Vermont Room Rental Agreement

In Vermont, room rentals and other residential leases don’t need to be in writing. The same obligations and rights will apply to oral agreements. However, checking and remembering this information is easier if you have a written contract. You can also ensure you don’t miss essential details in the agreement. That’s why we look at the legal aspects you must consider in a Vermont room rental agreement.

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Vermont Room Rental Agreement

A room rental differs from a roommate agreement, though many use the terms interchangeably. A roommate agreement is informal and between two tenants. Meanwhile, an agreement for a room is between the lessor and lessee.

It outlines the relationship between these parties when the tenant rents a room in a house from the landlord. It can be the landlord’s private residence or a shared house with other lessees. No matter which it is, you must consider specific legal aspects.

Access to the Room

  • Landlords can enter the tenant’s dwelling with proper notice and permission. In this case, the dwelling is the room they rent.
  • Tenants can’t unreasonably withhold permission for the lessor to enter their room. However, the lessor can’t abuse the privilege and only do it for valid reasons. These reasons include repairs, maintenance, and inspections.
  • The landlord must provide at least 48 hours’ notice and can only enter between 9 am and 9 pm.
  • Depending on the type of contract and the house, the lessee might have limited access to common areas. The tenant might not be allowed in family areas if it’s the landlord’s home. 
  • Tenants are entitled to a habitable room and necessary areas, such as the bathroom and kitchen.

Guest & Pets Policy

  • Tenants have the right to invite guests over. That’s because they have legal “possession” of the room for the duration of the agreement. However, there might be some restrictions.
  • The lessor can prohibit overnight guests or limit how many nights they can stay. Vermont has no specific law on when a guest becomes a tenant, so it remains up to the landlord.
  • Guests might not be allowed in common areas, or they can have limited access. At all times, a tenant must respect the other house occupants.
  • Landlords have the right to prohibit pets. If they allow pets, they can ask for a pet deposit or have specifications on the type of pets allowed. 
  • A landlord cannot charge a fee or prohibit a service animal. They must accommodate the service animal where possible according to federal law.

Security Deposit Regulations

  • The state imposes no limits on security deposits. However, in Burlington and Barre, there are limits. For example, Burlington limits the security deposit and states a pet deposit can be a maximum of half a month’s rent. It also requires the lessor to hold the deposit in an interest-bearing account. 
  • Elsewhere in the state, there’s no requirement for the landlord to pay interest on the deposit to the lessee.
  • Lessors must return the security deposit within 14 days of the lease ending and the tenant vacating the property. If the room is a seasonal rental or not intended as a primary residence, then the lessor has 60 days to return the deposit.