appears to the judge who tried the case that the appeal was taken solely for the purpose of delay or unless the defendant fails to give bond, as provided in section 47a-35a. If execution has not been stayed, as provided in this [section] SUBSECTION, execution may then issue, except as otherwise provided in sections 47a-36 to 47a-41, inclusive.

Sec. 4. Section 47a-36 of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-247, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: [(a) In any action of summary process to recover possession of any land, any building, any apartment in any building, any dwelling unit or any trailer, or any land upon which a trailer stands, where judgment has been rendered for the plaintiff under the provisions of section 47a-26, 47a-26a, 47a-26b or 47a-26d, for any reason other than (1) nonpayment of rent, (2) nuisance committed or permitted by the defendant, (3) the use of or permitting the use of the premises for an immoral or illegal purpose or (4) the ground set forth in subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 47a-23, execution shall not issue until fifteen days from the date of such judgment, notwithstanding the provisions of sections 47a-35 and 47a-35a.]

[(b)] Sections [47a-36] 47a-37 to 47a-41, inclusive, shall not apply to (1) housing accommodations situated on a farm and occupied by a tenant who is engaged for a substantial portion of his time in farming operations thereon, (2) dwelling space occupied by domestic servants, caretakers, managers or other employees, to whom the space is provided as part or all of their compensation and who are employed for the purpose of rendering services in connection with the premises of which the dwelling space is a part, (3) land, housing accommodations or a trailer, used or occupied for dwelling purposes, or any land upon which a trailer is used, stands or is occupied for dwelling purposes located in a resort community and customarily rented or occupied on a seasonal basis, or (4) transient occupancy of a dwelling unit in a hotel or motel or similar lodging.

Sec. 5. Section 47a-37 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Within a period of [twenty] FIVE days after a judgment [as described in section 47a-36] HAS BEEN RENDERED FOR A PLAINTIFF UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 47a-26, 47a-26a, 47a-26b OR 47a-26d FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN (1) NONPAYMENT OF RENT, (2) NUISANCE COMMITTED OR PERMITTED BY THE DEFENDANT, (3) THE USE OF OR PERMITTING THE USE OF THE PREMISES FOR AN IMMORAL OR ILLEGAL PURPOSE OR, (4) THE GROUND SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION (2) OF SUBSECTION (a) OF SECTION 47a-23 any defendant against whom such judgment has been rendered may file an application in triplicate with the clerk of the superior court in which the judgment was rendered, requesting a stay of execution and setting forth the reasons therefor, EXCEPT THAT IN THE CASE OF A JUDGMENT RENDERED AGAINST A DEFENDANT FOR NONPAYMENT OF RENT, IF WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE DATE OF SUCH JUDGMENT THE DEFENDANT DEPOSITS WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT THE FULL ARREARAGE, THE DEFENDANT MAY THEN APPLY FOR A STAY OF EXECUTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION. THE CLERK SHALL DISTRIBUTE SUCH ARREARAGE TO THE PLAINTIFF IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN ORDER OF THE COURT.

(b) The court rendering the judgment shall inform each defendant in such case of his right to file an application for a stay of execution and, upon request, shall furnish him with the necessary form. Upon the filing of such an application, execution of the judgment rendered shall be further stayed until a decision is rendered on the application. The clerk of the court rendering the judgment shall forthwith hand or send one copy of the application to the adverse party or his attorney, shall note on the original and each copy the date of filing and the date and method of transmittal of the copy to the adverse party or his attorney, and shall file the original and one copy of the application with the complete court records, papers and exhibits in connection with such proceedings.

