Collecting rent is every landlord’s favorite part of being a landlord. As simple as it sounds, there are often specific laws in place that dictate different aspects of the rent collection process. These laws aren’t overly complicated, but it’s important to know the law in order to remain in compliance as a landlord.
Rent will be due on the first business day of the month and is considered late if not received by the ninth day. Connecticut prohibits a landlord from requiring a tenant to pay rent or the security deposit using electronic funds transfer as the exclusive form of payment. It is fine to offer that method of payment but it cannot be required. And if a landlord receives payment in cash they must provide a written receipt of the payment to the tenant. The receipt must include the date of payment, the amount received, and the purpose of the payment (rent, security deposit, late fee).
Connecticut landlord tenant law does not dictate a maximum amount for a late fee. However, the fee should be a reasonable estimate of the administrative costs incurred by the landlord when receiving a late payment. And while the landlord has the right to insist on payment of rent in full, acceptance of rent with the knowledge that the rent is overdue constitutes a waiver of the landlord’s right to terminate the rental agreement due to late payment.
Once the rent amount is established in the lease agreement it cannot be changed during the term of the lease. But for a tenancy subsequent to the original agreement term the landlord can make changes to the terms, including the rent amount, by providing a written notice to the tenant at least 30 days prior to the end of the agreement term. And if the tenant becomes a holdover or month-to-month tenant, the landlord can change the rental amount or other agreement terms by providing 30 days’ written notice to tenant.