Sen. Sampson Stands Up for CT Property Owners following Executive Order 7X

April 11, 2020

WOLCOTT –  Today, State Senator Rob Sampson (R-16) shares his disappointment in the Governor’s decision to impact private rental contracts in his latest executive order.

 

“These twenty-five executive orders have escalated from protecting public health to undermining business agreements and achieving political aims. This policy assumes that property owners have not already made arrangements agreeable with tenants,” said Sen. Sampson. “And it shows a complete lack of understanding of the subject matter.”

 

The Senator’s reaction stems from Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7X.  In this order, as described in his own summary, Gov. Lamont called for

  • All landlords are prohibited from issuing a notice to quit or beginning eviction proceedings before July 1, 2020, except for serious nuisance, such as physically harming another tenant or the landlord.
  • For rent due in April 2020, landlords must grant tenants an automatic, 60-day grace period for payment, instead of the existing 9-day grace period.
  • For rent due in May 2020, landlords must grant a 60-day grace period for payment upon the request of tenants. Under this provision, a tenant must to notify the landlord that they have lost a job, lost hours, or otherwise lost revenue or faced significant increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • If a tenant has a paid security deposit of more than one month’s rent, the tenant can apply all or part of that excess to April, May, or June rent. Under this provision, the tenant must notify the landlord that they have lost a job, lost hours, or otherwise lost revenue or faced significant increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Sen. Sampson explained, “How does the Governor believe that in 60 days – in June, that these financially strapped tenants will be able to afford TWO month’s rent?  Why does he feel that this is the best and only solution?  What experience does he or his team have in operating within Connecticut’s housing market?  Most property owners are already making voluntary arrangements with their tenants.  That’s just good business.”

 

“These stipulations assume that landlords are not also suffering financial losses during this time. You can be certain that property tax payments will be due and payable in full for example.  Calling it ‘rental assistance’ is disingenuous and incendiary.  The state isn’t providing any assistance except encouraging one population not pay for services provided by another.”

 

“The governor is also suggesting the co-mingling of rent and security funds which devalues the security deposit that provides property owners with the limited but necessary safeguard that their tenants have a vested interest in maintaining the living space.”

 

Senator Sampson questioned whether or not the Governor’s authority extends to private rental contracts between citizens.  “The emergency powers are with respect to public health.  This seems like an extreme reach to me.”

 

“This order raises many more questions. What about leases set to expire during this period?  What about tenants who are already behind or in the process of eviction currently?   Finally – under the Lamont administration’s emergency powers, what rights, if any, do property owners have?“

###