Rental Housing General Questions
he following is provided as a general guide only. Please contact the appropriate department as identified.
Refer to the Housing Rental Regulations Page for more detail.
WHAT DOES THE TOWN REQUIRE TO RENT A DWELLING?
- Prior to renting the your dwelling, you will need to complete the following steps:
- File a Landlord Registration Form.
- Submit the Off-Street Parking Application and a site plan for approval if you have a 1, 2 or 3 family dwelling and there is no approved parking plan on file.
- Obtain a rental certificate. Contact the Department of Building and Housing Inspection at 860-487-4440 to schedule an inspection.
HOW OFTEN DOES THE RENTAL NEED TO BE INSPECTED?
- All rental units are inspected every 2 years according to the Implementation Schedule set by the department to ensure that the unit is being properly maintained and remains in compliance during each cycle. The Housing Code and Rental Certification program was adopted to ensure the safety and adequacy of rental units.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF A PROPERTY HAS A VALID RENTAL CERTIFICATE?
- Contact the Department of Building and Housing Inspection at 860-487-4440 or BldgDept@mansfieldct.org.
WHAT TYPES OF INSPECTIONS ARE COVERED BY THE TOWN’S HOUSING CODE?
- General conditions of the structure; light; heat; ventilation; occupancy limits; plumbing; mechanical and electrical equipment; and fire safety.
WHAT DWELLINGS ARE EXEMPTED FROM THE THE HOUSING CODE?
** Contact the department to determine if the property can be exempted from the ordinances
- Generally, dwellings that are owner-occupied
- Group Homes
WHO DO I CONTACT IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH TRASH AND BLIGHT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD?
- You can submit a complaint using the Town’s Mobile 311 Public Works Support Request Site (Public Works); or
- For rentals or vacant properties, you may start by calling the Department of Building and Housing Inspection at 860-487-4440 or BldgDept@mansfieldct.org.
- For other blighted properties, please contact Virginia Walton at 860-429-3333.
NOISE AND NUISANCES
MY NEIGHBORS ARE HAVING A LARGE PARTY AND THE NOISE IS KEEPING MY FAMILY AWAKE. WHO DO I CALL?
- Call 911. Please do not exaggerate the size of the party as that may delay the response time. For example, if you indicate that there is a huge party when the gathering is actually fairly small, multiple law enforcement officers will be needed to manage the situation and they will not arrive until a sufficient number can be dispatched, whereas a single law enforcement officer would have been dispatched to the smaller event.
- For small get-togethers or noise complaints, please call the Mansfield Resident State Trooper’s office at 860-429-6024.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A NUISANCE?
The Nuisance Ordinance defines a nuisance as “Any behavior which substantially interferes with the comfort or safety of other residents or occupants of the same or nearby buildings or structures. Conduct of a person or persons on any premises in a manner which is a violation of law, or which creates a disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of private or public property, may constitute a nuisance. Such behavior includes disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct. Unlawful conduct includes, but is not limited to, individually or in combination with other misbehavior, excessive pedestrian and vehicular traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds or vehicles, illegal parking, the service of alcohol to underage persons, underage drinking, fights, creating a public disturbance, breach of the peace, trespassing, disorderly conduct, littering, simple assault, threatening, harassment, illegal burning or use of fireworks, urinating or defecating in public, lewdness, criminal mischief, crimes against property, or excessive noise. The knowing failure of any tenant to act responsibly to require any resident of the same premises or guest on his or her rented premises or adjacent premises with the consent of the tenant or his or her co-resident to refrain from behavior constituting a nuisance under this article shall itself be a nuisance.”
ARE THERE FINES FOR NUISANCE AT A RENTAL PROPERTY?
- Tenants and/or guests may receive a $250.00 citation under the Nuisance Ordinance. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that the property is used in accordance with all Town ordinances and regulations. A Property owner may be issued a $250.00 citation after the 3rd occurrence if there have been nuisance tickets issued for multiple events within the time frames identified in the Nuisance Ordinance. The property owner/agent will be notified upon issuance all nuisance citations issued at the rental property via Certified and 1st class mail. The purpose of this notification is to provide the owner with an opportunity to address the situation with their tenants. However, in some cases, additional nuisance citations may be issued before notification to the property owner can be mailed, which expedite the citation process to a property owner. The best way to avoid this is to have strong lease language regarding acceptable behavior and to regularly monitor the property and tenants.
- If the Town becomes aware of a planned party that is likely to become a nuisance, officials may reach out to property owners and ask that they address the situation with the tenants before it becomes a problem.
WHAT ARE THE RULES WITH REGARD TO ON-STREET PARKING?
- On-street parking is permitted unless otherwise signed for no parking.
