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How To Evict a Tentant – How much can an illegal lockout cost a CT landlord?

How To Evict a Tenant – How Much can an Illegal Lockout Cost a Connecticut Landlord in Damages? Nearly 50k says a recent court decision!

Many of our clients ask us how to evict a tenant in Connecticut (CT) and if they really have to finish the entire eviction process even if they “think the tenant moved out”. A recent Hartford CT case demonstrates why our answer is almost always, “Yes, you have to finish the eviction process, even if you believe the tenant has vacated.”

In the case of Chung v. Belton the court awarded a tenant $43,622 in damages from a Landlord who had forcibly entered the tenant’ apartment and disposed of her belongings. In this case, the Landlord had caused a notice to quit to be served on the tenant and instead of serving and filing the summons and complaint, the Landlord physically removed the tenant’s belongings from the property and refused her re-entry. Although the Connecticut Landlord testified at trial that they believed the tenant had vacated the premises and abandoned her belongings, the Judge did not find this testimony to be credible based on the totality of evidence. The damages award included loss of personal property (doubles pursuant to Connecticut General Statute 47a-47), as well as punitive damages and attorney fees.

There is no doubt that this Landlord paid a far heftier price for trying to take a short cut with the eviction process than if they had properly completed the process and had the Marshal do the move out pursuant to a court issued execution.

The Law Offices of Yona Gregory in New London, Connecticut (CT) provides CT landlords with cost effective flat fee eviction services for all courts in Connecticut (CT). Yona Gregory is a Landlord Attorney specializing in landlord tenant law, assisting Connecticut landlords in reducing the amount of evictions they do; and advising clients on how to ensure non-compliant and non-paying tenants are evicted as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Yona Gregory provide assistance in tenant evictions in New Haven, CT, Hartford CT, New London CT, as well as all areas of Connecticut.

The Law Offices of Yona Gregory can provide advice to you as to what facts constitute a valid case of “abandonment” and prevent you from making a similar costly mistake.