There is a little known nugget of Connecticut real estate law that residential landlords are trying to keep under wraps from domestic violence victims in Stamford, Greenwich and elsewhere in Connecticut. In fact, did you know that victims of domestic violence arrests in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan or anywhere else in Connecticut can break their leases without any penalties or financial consequences under certain circumstances?
Keep reading to learn why Connecticut landlords want to keep this a secret…
The law we are referring to is part of the Connecticut General Statutes—the body of statutory law drafted and enacted by our State lawmakers and legislators. The exact law at issue is C.G.S. 46a-11e entitled “Termination of rental agreement because of family violence.” This law applies to any Connecticut residential lease signed or renewed after January 1, 2011. To benefit from this law, the tenant must be a victim of family violence and must also believe it is necessary to vacate the residence to prevent imminent harm to them or their children. In these cases, the tenant / victim of a Connecticut domestic violence arrest or threat may terminate their oral or written lease with the landlord without financial penalty or liability.
Just a few additional statutory requirements are required of the vacating tenant / Connecticut domestic violence crime victim: (1) the domestic violence victim must give written notice to the landlord; (2) such notice must be given by the victim at least 30 days prior to the termination date; (3) the notice shall include a sworn statement that they are in fact a victim of a family violence and that they have vacated the residence and removed all of their possessions and belongings; and (4) the Stamford or Greenwich domestic violence victim must provide a copy of the police report or court record to the landlord, or alternatively, have an employee of the Superior Court Office of Victim Services or Victim Advocate provide the landlord with a written statement confirming such. All disputes over whether a vacating tenant / Connecticut domestic violence crime victim has complied with these statutory requirements are litigated and decided in the Superior Court Housing Session, which is located at Norwalk Superior Court for Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, and New Canaan domestic violence victims.
This law can sometimes be confused with Full Protective Orders (also known as Residential Stay-Away Protective or Restraining Orders) that are ordered by Norwalk and Stamford Domestic Violence judges. These orders are issued during a Greenwich or Stamford domestic violence arrest and keeps a domestic violence victim safe by keeping the alleged abuser out of the family home. Victims should provide their Landlord with a copy of this Connecticut Criminal Protective Order or Civil Restraining Order along with their Notice to Break the Lease under CGS 46a-11e. The residential stay-away time period gives the alleged victim sufficient time to break their lease and find alternative housing. And as any top Stamford domestic violence lawyer would probably advise, you should contact an attorney to make sure you are compliant with the strict statutory requirements of 46a-11e, or contact any of the social workers or attorneys at the Office of the Victim Advocates in Norwalk, Bridgeport, Danbury or Stamford Domestic Violence Court.
The Mark Sherman Law Firm stands out among its competitors in offering the services and counseling of our in-house Stamford domestic violence victim advocate Christine Bartlett. Having advocated for thousands of victims in her nearly 7-year tenure as a domestic violence victim advocate in the Stamford and Norwalk domestic violence courts, Christine has been able to assist our firm’s victim representation practice by providing counseling, safety plans, referrals and resource leads to our clients who are victims of Greenwich and Stamford Connecticut domestic violence arrests.
So while many Stamford criminal lawyers can assist those arrested for a Stamford or Greenwich domestic violence crime, the Mark Sherman Law firm also offers a full array of services, counseling and resources for Connecticut victims of domestic violence. Advising domestic violence victims on their rights to terminate or break their residential leases without financial penalty is just one of the many legal rights available to them. So don’t wait until it’s too late—call a Stamford Connecticut domestic violence victim representation lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. We are available 24/7 to assist you through the criminal court process or Stamford civil restraining order application and hearing process.