Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Vermont and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for Vermont
- Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, lease term violations, committing a criminal act
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 14-Day Notice to Pay
- Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Terminate for monthly tenant with under 2 years’ tenancy & 60-Day Notice to Terminate for monthly tenant with more than 2 years’ tenancy
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 30-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit
- Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 14 days, via Unconditional Notice to Quit
- Duration for Tenant to Appeal Eviction Ruling: 30 days
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Vermont?
There is a great deal of variability in the amount of time it may take for a Vermont landlord to evict a tenant. As in most other states, the eviction process is a multi-step legal procedure in the state of Vermont.
The landlord is required to provide a written notice to the tenant indicating his/her intention of reclaiming possession of the rental property before he/she can proceed with the eviction process. The amount of time the landlord must provide the tenant to remedy the situation or vacate the property will depend on the reason the eviction is being sought, the amount of time the tenant has been renting the property, and whether or not the tenant as a written lease. The amount of time allowed in the Notice may range from 14 t0 90 days depending on the circumstances. The amount of time it will take to evict a tenant will also depend largely upon the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.
Reasons for Eviction in Vermont
The state of Vermont has established a list of reasons that a landlord may seek to evict a tenant. These include:
- Failure to pay rent (V.S.A. title 9-4467(a))
- Violation of the terms of the lease (V.S.A. title 9-4467 (b)(1))
- Committing a criminal act (V.S.A. title 9-4467(b)(2))
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
When a tenant fails to pay rent when due in the state of Vermont, the landlord must provide his/her tenant with a written 14-Day Notice to Pay before proceeding with the eviction process (V.S.A. title 9-4467(a)).
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
In the state of Vermont, a landlord may evict a tenant without cause. To do so he/she must follow certain regulations. If there is no cause for eviction, the amount of time the landlord is required to provide the tenant will depend upon whether or not there is a written lease as well as the amount of time the tenant has been renting. If the landlord has a tenant renting month-to-month with a lease, he/she must provide a written 30-Day Notice to Terminate if the tenant has rented for under two years and a 60-Day Notice to Terminate if the tenant has rented for more than two years (V.S.A. title 9-4467(e). This notice must be provided at least 30 days prior to the end of the rental agreement.
Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
When a tenant has committed a material violation of the terms of his/her lease, the landlord is required to provide a written 30-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit before proceeding with the eviction process (V.S.A. title 9-4467 (b)(1)).
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
When a tenant commits an illegal act like participating in illegal drug activity or committing a violent crime, the landlord must first provide his/her tenant with a 14-Day Unconditional Notice to Quit before proceeding with the eviction process (V.S.A. title 9-4467(b)(2)).
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Vermont When There is no Lease?
When a tenant is renting without the benefit of a written lease in the state of Vermont, the landlord need not have cause for seeking an eviction. However, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written Notice to Terminate. The amount of time the landlord is required to offer the tenant to relocate will depend upon the amount of time the tenant has been renting. A month-to-month “at-will” tenant who has rented for up to two years must be provided with a written 60-Day Notice to Terminate. If the tenant has rented for more than two years, he/she must be provided with a written 90-Day Notice to Terminate, before the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
When Can a Tenant in Vermont Not Be Evicted?
It is illegal for a Vermont landlord to seek to evict a tenant in retaliation for complaining to the appropriate government agencies about health and safety issues or for belonging to a tenant’s group. It is also illegal for a landlord to seek to evict a tenant based on his/her race, religion, sex, color, nation of origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, disability status, or public assistance status.
Once a Notice has Expired
The landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court. The tenant must be served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint. If the tenant wishes to fight the eviction, he/she generally has 21 days to file an answer with the court. If the tenant files an answer, he/she must serve the landlord with a copy of the answer. The tenant will need to include any counterclaims with his/her answer. If the tenant provides the court with no answer, the court may make a default judgement in favor of the landlord.
Once Eviction Occurs
Either party has up to thirty days to file an appeal with the court. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a Writ of Possession will be issued. This writ allows the landlord to seek the assistance of the sheriff in physically removing the tenant from the rental property.
Make sure to read the Vermont Statutes Title 9 §§ 4463 & 4467 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.