Utility Assistance Programs - 8/23/2021

The Department of Public Service has a variety of Utility Assistance Programs available for people and businesses who need assistance with utility payments.

For Tenants - the application and process for Utility Assistance is through VERAP.

For Landlords/Homeowners/Businesses - there is the Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program for 2021 (VCAAP II).

There are also programs for Broadband, Utility Discounts, and more.  Information can be found here on all the Utility Programs. 


More Information

CDC Eviction Moratorium UPDATED - 8/27/2021

On August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down the CDC eviction moratorium because it exceeded the authority granted to the CDC.

Court Decision

News Summary of the Decision

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Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) re-instated and extended the Federal Eviction Moratorium through October 3, 2021.
 
The federal moratorium works a bit differently than the Vermont moratorium.  The couple of quick take aways (more details below):
  1. Only applies to nonpayment of rent evictions
  2. The Tenant must request coverage

 Of course, those are a very simplified version of what the CDC moratorium covers, more information is below.
 
 The Tenant has to request coverage under this moratorium.  This means they need to give the landlord a declaration form.  The tenant can opt to send their own version, but it has to have all the same declarations and signature under penalty of perjury.
  1. If a landlord has not received a declaration, then they can continue with notices or filing with the court for nonpayment cases
If the case or notice is for breach of lease and/or no cause the federal moratorium does not impact cases for those types of notices.
The CDC Moratorium only applies to those counties experiencing substantial or high transmission rates.  The map can be found here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view  NOTE: Vermont is now up to 5 counties with substantial transmission, including Chittenden County.
The landlord does have the ability to challenge the Declaration – this could come up if you believe that the tenant has not actually applied to VERAP or is not being truthful on their declaration.
If you would like to read the full 19 page order, it is here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/Signed-CDC-Eviction-Order.pdf
 
The Association also understands that VERAP has time limit on Tenant Applications.  This means that if a Tenant does not complete their application (including uploading all the documents required) within 30 days, their application will be denied. 
 
As cases start to move through the courts, and declarations start being submitted this page will update with any new information.
 


Economic Recovery Bridge Program - 7/8/2021

Landlords may be able to access funding under the Vermont Economic Recovery Bridge Program for losses sustained during the period of March 2020-April 2021.

This program can provide grants of up to $150,000 depending on the loss.  The landlord would need to show a net loss on either their 2020 tax return or through Profit and Loss statements for the business.  Sole proprietors (your properties are in your individual names) are eligible.  

For more information on the program and to apply, click here.


Governor Lifts all State COVID-19 Restrictions - 6/14/2021

6/14/2021 - The Governor of the State of Vermont has just lifted all state mandated COVID-19 restrictions.  Federal requirements will still apply.

As of June 15, 2021 at midnight, the State of Emergency will end.  This means the Vermont eviction moratorium will end for all matters in 30 days (July 16, 2021).  Matters for breach of lease can proceed June 16, 2021. 

The re-start court process is more complicated than it appears.  Please consider consulting with an attorney before taking any court action.

The Governor has indicated that he will be issuing an Executive Order to cover a few areas that have gaps.  If anything in the Executive Order involves housing, an update will be provided.


Court Eviction Status - 6/14/2021

6/14/2021 - Governor announces that State of Emergency will end June 15, 2021 at midnight.

The Legislature passed S.333, which created a temporary stay on all eviction actions in the State of Vermont.  The end of the stay tracks the State of Emergency, and will end 30 days after the end of the State of Emergency.

Currently (as of 5/17/2021) the State of Emergency is through June 15, 2021 which means that the eviction stay will end on July 15, 2021.  If the State of Emergency is extended, the stay will also be extended.

The stay does not prevent you from sending termination notices to your tenants or from filing with the court.  Once a case is filed with the court, it is automatically stayed until the date described above.  NOTE: There are still federal requirements for nonpayment of rent notices, including making the termination notice at least 30 days and including the Debt Collection language if you are a property manager or sending a notice for somone other than yourself.

If you have questions on sending a termination notice or regarding the eviction status, please call us at 802-985-2764.