- On-street parking between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. is prohibited from November 1st through April 15th and at any time when there is an accumulation of snow or ice on the roads.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF CARS ARE PARKED ON A NARROW STREET OR BLOCKING THE ROAD?
- At no times are vehicles allowed to block the traveled way. If cars are creating a situation where it is difficult to get by, please call the Mansfield Resident State Trooper’s Office at 860-429-6024.
IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MANY CARS CAN BE PARKED AT A RENTAL HOUSE?
- The Off-Street Parking Ordinance requires an approved designated parking plan that must comply with the requirements of the ordinance in terms of size, design and location be posted in the dwelling unit.
HOW CAN I GET A COPY OF THE APPROVED PARKING PLAN FOR THE RENTAL PROPERTIES ON MY STREET?
- Approved parking plans can be found on the Building and Housing website on the left side, Off-Street Parking Plans.
- If there is no parking plan for a particular address, contact the Department of Building and Housing Inspection at 860-487-4440 or BldgDept@mansfieldct.org.
WHY AM I GETTING A PARKING TICKET FOR PARKING WHERE I RENT?
- Property owners of 1, 2 and 3 family dwellings are required to obtain approval and file a parking plan with the Town and post the approved plan within the unit. The purpose of this ordinance is to minimize the neighborhood impacts and blight by ensuring safe and orderly parking. Failure to park in an approved space as indicated on the plan filed with the Town may result in the issuance of a $90.00 parking ticket.
HOW DO I CONTEST A PARKING TICKET?
- Follow the instructions on the back of the ticket. Failure to pay or appeal within 10 days will result in the doubling of the fine.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT CAN OCCUPY A RENTAL?
- The definition of family established in the Mansfield Zoning Regulations limit the number of unrelated individuals that can live in a dwelling unit to 3 unless the residents meet certain exceptions. Rental units that were established prior to August 15, 2010 are allowed a maximum of 4 unrelated individuals. Exceptions to these limits are available for groups that meet the criteria of a functional family as identified in the definition and any groups protected by the “reasonable accommodation” criteria of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act or Fair Housing Act as described in the definition. For more information, please contact the Zoning Enforcement Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW ARE OCCUPANCY REGULATIONS ENFORCED?
- The definition of family established in the Mansfield Zoning Regulations limits the number of unrelated individuals that can live in a dwelling unit to 3. Rental units that were established prior to August 15, 2010 are allowed a maximum of 4 unrelated individuals. Exceptions to these limits are available for groups that meet the criteria of a functional family as identified in the definition and any groups protected by the “reasonable accommodation” criteria of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act or Fair Housing Act as described in the definition. The maximum number of unrelated individuals that may live in a specific dwelling unit can be found under the Landlord Registration Reports on the left side menu. If a unit is not listed, please contact the the Department of Building & Housing Inspection at BldgDept@mansfieldct.org.
- Enforcement Officers conduct both random inspections as well as inspections related to complaints. If you suspect that a neighboring property may exceed the occupancy requirements, please contact the Department of Building & Housing Inspection at BldgDept@mansfieldct.org.
- Unless we have a complaint from tenants regarding living conditions or the property is scheduled for its biennial certificate renewal inspection, we do not have the right to enter the dwelling to look for evidence of overcrowding. As such, our primary enforcement mechanism is to determine whether the same vehicles are parked at the property on multiple days.
HOW LONG CAN AN OVERNIGHT GUEST STAY WITHOUT THE PROPERTY BEING SUBJECT TO OVERCROWDING ENFORCEMENT?
- While the occasional overnight guest is permitted, when guests routinely spend the night (3 or more nights per week) they are deemed to be residents for the purpose of determining compliance with occupancy requirements which may be considered as Overcrowding.
I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE CONDITION OF MY DWELLING THAT AREN’T BEING ADDRESSED BY MY LANDLORD. HOW DO I FILE A COMPLAINT?
- You may file a complaint with the Department of Building and Housing. This department will determine whether it has jurisdiction over the matter. For more information, call 860-487-4440 or email BldgDept@mansfieldct.org.
I FILED A LEASE APPLICATION AND WAS DENIED. IS THIS LEGAL?
If you feel that denial of your rental application was due to discrimination as described above, or if you believe that you have experienced another type of you can file a complaint with Patricia Schneider, the Town’s Fair Housing Officer. For more information or to make an appointment with the Fair Housing Officer, email email@example.com or call Human Services at 860-429-3315.
OTHER LEASE MATTERS
Other lease matters such as deposit or non-payment of rents are considered a civil matter. Please contact the Connecticut Judicial website for more information on Landlord/Tenant rights or see the attached publication that can be found on their website: https://www.jud.ct.gov/Publications/hm031.pdf .