Sec. 6. Section 47a-39 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Upon the hearing on such application in the Superior Court the judgment of the trial court shall stand, but upon such hearing if it appears that the premises, judgment for possession or occupancy of which has been rendered, are used for dwelling purposes and [come within the classification of premises as set forth in] ARE NOT EXCLUDED BY THE PROVISIONS OF section 47a-36, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT; that the applicant cannot secure suitable premises for himself and his family elsewhere within the city or town or in a city or town adjacent thereto in a neighborhood reasonably comparable to that in which the premises occupied by him are situated; that he has used due diligence and reasonable effort to secure other premises; that his application is made in good faith, and that he will abide by and comply with such terms and provisions as the court may prescribe, the court may grant a stay of execution for a period or for periods in the aggregate not exceeding six months from the date of the judgment in the summary process action upon such conditions and terms as appear fair and equitable, EXCEPT THAT SUCH STAY OF EXECUTION SHALL NOT EXCEED THREE MONTHS IN THE AGGREGATE IF THE REASON FOR THE JUDGMENT AGAINST THE DEFENDANT WAS NONPAYMENT OF RENT; provided in the case of an applicant who is a resident in a mobile manufactured home park and owns his own unit and has received notice pursuant to subparagraph (E) of subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 21-80 or an applicant who is a conversion tenant, as defined in section 47-283, or who at the time of conversion was residing in a dwelling unit in a building or on property which has been declared a conversion condominium, at the end of such six-month period the court may extend such stay of execution under the same or different conditions and terms for an additional period not exceeding nine months taking into consideration the age of the applicant, the size of the applicant's family, the length of time of such applicant's tenancy and the availability of suitable alternative housing. Such extended stay may be reviewed every two months. The court shall consider all the circumstances of the case, the equities involved and whether any undue hardship would result to either party. Such conditions and terms may include the requirement that the applicant shall pay to the plaintiff in the summary process action such amount in such installments from time to time and in such manner as the court may direct, for the use and occupancy of the premises for such period of the stay, at the rate to which he was liable as rent for the month immediately prior to the expiration of his term or tenancy, if any, and any assessment for current common expenses not already included in the rent as provided in subsection (b) of section 47-76, if any, or such sum as may be determined by the court to be reasonable for such use and occupancy. Such payment shall also include all rent unpaid prior to the period of such stay.

Sec. 7. (NEW) If a motion to open or set aside a summary process judgment is filed with the court, the court shall either (1) conduct an ex parte review of the motion and grant the motion, deny the motion or schedule a hearing on the motion as the court deems warranted under the circumstances or (2) schedule a hearing on the motion.

Sec. 8. Subsection (d) of section 47a-21 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) (1) Within the time specified in subdivisions (2) and (4) of this subsection, the person who is the landlord at the time a tenancy is terminated, other than a rent receiver, shall pay to the tenant or former tenant: (A) The amount of any security deposit that was deposited by the tenant with the person who was landlord at the time such security deposit was deposited less the value of any damages which any person who was a landlord of such premises at any time during the tenancy of such tenant has suffered as a result of such tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations; and (B) any accrued interest due on such security deposit as required by subsection (i) of this section. If the landlord at the time of termination of a tenancy is a rent receiver, such rent receiver shall return security deposits in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (3) of this subsection. (2) Upon termination of a tenancy, any tenant may notify his landlord in writing of such tenant's forwarding address. Within thirty days after termination of a tenancy, each landlord other than a rent receiver shall deliver to the tenant or former tenant at such forwarding address either (A) the full amount of the security deposit paid by such tenant plus accrued interest as provided in subsection (i) of this section, or (B) the balance of the security deposit paid by such tenant plus accrued interest as provided in subsection (i) of this section after deduction for any damages suffered by such landlord by reason of such tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations, together with a written statement itemizing the nature and amount of such damages. Any such landlord who violates any provision of this subsection shall be liable for twice the AMOUNT OR value of any security deposit paid by such tenant,EXCEPT THAT, IF THE VIOLATION IS THE FAILURE TO DELIVER THE ACCRUED INTEREST, SUCH LANDLORD SHALL ONLY BE LIABLE FOR TWICE THE AMOUNT OF SUCH ACCRUED INTEREST. (3) (A) Any receiver who is authorized by the court appointing him receiver to return security deposits and to inspect the premises of any tenant shall pay security deposits and interest in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection from the operating income of such receivership to the extent that any such payments exceed the amount in any escrow accounts for such tenants. (B) Any rent receiver shall present any claim by any tenant for return of a security deposit to the court which authorized him to be a rent receiver. Such court shall determine the validity of any such claim and shall direct such rent receiver to pay from the escrow account or from the operating income of such property the amount due such tenant as determined by such court. (4) Any landlord who does not have written notice of his tenant's or former tenant's forwarding address shall deliver any written statement and security deposit due to the tenant, as required by subdivision (2) of this subsection, within the time required by subdivision (2) of this subsection or within fifteen days after receiving written notice of such tenant's forwarding address, whichever is later.

Approved May 8, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

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