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Senate Bill 4 is bad for Connecticut renters and small investor landlords.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and federal legislators put their thumbs on the rental housing market by imposing more regulations to slow down evictions, resulting in a recent rise in landlords filing to take possession of their property once restrictions were lifted.

Rose Aletta

The actions of the legislators influenced the rental market resulting in higher rental and security fees as landlords try to recoup losses from unpaid rent, nuisance renters, and property damages, and minimize the risk of a possible high eviction fee.

Senate Bill SB 4, if enacted by Connecticut legislators, will rip at the fabric of lease contracts, and stop any legal recourse by property owners to take possession of their property between Dec. 1 — March 31, with an expected yearly rise in evictions in the spring. Presently, the eviction process averages 85 days. If enacted SB 4 will extend the time up to six months with the pause in winter evictions.

Senate Bill 4 will not address housing storage or reduce rental fees. The result will force small investors out of the housing market, reduce affordability and lower the quality of housing with absentee landlords purchasing rental properties.

Landlords will look for other avenues, to reclaim their property that will weaken housing stability with short-term leases, or no lease, to protect their investment outside of government restrictions.

Connecticut legislators need to look at real options to increase housing, that would increase competition in the rental market and result in lower market rental fees without inhibiting property owners’ rights.

SB 4 fails Connecticut’s housing crisis and will have a negative effect on the rental housing market.

It’s time to change course on rental housing.

Rose Aletta is an appraiser and small investor from Portland.