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Vermont Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Vermont, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Vermont landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a lease agreement Vermont considers compliant, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Vermont lease template for download!
A Vermont lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease must adhere to Vermont’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every lease. Note that these components apply primarily to a residential property; a Vermont commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In Vermont, there are no statewide rent control laws. However, Vermont does require landlords to provide at least 60 days’ notice before increasing rent (9 VSA § 4455(b)). Additionally, some cities or counties in Vermont may have their own laws that regulate or restrict the price of rent. Be sure you know which laws apply in your region.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. There are no statutory limits on late fees in Vermont, nor is there a mandatory grace period. This means landlords can once again decide on their own fee amounts, as long as they are reasonable (a typical late fee is 5-10% of monthly rent). Be sure that your Vermont rental agreement includes a clear explanation of the landlord’s late fee policy so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late on rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
There is no maximum or limit for security deposits in Vermont. Additionally, the state of Vermont prohibits towns and municipalities in the state from passing ordinances that limit how a security deposit is held (note, however, that localities can adopt ordinances that require landlords to pay tenants interest on their deposits) (9 VSA § 4461).
Landlords in Vermont are also required to return security deposits to tenants (minus any deductions) within 14 days after the lease ends.
Be sure to include a thorough description of the security deposit in every Vermont rental contract, including the amount of the deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. These required disclosures must be included in a lease agreement Vermont considers complaint, or else disclosed to the tenant in a separate written notice.
There is only one required disclosure in Vermont:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Vermont, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords in this state must provide at least 48 hours’ notice before entering an occupied unit for a non-emergency reason. Additionally, Vermont landlords can only enter occupied units between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. (9 VSA § 4460(b)).
Be sure that your Vermont rental agreements include the landlord’s right of entry.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Vermont residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A Vermont residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Vermont, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A 14-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a 30-day notice to quit for lease violations, or a 14-day unconditional notice to quit for illegal activity or violence. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Vermont sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Vermont Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Vermont lease template. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Vermont state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a Vermont residential lease is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Vermont lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Vermont lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental property experience.