The Eviction Moratorium (Ban) in Vermont During the COVID-19 Crisis

Updated 9/11/2020 10:30 a.m.

News: Housing, rent help, eviction and the COVID-19 Coronavirus Crisis

Rental Housing Stabilization Program offers help with past-due rent
For help with past-due rent, Vermonters should apply for the Rental Housing Stabilization Program through the Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA). The deadline to apply is December 11, 2020. VSHA is accepting applications from landlords and tenants, and paying landlords directly to bring the tenant’s accounts current. Learn more about this program and how to get help.

Money to Move Program offers first and last month's rent and security deposit if you have found a new landlord to rent to you
If you have found a landlord with a rental unit to move into, you may also be eligible to get help from the Rental Housing Stabilization Program’s Money to Move Program. The deadline to apply is December 11, 2020. The program can cover the money needed to move in (for example: first, last and security deposit). You and the landlord need to apply together. Learn more about this help on our website.

Free mediation available for landlords and tenants
Sometimes issues other than money get in the way of landlord/tenant relationships — especially when things can't be resolved in court. Vermont Legal Aid and Vermont Landlord Association have set up a free mediation program to help address these problems. During “mediation,” a neutral third person called a “mediator” helps people discuss and try to resolve disputes. Mediators are available to help landlords and tenants solve issues and keep Vermonters in their rental units. Apply by early December for this temporary, free program.

Video: Virtual Town Hall about eviction, rent assistance and mortgage assistanceWatch it on Facebook. On September 24, Vermont Legal Aid attorney Jean Murray talked about the Vermont eviction moratorium compared to the CDC’s moratorium, the funding available for tenants for help with back rent and moving to a new rental unit, and the funding available for homeowners for mortgage and property tax help.

This page is about evictions. For mortgages and foreclosures, see our information about mortgage payments and foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis.

You may have heard of an “eviction moratorium.” There are three laws or rules that affect Vermont evictions and foreclosures: the federal CARES Act, the Vermont Judiciary’s emergency rules, and a state law called S.333. 

The federal CARES Act prevented non-payment rental terminations until July 24, 2020. After July 24, you may have protection if the building you live in has a federally backed mortgage and your landlord has a "forbearance" (which means their mortgage payments are postponed). During the period when the landlord is receiving forbearance, the landlord cannot:

  • start an eviction solely for non-payment of rent or other fees or charges
  • charge any late fees or penalties for late payments of rent, or
  • give a 30-day notice to vacate for any reason

Federally backed mortgages are those financed or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA Rural Housing Service (USDA), RHD, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veteran’s Administration (VA). 

Vermont law S.333 “stays” (pauses) all evictions as of May 14, 2020, until the governor declares an end to the state of emergency, and for some actions, for 30 days after that.

On September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a nationwide moratorium on non-payment evictions for all tenants through December 31, 2020. Vermonters already have protections against eviction — as described on this page — as well as a statewide rent assistance program. Our attorneys are exploring if the new order could be helpful. We’ll update this page with any important information.

Please read the information below and contact us with any questions about rent assistance, notices of termination, and eviction.  

There is no rule, executive order or new law that says tenants don’t have to pay rent during the emergency period. The obligation to pay rent has not changed.

Be sure to check this page again as it will change whenever the rules change. 

 

 

Updated: Oct 27, 2020