Leasing Information

Signing a lease does not just reserve you a place to live, it is a legal document. Once you sign the lease, you are responsible for the provisions of that lease. If there are agreements between you and the landlord regarding changes to the lease or property, do not sign the lease unless the changes are in writing.



Signing a Lease Checklist

Use this list to help understand the language in your lease.

Signing a Lease Checklist

Security Deposit

A security deposit is any amount of money or property provided to the landlord to secure performance by the tenant under a rental agreement. The landlord will most likely will require you to pay a deposit to cover any unpaid rent or damages you might cause during your tenancy. The deposit is refundable if there is not damage and/or unpaid rent at the end of your lease. A security deposit, however, does not give the tenant permission to damage the property during the leasing period.

Give your landlord, IN WRITING, your forwarding address when you move out. Once you have left, the landlord has 30 days to return your security deposit. If you don't get all of it back, the landlord must send an itemized statement explaining the deductions.

For information on what you can do during move in and out that may help you get a fair amount of your security deposit returned or if you believe your security deposit is being unfairly withheld, click on the following link for options:
CT Security Deposit Law Information
What if the landlord doesn’t return some or all of my deposit?

You can sue the landlord in Small Claims Court if

  • the landlord doesn’t respond to your request within thirty (30) days;
  • he or she didn’t return your security deposit or give you a list of repairs and costs within thirty (30) days; or
  • the landlord returned some or none of your deposit and gave you a list of repairs and costs, but you don’t agree with the amounts.

You will have to fill out and file court forms and go to court to explain your case. You do not need a lawyer for Small Claims court. For more information, see Small Claims Court.

You can file a complaint with the Banking Department if

  • you gave the landlord your new mailing address using certified mail with a return receipt requested, and
  • the landlord does not return your deposit or only returned part of your deposit without giving you the list of repairs.

You can get a rental complaint form at the Connecticut Department of Banking website (http://www.ct.gov/dob). Send your complaint and copies of the documents they ask for to:

Security Deposit Investigator
Connecticut Department of Banking
260 Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103-1800
Email: dob.sd@ct.gov
Tel: 860-240-8154, or 800-831-7225, ext. 8154
Fax: 860-278-7014

Joint and Several vs. Individual Liability?

One of the most important parts of a lease is whether it is an individual or joint and severally liability lease. If you signed an individual lease, you are only responsible for yourself. For example, if your roommate moves out early, you will not be responsible for paying that person’s rent or losing your security deposit. If you signed a lease that is joint and severally liable, you and your roommates are equally responsible. For example, if your roommate moves out early, you can be held legally responsible for paying the rent. Signing separate leases does not mean you are in an individual lease and signing the same lease does not mean you are in a joint and severally liable lease. It can be wise to negotiate for an individual lease with the property manager.

Questions to Consider Before Signing a Lease

  • Is the contact information correct on the lease?
  • What are the move-in and move-out dates?
  • Is there a lease renewal clause?
  • How much is the rent and when is it due?
  • Can the rent amount be increased?
  • What is the penalty for late payments?
  • Is a deposit required? If so, how much is the deposit?
  • Are pets allowed? If so, is there a fee or an additional deposit required?
  • Can the tenants sublease the apartment or house?
  • Are there restrictions against decorating the apartment or house?
  • Are there guest restrictions?
  • Are there conduct rules for the property (i.e. no parties, no outside furniture, etc.)?
  • Who is responsible for the lawn care and snow removal?


Subleasing is when a person, who has signed a lease with a landlord, rents their room or apartment to another person. In most cases, if you sublease you remain on the original lease. As a result, you continue to be responsible for all lease provisions and for the actions of the sub letter until the end of the agreement. Remember, the sublease agreement is separate from the lease.

One very important thing to consider before you choose to sublease -- check your lease. It may not permit you to sublease the apartment, house or room. It is always best to get permission from your landlord first before trying to sublease your place.

Post sublease opportunities on Off-Campus Housing

Sample Sublease Agreement Form

Termination of Lease

Lease agreements are binding agreements which hold both the landlord and tenant accountable for the terms and conditions written in the agreement. There are times however, when those terms may need to be altered or altogether vacated with both parties consent. For instance, when landlords encounter a mutual agreement to terminate early, such an agreement requires unique and careful documentation and handling.

The Mutual Termination of Lease Tenancy form will allow for the delicate handling of such a situation where both the landlord and tenant each release the other from the lease commitment. Typically, in these special situations, there is an early termination fee associated.

This addendum creates an agreement between the landlord and tenant to be released from the obligations of the lease at an earlier date than specified within the original agreement.

This form is for a tenant who agrees to be released early from the lease agreement. If a landlord decides to use this form, it becomes an addendum to the original lease; changing the terms of the ending date. The landlord should give this to the tenant after he/she has come to amicable terms regarding a release from the obligations of the lease agreement at an earlier date than originally specified.

Reminder: Print and sign two copies of this Agreement, one for the landlord and the tenant. Additionally, be sure to obtain a copy signed by the tenant. This should be attached and kept with the original lease agreement.

Note: This Mutual Termination of Lease Tenancy may be used under any circumstance where both parties have agreed to terminate the lease for any reason.

To Create your Mutual Termination of Lease Tenancy please follow the link and directions. Each landlord might have different terms or variations of this termination form that they wish to use.