Whether written or verbal, a Vermont lease agreement is concluded when the tenant and the landlord reach an agreement on the essential elements of the lease.
Regardless of whether a tenant rents property to live in or operate a business, their primary obligation is to pay rent to the landlord. In turn, the landlord must allow the tenant to use the rented property properly.
Although an oral lease agreement is not prohibited in Vermont, it is strongly advised that it be in writing. As a result, the contractual parties are better protected in the event of a misunderstanding.
In the text below, you'll find everything you need to know about renting a property in Vermont.
Vermont Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
Be sure to include the following disclosures in your lease agreement because they are required by law:
Lead-based paint disclosure. If the landlord rents out a property that was constructed before 1978, federal law regulations require them to notify the tenant that lead-based paint hazards could exist on the rented property.
Late fees. The landlord can impose additional charges on a tenant for failing to pay rent on time. Collecting these late fees compensates for the inconvenience and potential financial loss caused by a tenant's late payment.
Vermont Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Enter optional disclosures to further protect your rights and interests, such as:
Asbestos disclosure. If there is asbestos on the property built before 1981, the landlord should inform the tenant about it and the precautions that the tenant can take to stay safe on the property.
Bad bug disclosure. This disclosure lets the tenant know that there were bed bugs on the rented property before. The landlord should provide assistance in removing them if they appear again.
Check-in list. Before moving in, check the property with the landlord or property manager, and note down if you find some damage. Also, make sure that your landlord signs the check-in list you make.
Mold disclosure. State the condition of the property concerning the appearance of mold. In this way, the tenant can prevent the landlord from later claiming there was damage because mold appeared on the property during the tenant’s stay.
Pets and smoking disclosure. This disclosure states whether smoking or pets are allowed at the property..
Information disclosure. The landlord should provide information about the person who can act on his behalf so that the tenant can address their requests and notifications to that person. Of course, the tenant can contact the landlord at any time.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
If the rented property is not safe and secure for habitation, the tenant may file a lawsuit against the landlord and receive compensation in court.
The landlord cannot charge fees for the tenants’ late rent payments unless the contract allows it.
Penalties for failing to disclose a lead-based paint hazard can be up to $19,507 under federal law. (24 CFR § 30.65)
Vermont Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
According to Vermont law, there is no limit to the amount of security deposit a landlord may require from a tenant.
Security Deposit Return
The landlord is required to give the tenant back the security deposit within 14 days of the end of the lease.
If any deductions are made from the security deposit, the landlord must send a written report detailing those deductions within 14 days of the lease's termination.
When is Rent Due in Vermont? (Grace Period)
The rental payment is due on the date specified in the lease.
Vermont law does not regulate the grace period for rent payments. So if the tenant fails to pay the rent on the due date specified in the lease agreement, the landlord may charge a late payment fee.
Vermont Rent Late Fees
The landlord's right to charge a fee for the tenant’s late rent payment is not regulated by Vermont law. However, if such a right is provided in the lease agreement, the landlord may charge a late payment fee equal to the real expenses incurred as a result of the tenant's late payment.
Note that if the tenant requests documentation of the landlord's actual costs from the late rent payment and the landlord cannot provide evidence that those costs are equivalent to the fee for the late payment, the tenant may refuse to pay the fee.
Vermont NSF Checks
It is not regulated by Vermont regulations whether or not there is a fee for using bad checks.
Vermont Landlord’s Right to Enter
The landlord can enter the rented unit with the tenants’ consent at any time. If the tenant doesn’t give consent, the landlord has the right to enter with 48 hours’ notice.
However, in case of an emergency (eg., gas leak, fire, etc.), the landlord has the right to enter without giving notice оr getting consent.
The tenants need a valid reason for not allowing the landlord access to the property if the landlord wants to enter without notice (for example, a noisy repair during your kids’ naps or a family gathering).
Vermont Lease Agreement FAQ
In Vermont, both written and verbal lease agreements are legally binding. Therefore, as long as the parties agree on the existence of the contract and its terms, it can be implemented.
When drafting a lease agreement, it is important to clearly clarify each of the following aspects of the agreement:
Details about the parties
Identify the rented unit
Duration of the lease
The amount of the security deposit
Rent amount, due date, and mode of payment
You can download your own lease agreement from our website.
Just find a model that fits the type of lease you require, whether it is a residential, commercial, or roommate arrangement.
After you have defined and specified everything in the lease agreement, you should:
Review the items of the agreement one last time before signing.
Make a copy of the contract for each contractual party.
Optionally notarize the lease agreement.
Arrange an inspection of the apartment.
Record and notify the landlord if you find some issues with the rented unit.
Pay the rent and security deposit.