Vermont Lease Agreements (6) | Residential & Commercial

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Updated December 29, 2022

A Vermont lease agreement is a document used to legally bind a tenant paying rent to a landlord for the use of the property. The landlord will commonly perform a credit and employment verification before authorizing a lease. The first month’s rent and security deposit will be due and payable at the time of lease signing.

Rental Application – Form used to allow a potential tenant to enter their personal, employment, and financial details in the hope of being accepted by the landlord for housing.

Table of Contents

Agreement Types (6)

Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Standard form which specifies a commencement and end date for the tenancy. This document is the most commonly used residential real estate contract.

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Commercial Lease Agreement – Type of real estate contract for properties located in an area used primarily for business-related use. Space is usually defined as office, retail, and/or industrial.

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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement (9 V.S.A § 4467) – A rental contract that gives either party at least 60 days to terminate the contract at any time. If the tenant has been on the property for more than two years, the landlord must grant at least 90 days’ notice.

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Rent-to-Own Lease Agreement – A standard lease with an added benefit to the lessee/buyer that gives them the right to acquire the property for an agreed-upon price and terms.

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Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement – When seeking to live in an arrangement where each person gets a bedroom and shares common areas such as the kitchen and recreational quarters. See the Vermonter’s Guide to Homesharing for more detailed information on writing the agreement.

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Sublease Agreement – For the act of subletting, such as a tenant that decides to rent their space to another person, the “subtenant,” with the landlord’s consent.

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Required Disclosures (1)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – A law provided by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that requires all landlords of property built prior to 1978 to inform their tenants of lead paint in the walls and ceilings. Must be signed by all new tenants at the time of commencement.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount – There is no State cap for landlords on how much they may charge a prospective tenant.

Returning (9 V.S.A § 4461) – Within fourteen (14) days when the landlord discovers the tenant has vacated or abandoned the property, the deposit must be returned. If the residence was used seasonally, not for the intended use of a primary residence, the landlord has sixty (60) days to return the funds.

When is Rent Due? (Grace Period)

Rent is payable and due on the date mentioned in the lease. There is no rent grace period in Vermont (9 V.S.A § 4455(a)).

If rent is not paid on the due date, the landlord has the right to request terminating the lease by providing a 14-day notice to quit. The tenant will have this period to pay back rent, including late fees, or move out of the premises.

Late Rent

Maximum Penalty (Highgate Associates v. Merryfield (1991)) – Must be “reasonable.” The late fee must be for the inconvenience of paying rent and not as a flat charge.

NSF Fee – No statute.

Right to Enter (Landlord)

The landlord may access the tenant’s property with at least forty-eight (48) hours’ notice and enter the property from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (9 V.S.A. §4460).

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