Introduction

This information is intended to offer guidance to Vermont tenants about their legal rights and responsibilities when renting a property. It covers the obligations of both tenants and landlords throughout the rental process, from beginning to end.

This information comes from Vermont laws and codes on residential rental properties, as well as the Renting in Vermont Information Handbook for Tenants and Landlords. Links to this and other resources, including the complete text of Vermont housing laws and codes can be found in the list of resources below and throughout the website.

The information on this website is a guide only; it is not comprehensive and does not constitute a legal opinion or advice.

Please note that some municipalities in Vermont have their own codes and laws that also apply to landlords and are often stricter and include additional requirements. You should check with your town health officers for more information on your local regulations.

Some towns also have additional laws governing the rights and responsibilities or landlords and tenants.

Before renting

Before your landlord can rent to you, the rental property must meet these health and safety building standards under the Vermont Departments of Health and Public Safety. Your landlord is also responsible for ensuring the property continues to meet these standards throughout your tenancy. Before moving into a property, tenants are recommended to get an inspection of the unit to ensure it meets these minimum health and safety requirements.

Consider these items when moving in or out of a rental property.

Read more: "Before renting"

Renting residential property in Vermont

What landlords can and cannot consider when selecting tenants

Under state and federal Fair Housing laws, landlords cannot take race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, the presence of minor children, receipt of public assistance, or gender identity into consideration when deciding whether to rent to you. If a landlord is found to be discriminating on the basis of any one or more of these categories, it can result in an investigation and/or lawsuit for that landlord.

However, there is some information landlords can consider when deciding whether to rent to you. This information includes past rental history, such as failure to pay rent.

Read more: "What landlords can and cannot consider when selecting tenants"

Leases and other types of rental agreements

There are different types of rental agreements between landlords and tenant. These types vary in form and in how they may be terminated by either the landlord or the tenant.

Read more: "Leases and other types of rental agreements"

Rights and responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords from beginning to end of tenancy

The rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords during a tenancy, include:

  • Rent payment
  • Security deposits
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Access to rental premises
  • Rent increases
  • EMPs
  • Requirements for ending a tenancy

Read more: "Rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords from beginning to end of tenancy"

Problems with landlords

Common rental issues

Common issues that arise with landlords include:

  • Repairs
  • Infestations
  • Lead paint violations
  • Retaliation for tenant complaints
  • Eviction

Read more: "Problems with landlords"