Just Cause Eviction
Landlords can force most month to month renters out of their homes on short notice or refuse to renew their lease for no reason. Subject to a crisis-level shortage of affordable housing, renters are more vulnerable than ever to constant displacement from their homes and predatory landlord practices like arbitrary evictions. When homes are already so difficult to access, no renter should be uprooted without justification.
Solution: Pass universal Just Cause Eviction that protects all tenants.
- Fact Sheet
- SB 143
- Additional Materials
- Lead Partners: CT Tenants Union, Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Make the Road CT, DSA-CT, and PT Partners
- Status: Housing Committee Hearing on 2/20/24
- Expanding Just Cause protections to all renters (except in owner-occupied 1-4 families) ensures housing security and allows residents to establish roots without fear of arbitrary displacement.
- Many renters are not covered by CT’s existing Just Cause law and landlords can force them from their homes on short notice by refusing to renew a lease or filing an eviction without any justification, even if the tenant pays rent on time and does everything “right.”
- For over 40 years, CT’s Just Cause law has prohibited no-fault evictions against renters who are 62+ years old or have a disability and live in a building with five or more units.
- Federal law similarly protects public housing and many subsidized housing residents.
Why Expand Just Cause
- Evictions have a detrimental impact on individuals’ employment, mental health, physical health, and children’s education.
- Evictions worsen housing insecurity, increase homelessness, and make communities less stable, cohesive, and safe.
- Many tenants leave their homes before a no-fault eviction is filed to avoid permanently damaging their housing record, even if the eviction may be discriminatory or retaliatory.
- No-fault evictions are often motivated by illegal discrimination based on race, family status, disability, or other protected traits or brought after tenants request repairs, contact the town about unsafe conditions, or organize with their neighbors. People of color and women are disproportionately impacted by eviction – CT’s Black and Latino renters are 2-3x more likely to be evicted than white renters.
- No-fault evictions nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to make up around 11% of eviction filings.
Expanded Just Cause Eviction Protections will:
- Prevent displacement and strengthen communities by significantly decreasing arbitrary eviction, while reducing overall eviction filings by ~11%.
- Will also reduce lease non-renewals and no-fault move out notices that cause tenants to “self-evict.”
- Thwart housing discrimination by forcing a landlord to provide a justification for the eviction instead of forcing renters through unduly burdensome legal processes to prove a no-fault eviction is discriminatory.
- Protect rights to safe housing by allowing tenants to assert their rights to safe living conditions and form a tenant union without facing a retaliatory eviction.
Landlords Can Still Evict with Justification
- Grounds for eviction still include nonpayment of rent, lease violations, refusal to agree to reasonable rent increases, the landlord’s permanent removal of the unit from the housing market, or bona fide intention of the landlord to use the property as their principal residence.