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What's legal for same building landlords to request?

New to CT; kinda rushed into a housing situ that seemed fine but now wish I'd looked around a bit. Not a huge deal, but we'll not be renewing.

We live on the first floor, in what was L/l's mom's apartment. L/l lives on 2nd floor, and there was a renter in a smaller 3rd floor apt but hasn't been in a couple months. 

First of all, the place is NOT insulated, against the outdoors or noise. The windows are good and new, but the rest of the place is a sieve! So, when they walk on the floor, we hear it LOUD and CLEAR, at all hours of the day and well into the nite. They've stopped vacuuming @ 9:30pm which is good; that can be heard from all corners of their apartment. I have a 2yo (single parent) and the noise sometimes keeps her awake. 

When its cold, there is COLD AIR BLOWING into the smaller bedroom and into the large living area at the molding at the floor. I put putty, but the 2nd BR is still pretty unlivable. L/l mentioned, "Why don't you turn up the heat?" That wouldn't work as the door would need to be kept open and its just expensive anyway (we're paying all utils except water). The doors are another sieve; I put insulation tape there which helps.

Today, they just told me I couldn't put pillows on the table in the front porch, visible to the street. I advised them that they can request this but have no legal basis; they seem oblivious in this and so many other ways. Well, I'm assuming this isn't unlawful....

Is there any plain English source for finding out my rights? In a nutshell? Again, single parent, work and taking care of us consumes so much time so not a lot of time to be poring thru and sorting out legalese. 

Thanks,

ps I don't believe they are paying their taxes on their rental income. 
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April 07 2012 - West Hartford
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Answers (2)

Profile picture for sunnyview
I am going to put it bluntly, unless you can get the local health department to call the owner in for not providing a livable unit or for renting an illegal apartment, you will get nowhere in housing court in CT. 

The laws in CT are not tenant friendly and you must build a paper trail of letters sent to the owner with proof of mailing or return receipt to get anywhere. Find out if the unit is legally rentable as a separate unit, see if the heat qualifies as livable under tenant law and go from there. Moving stinks, but you may be able to collect in small claims for the cost to move due to an illegal or unlivable unit.

Honestly, the sooner you move the happier you will be and it may be worth seeing if you have a legal complaint. Then you can try negotiating with the landlord for an early release of the lease during the summer months.
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April 07 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Here's a link to the CT landlord tenant site. Here's the section on "essential services"

I'm sorry you are in such a difficult situation, the place sounds down right uncomfortable.  In my state (not CT), there are rules about the heating being able to maintain a certain temperature during certain months of a year (i.e. the "heating season") but there are not laws about how this has to be accomplished, draft control from leaks/poor insulation nor who pays the utilities to achieve this. 

Pillows on the table on the porch?   Some communities do have regulations about such things outside the bounds of landlord/tenant law. 

May all go well with finding a wonderful place for your next home when the lease runs out. 

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April 07 2012
 
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What's legal for same building landlords to request?
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April 07 2012 | 2 answers
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