Zollshan v. Manzi
Business Invitee Alleged Landlord Did Not Make Premises Habitable
Landlord/Tenant Law | Residential and Commercial Real Estate
- New Haven J.D., at New Haven
- Dec 26 2013 (Date Decided)
- Vitale, J.
Although a business invitee can possess standing to enforce the provisions in a town code that was enacted "to protect, preserve, and promote the physical and mental health and social well-being of the people," the business invitee may not possess standing to enforce Connecticut General Statutes §47a-7, which governs responsibilities to tenants. The plaintiff business invitee, Bette Zollshan, sued the defendant, Ronald Manzi, and alleged that he violated C.G.S. §47a-7, which requires that landlords make repairs and keep common areas clean and safe. Zollshan also alleged that the defendant violated a town ordinance, Old Saybrook Town Code §166-6, and was negligent per se. The defendant moved to strike and argued that the plaintiff lacked standing, because there is no landlord-tenant relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. C.G.S. §47a-7 concerns the habitability of property for tenants. The plaintiff’s complaint did not allege a landlord-tenant relationship. The plaintiff’s status as a business invitee is distinct from that of a tenant, and the court granted the defendant’s motion to strike the plaintiff’s allegation that the defendant violated C.G.S. §47a-7. The plaintiff’s allegation that the defendant violated Town Code §166-6 survived, because the town code’s purpose extends beyond the landlord-tenant relationship "to protect, preserve, and promote the physical and mental health and social well-being of the people."