August 19, 2020

Senator Abrams Addresses Letter to Stonegate Properties Regarding Lease Non-Renewals

State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D–Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire) this week addressed a letter to Stonegate Properties with her Middletown legislative colleagues including State Representative Quentin “Q” Phipps, State Representative Joe Serra, and State Senator Matt Lesser on behalf of a group of elderly tenants at Stonegate who contacted them for help. The letter was also signed by Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim.

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “We have recently been made aware that Stonegate Property delivered notices of lease non-renewal to more than a dozen elderly tenants of Stonegate Apartments at 1160 South Main Street in Middletown. Many of these tenants moved to this 55+ community with the intention that this would be their last home they would independently reside in.”

Many of those affected have limited options to find new comparable housing arrangements and the lawmakers are pushing to keep them in their homes. By law these tenants are permitted to stay in their apartments, invalidating the non-lease renewal letters.

The letter cited Connecticut state statute Sec. 47a-23c of chapter 832, a law designed to protect tenants from out-of-state corporations taking advantage of residents, disrupting families, and displacing community members, specifically protecting tenants 62 or older from getting evicted without good cause: “Prohibition on eviction of certain tenants except for good cause. (a)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, this section applies to any tenant who resides in a building or complex consisting of five or more separate dwelling units or who resides in a mobile manufactured home park and who is either: (A) Sixty-two years of age or older, or whose spouse, sibling, parent or grandparent is sixty-two years of age or older and permanently resides with that tenant,” (Sec. 47a-23c).”

The communication further reads, “The Middletown delegation is deeply disappointed that our valued community members are being treated this way, in a time where community solidarity and neighborly assistance should be a priority for everyone. The Middletown community, including the business and real estate community specifically, has always held our seniors in high esteem, and we welcome you to join us in upholding this shared value.”

Senator Abrams and her colleagues expect the property company which manages Stonegate Apartments, Kosel Equity and Up Realty, to rescind their intention of non-lease renewal and allow the tenants to remain in their homes as stated in state law.