Eviction Process in Vermont

If you are being evicted in the state of Vermont, you may not know how to proceed.  Learning about the eviction process in Vermont can help you understand your rights and options under the law.  After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Vermont and how long each step will take.

Getting Notice

Before the eviction process in Vermont courts can legally begin, your landlord is obligated to give you proper legal notice.  The amount of time required for legal notice in Vermont depends on why you are being evicted.

If you are late in paying rent, your landlord must give you a 14 day notice to either pay the late rent or leave the premises.  The same 14-day notice period applies if you have committed criminal acts that affect the health or safety of other tenants, except that your landlord does not need to give you an opportunity to cure the breach.

For other breaches of your lease, your landlord must give you a 30-day notice before beginning eviction proceedings.  Your landlord may (but does not have to) give you an opportunity to cure the breach to your lease—for instance, by re-homing an unauthorized pet or removing an unlawful subletter.

Within the notice period, your landlord still will not be able to start court proceedings.  This is the most inexpensive time in the eviction process in Vermont to negotiate an agreement with your landlord, before court costs come into play.
 Court Filings and Hearings
 If you ignore the notice or fail to meet its conditions, your landlord may pursue the legal eviction process in Vermont courts.  This process begins when your landlord files a complaint for eviction in superior court.

You will be served with a copy of the complaint, which details why you are being evicted, and the summons, which will notify you of your right to file an answer to the complaint within 20 days.  If you do not file a written answer to the complaint in this 20-day period, your landlord will win the eviction lawsuit automatically and the eviction process in Vermont will coninue.

If you decide to answer the complaint, you will be given a hearing in front of a judge.  This will give you more time before you are required to move out and in some cases you may even be able to win the lawsuit.  If your landlord has discriminated or retaliated against you, or if he has violated your lease agreement or served you improper notice, you may be able to win and even get monetary damages from your landlord.

Writ of Possession

If your landlord wins the eviction hearing, or if you fail to answer the complaint within 20 days, he can get a writ of possession from the court.  You will be served with this writ, which informs you that you have 10 days to vacate or be forcibly removed, on your property.  If you do not vacate in the 10-day period, you can be forcibly evicted by the sheriff's department.

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