This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.
This page was last updated on Aug 26th, 2022. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.
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Vermont's eviction protections expired on July 15, 2021. Landlords may now sue tenants for eviction.
If you are worried about eviction, reach out for legal help. Local legal aid groups can help you find what protections and support can help you.
Check this page for further updates from the Vermont government.
Since the emergency protections expired, then in Vermont:
If you have any questions about your situation as a renter, ask for legal help to figure out your rights.
Yes, Vermont renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.
Since the emergency protections expired, you may be sued for eviction and still owe all your rent.
If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:
You maybe evicted now in Vermont, since the emergency protections ended on July 15, 2021.
If you receive a Writ of Possession, or an eviction lawsuit, get legal help right away. Your lawyer might be able to help you find protections and services that can help you deal with the eviction.
Since the emergency period ended in Vermont, utility shutoffs may happen.
Renters should still pay their utility bills if they can. If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help through a Vermont State Housing Authority program. You can also ask your utility company for a long-term payment plan.
Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.
Visit this web page for the latest utility assistance programs to apply for.
Tell your landlord about any repairs needed, particularly if they affect your health and safety.
The emergency may delay your landlord's ability to make repairs, but if they are urgent you should call your landlord to make the repairs as soon as possible.
Emergency repairs could be for problems with:
If your landlord doesn't make the repairs promptly, send them a written letter or email about the need for emergency repairs. Keep a copy for yourself. Find a form letter and instructions on the VTLawHelp.org website. If your landlord doesn’t respond to your letter, or refuses to make needed repairs, call your Town Health Officer and ask them to inspect your apartment and order your landlord to fix the problems with your housing. You can find your Town Health Officer on the Department of Health website.
You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.
Your lease is still valid despite the emergency period.
However, you can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing. When you move out, give your landlord your forwarding address so they can return your security deposit.
Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease (in some cases penalty-free). If you are a victim of abuse or crime, you can break a lease early.
Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must give you notice in writing, take you to court by filing an eviction lawsuit, win the case, and getting an eviction order from the court, called a Writ of Possession. If you get court papers, call for legal help right away.
Most eviction hearings in Vermont courts have resumed after the statewide emergency period has ended. Check regularly for updates.
Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.
Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?
If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)
If you are behind on rent, you can get help from your local Rental Assistance program. This is a government service to help people who owe rent or utility bills.
Especially if you are behind on rent because of COVID-19 hardships, your local Rental Assistance (or Rent Relief) program can help you.
Find your local Rental Assistance program at your Get Help page here.
Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.
You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules.
You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.
You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance.
Many local Rental Assistance programs are open to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many programs do not even ask about immigration status.
Check with your local Rental Assistance program to make sure about eligibility rules and immigration.
Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply.
Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.
The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.
Find legal groups that can help you with housing problems, landlords, roommates, Section 8, domestic violence, discrimination, and more.Find Legal Services
Find groups that can help you pay the rent, cover utility costs, and get other housing-related assistance.Find Financial Help
Find help with other problems, like domestic violence, health coverage, food benefits, mental health, and other issues.Find Other Services
State information is taken from these sources:Princeton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerVermont Supreme Court orderVermont court updatesVermont general assembly billVermont utility updatesVermont Law Help COVID-19 updatesVermont Law S.333Governor extension
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