Vermont has many rules and statutes regulating its housing market. These must be fully considered when preparing an application for rental properties in the state.
Vermont expressly forbids the charging of an application fee for rental properties (§ 4456a). Therefore, you cannot legally charge one when screening prospective tenants.
Vermontdoesn’t set any limits (§ 4461) on how much you can charge as a security deposit. However, it is recommended not to charge more than 1-2 months’ rent for this amount. Additionally, any deposit amount collected must be kept in a separate interest-bearing account.
Housing Discrimination Law
In Vermont, there is no specific state law relating to housing discrimination. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is in place. The FHA states that it is illegal to discriminate based on the following characteristics:
As a consequence, you are not allowed to ask for any of these details on a Vermont Rental Application form, nor to include them in the decision-making process.
Notice of Eligibility
You must disclose the screening criteria used during the application process, as well as anything that could lead to a refusal. To make sure individuals understand this in advance of the application, they must provide a signature of acknowledgment on the application.
There are several types of background checks that can be run on an applicant.
Criminal history check
It is not possible for a landlord to charge an application fee, but landlords can charge a potential applicant for a background check.
To run a credit check on an applicant you must have their written permission.
Consent Credit Check
Within Vermont, federal law is in effect that requires potential renters to provide written consent for a credit history check during the application process. This is known as the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).