Vermont Apartment Lease Agreement

A Vermont apartment lease agreement serves as the foundational contract between landlords and tenants, governing the terms of rental arrangements. Although not obligatory, documenting the lease in writing is strongly advised to clarify rights and obligations. Typically, the agreement is signed before occupancy, outlining rental terms, including duration, rent, and rules.

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Vermont Apartment Lease Agreement

Legal frameworks for a Vermont apartment lease agreement draw from state statutes and regulations governing landlord-tenant relations. Landlords and tenants must understand state rental laws and ensure their lease adheres to legal stipulations. This safeguards their interests and fosters a harmonious tenancy. 

Security Deposit

  • Max amount for security deposit: In the state of Vermont, the landlord may charge any amount without any limit for the security deposit. However, it’s typical to request an amount not higher than one or two months’ rent.
  • Purpose of deposit Security deposits in Vermont is intended to cover unpaid rent, property damage beyond normal wear and tear, unpaid utilities, and removal of abandoned items. Landlords can’t impose arbitrary fees.
  • Allowable deductions: Landlords can deduct for unpaid rent, repairs of damages exceeding normal wear and tear, unpaid utilities owed to the landlord, and disposal costs for abandoned property. Normal cleaning or redecorating costs are not deductible.
  • Return timeline: Deposits must be returned within 14 days of the tenant leaving or notifying the landlord they left, along with an itemized statement of deductions. For seasonal rentals, the timeline is 60 days.
  • Delivery method: Statements and deposit refunds must be hand-delivered or mailed to the tenant’s last known address. Failure to do so can forfeit the landlord’s right to retain any deposit.  
  • Penalties: If the landlord willfully fails to return the deposit within 14 days, they’re liable for double damages plus legal fees.
  • Transfer at sale: If the property is sold, the deposit transfers to the new owner who must notify the tenant.
  • Local ordinances: Cities and towns may create supplemental deposit ordinances governing interest payments or dispute resolution through local housing boards. 

Entry and Access

  • Consent required: Landlords must obtain consent to enter a rental unit, and tenants can’t unreasonably refuse access for needed repairs or services. If consent is denied, landlords can enter with 48 hours written notice for inspections, repairs, showings, or services between 9 am-9 pm.
  • Emergency access: Landlords may enter immediately without notice or consent if there is reasonable belief of imminent danger to people or property.
  • Documentation: Tenants should request repairs in writing and document any excessive or illegal entries.

Pets Policy

  • Pet restrictions: Landlords in Vermont can prohibit pets or limit the type, size, weight, and number allowed. Tenants should review policies carefully before signing.
  • Assistance animals: While general pet bans apply to most tenants, those with disabilities may request an accommodation to have an assistance animal needed due to their disability. Proper documentation is required.
  • Pet deposits: Landlords can charge an additional deposit for pets to cover potential damages, but not for legitimate assistance animals.
  • Nuisance pets and damages: Tenants must prevent pets from disturbing neighbors with noise, threats, or waste. Violations can lead to eviction. Tenants are also responsible for any damages caused by their pets. The costs for pet damages can be deducted from the security deposit. 


  • Lead-based paint: Landlords must disclose known lead-based paint hazards and provide an EPA pamphlet for units built before 1978.
  • Optional disclosures: Though not required, landlords should inform tenants of known hazards like asbestos, bed bugs, or mold to limit liability.
  • Utilities: Shared utility meter arrangements should be explained to divide costs fairly.
  • Fees: Non-refundable fees must be disclosed upfront. Late fees are capped at actual landlord costs.
  • Other disclosures: Checklists, rules on smoking or marijuana, and move-in/move-out forms promote safety and transparency.