I'm a Connecticut landlord with a difficult tenant. I've given the tenant the proper Connecticut termination notice, but he still won't leave. What next? What is the Connecticut eviction process?

If you are a Connecticut landlord with a tenant who won't leave your property even though you have given him or her notice that you are terminating the lease, you must now file for eviction. You will have to go to the county clerk and file the necessary papers, called a "complaint." For more information, see the "Getting Help" section in our Connecticut Evictions article. You will then give copies of these papers to the state marshal, who will serve the tenant with them (for a small fee). The state marshal will then return the summons and complaint to you with proof that it was served. You must take this proof back to the court at least 4 days before the "return date" noted on the summons. These papers will then be filed with the clerk for a fee.

You then have to wait for your tenant to file his or her appearance and answer your complaint. The court will set a date for the hearing and you will both go argue your sides. If you win, the tenant will have 5 days to move out of the property. If the tenant still does not leave after this 5 day period is up, you will have to return to the clerk to get a "Summary Process Eviction," which you will then give to the state marshal. The marshal will serve this on the tenant, who will have 24 hours to leave. If the tenant still does not leave the property, the state marshal will supervise as you physically put the tenant's belongings out on the sidewalk. Remember that at no time prior to receiving the summary process eviction should you lock out the tenant, remove his or her belongings, or shut off the utilities. If you do, you may be liable to the tenant for damages, and be guilty of a misdemeanor.

If at any time you feel that the Connecticut eviction process is too much for you to take on as an individual, you can always seek the help of an experienced Connecticut evictions attorney.