Vermont Landlord Tenant Rights
Renters and landlords in Vermont have certain rights and responsibilities. Let's take a look at the laws in the Green Mountain State.
Landlords in Vermont have the following responsibilities to their tenants:
- Make required repairs within 30 days of tenant request
- Maintain rental unit, plumbing, heating, electric, and water systems.
- Maintain floors, kitchen facilities, and bathroom fixtures.
- Provide extermination services, including for bedbugs.
- Provide a lead-based paint disclosure for units built before 1978.
Tenants also have responsibilities to landlords. These include:
- Pay rent in a timely manner.
- Maintain the unit and all fixtures in a safe and sanitary way.
- Follow all building and health code regulations.
- Make small repairs as needed.
- Avoid disturbing other tenants.
In the state of Vermont, there is no limit on the amount of security deposits. Landlords may require any amount they see fit. However, in Burlington, landlords can charge no more than one month's rent as a security deposit, plus an additional half-month's rent as a pet deposit, if applicable. No deposit can be charged for a service animal that's a reasonable accommodation.
Tenants can't use the security deposit to pay their last month's rent. Landlords can withhold all or part of the deposit to pay for unpaid rent or utility bills, fees for disposing of the tenant's personal property, or repairs beyond normal wear and tear.
Rent and Fees
There is no rent control in Vermont, so landlords may raise the rent as they see fit. They must provide at least 60 days' notice of any increase in rent. However, the state does allow cities to set their own rent control policy without approval from the state.
Application fees cannot be charged in Vermont.
If a tenant fails to pay rent, landlords can issue a 30-Day Notice to Pay. If the tenant doesn't pay their rent within that 30 day period, landlords can begin formal eviction
If a lease violation occurs, landlords can issue a 30-Day Notice to Quit. Landlords don't have to provide tenants the opportunity to correct the violation. After 30 days, the landlord can pursue formal eviction.
In the eviction process, landlords must file and have the tenant formally served with notice. The tenant has 20 days to respond or file a motion to dismiss.
Lease Termination Notice
If tenants want to break the lease, they must give notice. If they're renting week-to-week, they need to give 21 days' notice. If they're renting month-to-month, they need to give 30 days' notice. If they're renting year-to-year (meaning they pay their rent once annually), they need to give 60 days' notice.
Tenants can legally end a lease early for several reasons, including:
- The presence of an early termination clause in their signed rental agreement
- Active military service
- Harassment by the landlord
- The rental unit being unliveable