The state of Vermont prohibits property owners from collecting an application fee from renters yet does not limit the security deposit amount the property owners can collect in order to protect themselves from unpaid rent and damages incurred to their property. However, some local counties may impose different restrictions on the security deposit amount property owners can collect period to learn more about security deposit regulations in the state of Vermont, continue reading below.
Is there a limit on how much the property manager/owner can charge for an application fee? If so, what is that amount?
Property owners in the state of Vermont cannot charge an application fee.
What is the security deposit amount the landlord can collect?
Property owners in the state of Vermont can request a security deposit of any amount to protect their property in the event of damages or unpaid rent. The security deposit amount must be stated in the rental agreement. It is common to collect one to two months’ rent as a security deposit in the state of Vermont. While there is no regulation at the state level, there may be local restrictions on how much property owners may charge for security deposit. Property owners must check with their local ordinance in order to ensure that they are not subject to additional regulations regarding security deposit amounts they can collect.
Can the property manager/owner collect a fee for pets?
Yes. Property owners in Vermont can collect a pet deposit separate from the apartment security deposit. Service pets are an exemption, and disabled persons with service pets do not have to pay an additional security deposit. However, if a service dog causes damages, the resident is still liable for expenses incurred.
How does the security deposit need to be held?
There is no regulation in the state of Vermont regarding how property owners must hold security deposits.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident where the deposit is held?
No. Property owners Operating in the state of Vermont are not required to tell residents where the security deposit is held.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident what the interest rate on the account is (if applicable)?
No. Property owners in the state of Vermont do not have to provide interest to residents on the security deposit amount held.
What can the property manager/owner deduct from the security deposit?
Property owners in Vermont may keep a portion of the security deposit to cover unpaid rent or damages that exceed normal wear and tear. Property owners may also keep a portion of the security deposit to cover unpaid utility bills that were the responsibility of the residence. In the event that the vacating resident leaves their property in the unit, property owners may also use the security deposit in order to cover the costs of removing any abandoned property.
How long does the property manager/owner have to return the security deposit after the lease has ended?
Property owners in the state of Vermont have up to 14 days to return the security deposit, or its remainder, if applicable. The property owner must provide an itemized list of damages deducted in the event that they claim a portion of the security deposit funds. The 14 days begins on the date of the lease termination, or on the date when the property owner discovered that their property had been abandoned. If a property is rented to seasonal residents, property owners have up to 60 days to return the security deposit, or to remainder.
What penalties does the property manager/owner face if they do not return the security deposit on time?
If a property owners in Vermont does not return the security deposit within the 14 day limit, or 60 day limit for seasonal occupancy units, and provide an itemized list of the damages and repair costs, if applicable, the vacating resident may recover the full security deposit amount plus double the security deposit amount. Property owners that do not return the security deposit may also be subject to legal action from the renters who may file a case in Small Claims Court for up to $5,000.
What is the process for the property manager/owner to claim the security deposit funds?
Property owners in the state of Vermont that want to claim security deposit funds must hand deliver or mail the itemized list of deductions to the last known address of the vacating residence.
Is the resident allowed to apply their security deposit towards the last month’s rent?
According to legislation in the state of Vermont, residents may apply the security deposit towards last month’s rent if it is agreed upon by both parties, and listed in the rental agreement.
To summarize, property owners in the state of Vermont should check with their local city ordinance in order to ensure that they are not subject to security deposit regulations on a local level. Property owners in the state of Vermont should also be aware of the fact that there is a different time limit for returning the security deposit amount depending on whether it is a regular occupancy or seasonal occupancy. As always, property owners in the state of Vermont should keep accurate records of damages incur to their property in the event that they want to claim a portion of the security deposit.
Disclaimer & Sources:
Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is for informational purposes and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.