Can I as Landlord consider personal property of a former tenant's abandoned in Vermont?
My tenant was never regular in paying rent. He often used to clear his arears after four –five months. This time he has been away from the rental house for more than 6 months and has not paid a penny for all the six months. Can I call this abandonment of rental house by my tenant and throw away all his belongings so that I can rent out the house to some other tenant?04/20/2017 | Category: Abandoned Pr... » Landlord Ten... | State: Vermont | #35972
If you believe that your tenant has not been occupying the rental house as a full-time residence, if he is irregular in making the rental payments and if you have tried to make reasonable efforts to make sure that tenant has abandoned the house, and then you may presume the rental house to be abandoned by the tenant. so you can may be make some calls or try to contact him before you conclude it to be a case of abandonment of the rental house.
Once you’ve made sure that that the tenant has abandoned the house, you may send a notice to the tenant’s last known address that you are gonna dispose of his property if he does not claim it within 60 days. You need to wait for 60 days after sending the notice before you dispose of the tenant’s property. You may have to place the property in a safe, dry, secured location until claimed by your tenant. However if there is any any trash, garbage, or refuse left by your tenant then you can dispose it off right away. If your tenant does not exercise his right to claim the property within 60 days then you may on the expiry of 60 days then all of his property will become yours. Then maybe you can dispose it off.
Here is the relevant law for more information:
9 V.S.A. § 4462 :
Abandonment; unclaimed property
(a) A tenant has abandoned a dwelling unit if:
(1) there are circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the dwelling unit is no longer occupied as a full-time residence;
(2) rent is not current; and
(3) the landlord has made reasonable efforts to ascertain the tenant's intentions.
(b) If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit the tenant shall remain liable for rent until the expiration of the rental agreement. However, if the landlord rents the dwelling unit before the expiration of the rental agreement, the agreement terminates on the date of the new tenancy.
(c) (1) If any property, except trash, garbage, or refuse, is unclaimed by a tenant who has abandoned a dwelling unit, the landlord shall give written notice to the tenant mailed to the tenant's last known address that the landlord intends to dispose of the property after 60 days if the tenant has not claimed the property and paid any reasonable storage and other fees incurred by the landlord. The landlord shall place the property in a safe, dry, secured location, but may dispose of any trash, garbage, or refuse left by the tenant. The tenant may claim the property by providing the landlord with the following within 60 days after the date of the notice:
(A) a reasonable written description of the property; and
(B) payment of the fair and reasonable cost of storage and any related reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord.
(2) If the tenant does not claim the property within the required time, the property shall become the property of the landlord. If the tenant claims the property within the required time, the landlord shall immediately make the property available to the tenant at a reasonable place and the tenant shall take possession of the property at that time and place.
(d) Any personal property remaining in the dwelling unit or leased premises after the tenant has vacated may be disposed of by the landlord without notice or liability to the tenant or owner of the personal property, provided that one of the following has occurred:
(1) The tenant provided actual notice to the landlord that the tenant has vacated the dwelling unit or leased premises.
(2) The tenant has vacated the dwelling unit or leased premises at the end of the rental agreement.
9 V.S.A. § 4458 :
Habitability; tenant remedies
(a) If the landlord fails to comply with the landlord's obligations for habitability and, after receiving actual notice of the noncompliance from the tenant, a governmental entity or a qualified independent inspector, the landlord fails to make repairs within a reasonable time and the noncompliance materially affects health and safety, the tenant may:
(1) withhold the payment of rent for the period of the noncompliance;
(2) obtain injunctive relief;
(3) recover damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees; and
(4) terminate the rental agreement on reasonable notice.
(b) Tenant remedies under this section are not available if the noncompliance was caused by the negligent or deliberate act or omission of the tenant or a person on the premises with the tenant's consent.
9 V.S.A. § 4455:
Tenant obligations; payment of rent
(a) Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties.
(b) An increase in rent shall take effect on the first day of the rental period following no less than 60 days' actual notice to the tenant.