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Fair Rent Commission

FRC Complaint Form

Fair Rent Commission (FRC) – Website Content


Staff Contact: 

Raymond Baldwin Jr., FRC Coordinator   

(203)924-1555 ext 1373         


Commission Members:

Jennifer Cutrali (R – Citizen), Chair

Lakhvindra (Lucky) Singh (R – Citizen), Vice-Chair

Henry Kaminski (D – Landlord)

Sally Finck (R – Tenant)

Douglas Dempsey (U - Citizen)




Fair Rent Commission Rental Complaint Form  DownloadDocument (


Questions and Answers


Q:           What is a Fair Rent Commission

A:            In accordance with C.G.S. 7-148b Chapter 98 - Municipal Powers (, the Fair Rent Commission (FRC) is a municipal board with the primary power to restrict rental charges in residential housing that are “so excessive as to be harsh and unconscionable.” It holds hearings and makes decisions in response to tenant complaints in the same way as other municipal boards.


Q:           Under what circumstances might a tenant file a complaint with the Commission?

A:            A tenant might file a complaint if:

1) the tenant has been notified of a substantial increase in rent which would cause the rent to be higher than what other tenants in the community are paying for similar units

2) a major service which the landlord had previously supplied has been decreased to an extent that affects the rental value of the unit; or

3) it appears that the landlord has requested the rent increase in retaliation for the tenant's having made a request for repairs; a health, safety or housing code inquiry or complaint to the City; or taking some other action which the landlord perceived as adverse.


Q:           How does a tenant file a complaint with the Commission?

A:            Complaints must be submitted in writing by completing the rental complaint form. Complaint forms are available for download online DownloadDocument ( and hard copies are available at the City Clerk’s Office. Completed forms can be dropped off or mailed to the City Clerk’s Office, 54 Hill Street, First Floor, Shelton, CT 06484, between 8:00am – 5:30pm, Monday - Friday. Completed forms can also be emailed to

Incomplete complaint forms will NOT be processed and will be returned to the tenant.


Q:           How does the Commission process complaints?

A:            Once a tenant has filed a complaint, a copy of that complaint is sent to the landlord along with a letter encouraging that the parties work together to reach a mutually acceptable resolution within 15 business days. If no agreement is reached after 15 business days the tenant should notify the FRC Coordinator who will work with the parties to settle the complaint by mutual agreement, explaining the Commission’s investigation process and advising them that a hearing will be scheduled with the FRC Commission if the parties are unable to reach a mutual acceptable agreement.

The standard complaint investigation may include an on-site inspection of the apartment by Fire Marshall and/or City Building Official; research of municipal records as it relates to the building, such as open building permits, code violations, verification of legal ownership of, and the amount of taxes levied against.


Q:           What amount of rent should a tenant pay while a complaint is pending?

A:            After filing a complaint, the tenant should continue to pay the last agreed-upon rental amount until the hearing.  It is essential that the tenant set aside the difference between the last agreed-upon rental amount and the new rental rate, in the event that the Fair Rent Commission rules that the fair rent shall be more than the last agreed-upon rental amount per month.

If a tenant fails to make timely payments, the Commission will dismiss his/her complaint. The landlord cannot refuse to accept rent because the tenant has filed a complaint.

If no rent increase is involved, the tenant must continue to pay the rent to the landlord on time every month until a hearing is held.



Q:           What is the procedure at a FRC hearing?

A:            At the hearing, which are conducted pursuant to informal, administrative procedures, staff presents the results of the City investigation after which, in turn and under oath, the parties are permitted to testify and present relevant evidence. Commissioners must consider the 13 circumstances as noted below per Connecticut law and are able to ask questions at any time.

Once the hearing has concluded, the Commission will review, discuss and consider the complaint as well as the evidence and testimony as presented at the hearing. Landlords whose units are found to have serious uncorrected housing, health or fire code violations can, at best, expect the Commission to freeze rental increases until, depending on the nature of the violations, they complete all necessary repairs to the satisfaction of the code inspector, the fire marshal, or both. In cases where a landlord fails to make or is untimely in making the repairs necessary to comply with laws relating to health and safety.


Q:           How does the Commission determine fair rent?

A:            In determining whether a rental charge or a proposed increase in a rental charge is so excessive, with due regard to all the circumstances, as to be harsh and unconscionable. C.G.S. 7-148c Chapter 98 - Municipal Powers ( instructs Commissions to consider such of the following 13 circumstances as are applicable to the type of accommodation:

(1) Rents of comparable dwelling units. The rents charged for the same number of rooms in

other housing accommodations in the same and in other areas of the municipality;

(2) Sanitary conditions. The sanitary conditions existing in the housing accommodations in


(3) Plumbing facilities. The number of bathtubs or showers, flush water closets, kitchen sinks

and lavatory basins available to the occupants thereof;

(4) Services supplied. Services, furniture, furnishings and equipment supplied therein;

(5) Bedrooms. The size and number of bedrooms contained therein;

(6) Condition of the premises. Repairs necessary to make such accommodations reasonably

livable for the occupants accommodated therein;

(7) Landlord’s costs. The amount of taxes and overhead expenses, including debt service,


(8) Health and safety compliance. Whether the accommodations are in compliance with the

ordinances of the municipality and the general statutes relating to health and safety;

(9) Income of tenant. The income of the petitioner and the availability of accommodations;

(10) Utilities. The availability of utilities;

(11) Tenant-caused damage. Damages done to the premises by the tenant, caused by other

than ordinary wear and tear;

(12) Size and frequency of rent increase. The amount and frequency of increases in rental


(13) Reinvestment in property. Whether, and the extent to which, the income from an increase

in rental charges has been or will be reinvested in improvements to the accommodations.


Once the Commission has determined the amount of "fair rent", a written decision stating that amount and setting its duration is sent to both parties. Thereafter, the tenant must pay, and the landlord must accept the set rent. Either party may appeal the Commission's decision to the Superior Court (Housing Session).


Q:           Can a Landlord retaliate against a tenant for filing a complaint with the FRC?

Under Connecticut law, once a tenant has filed a complaint with the Fair Rent Commission, a landlord may not begin an eviction or take any other retaliatory measures as long as the tenant is paying the last agreed-upon rental amount and is not in violation of the last agreed-upon lease terms.  

Regardless of the Commission’s decision, the protection against retaliation is intended to allow tenants to file a complaint without fear of punishment or eviction without cause.


Q:           Are mobile home parks covered by the FRC?

A:            Yes, they are explicitly covered by C.G.S. 7-148b(b) Chapter 98 - Municipal Powers ( In mobile home parks, most residents own their home but rent the lot. They are therefore renters and are covered by the landlord-tenant laws, including the Fair Rent Commission Act. If the park resident owns the home and rents the lot, a fair rent complaint would be against the park owner. If the park resident rents the home rather than owning it, then a fair rent complaint would be against the owner of the home.




Chapter 98 - Municipal Powers (

FRC-Toolkit - updated 2023.11.04.pdf (