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

Updated 1/21/2021 10:45 a.m.

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 four laws or rules that affect Vermont evictions and foreclosures: the federal CARES Act of 2020, the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) signed on December 27, 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. (As of the date that we updated this page, the state of emergency has been extended to February 15, 2021. The governor announces state of emergency extensions or changes around the 15th of every month. See the governor's website.)

However, even though the Vermont eviction moratorium pauses evictions, a landlord can ask the court to proceed if the landlord says it is an emergency. If your landlord is claiming they need to evict you due to criminal activity, illegal drug activity, acts of violence, or other circumstances that seriously threaten the health or safety of other residents, contact us right away for advice.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a nationwide moratorium (ban) on non-payment evictions for all tenants. The new CDC director is extending the CDC moratorium through at least March 31, 2021. Vermonters already have protections against eviction — as described on this page — as well as a statewide rent assistance program (a new program is expected in early 2021). Most Vermonters rely on the Vermont eviction moratorium. Our attorneys continue to explore whether the nationwide moratorium 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: Jan 22, 2021