NEW EVICTION RULES
On June 30th Governor Lamont issued an Executive Order, effective until July 20th, containing new Connecticut eviction requirements. The Eviction Moratorium is still scheduled to expire on July 31, 2021, and Connecticut has developed the UniteCT program that has varied some requirements for evictions related to nonpayment of rent.
What is UniteCT?
UniteCT is a $235 million program that will provide rental and electricity payment assistance to renters financially impacted by the pandemic. Eligible renters may receive up to $15,000 in funding to pay for rental arrears and prospective rent assistance; and up to $1,500 in electric utility arrearages. All funds must be committed by September 2021 and distributed by December 2021. No UniteCT application will be accepted after all funds are committed. For Landlords who have not been paid for months by a Tenant or are concerned about future payments by a Tenant, this $235 million program can significantly improve the prospects of receiving unpaid rent. The application and other information on the UniteCT program can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/DOH/DOH/Programs/UniteCT.
How does UniteCT change the eviction process for evictions related to nonpayment of rent?
Based on Governor Lamont’s Executive Order:
- Landlords must apply to the UniteCT program before serving a Notice to Quit.
- The Notice to Quit must include (1) the relevant UniteCT case number, (2) an English and Spanish copy of the UniteCT Flyer found on the UniteCT portal, and (3) provide a 30-day period for the Tenant to vacate from service. If the Notice to Quit is served before July 31, 2021, then the Notice must also be accompanied by a copy of the CDC Declaration – The Declaration must initially be completed by the Tenant and given to the Landlord. The CDC Declaration is located on the CDC website.
- A Landlord can bring an eviction action once the date specified in the notice to quit has lapsed, Tenant has not remedied any nonpayment (which includes matters related to UniteCT assistance), and Tenant neglects and/or refuses to quit.
- Once an eviction action has been brought, it can be suspended when an application to UniteCT is made by either a Landlord or Tenant. This not only will delay the action but could result in the case being withdrawn or dismissed if the application is approved. Such a withdrawn or dismissed case is contingent on a UniteCT payment being made.
In summary, UniteCT is designed to help both Tenants and Landlords. It adds more steps to the eviction process but can be a great resource for Landlords to receive unpaid rent. The program is temporary, so now is the time for Landlords to apply to the UniteCT fund to hopefully begin collecting on their delinquent rents.