Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program

PROGRAM HAS CLOSED TO NEW APPLICATIONS

****APPLICATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AND ACCEPTED STARTING MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020***


Program Purpose:  During “mediation,” a neutral third person called a “mediator” helps people discuss and try to resolve disputes.  The purpose of mediation during the eviction moratorium is to help landlord and tenants find solutions to the problems between them.  Problems of non-payment of rent can be solved with the Rental Housing Stabilization Program (RHSP).  Other landlord-tenant disputes can be solved by compromise and agreement.

Through December 20, 2020, Vermont landlords and tenants can use free mediation services to work through and solve disagreements. This program is available virtually through an online platform such as Zoom. Participants will have access to a free professional mediator.  The mediator will conduct the mediation online. A list of participating mediators, along with a short bio, can be found in the application.

Program Process: A Program Application is filled out and signed by the Landlord and Tenant. The completed application is submitted to referrals@vtlandlord.com.

PROGRAM APPLICATION
MEDIATOR BIOGRAPHIES

 Notes:

  • The application must be filled out and signed by both parties (landlord and tenant).
  • Parties must indicate an ability to participate in the mediation on an online platform (most likely Zoom).

Incomplete Application:

1.         An application signed by only one party is considered incomplete and will not be assigned a mediator.

2.         You will be contacted by Vermont Legal Aid or Vermont Landlord Association for help to complete the application.

Complete Application:

  1. A mediator is assigned based on the preferences indicated in the application. 
  2. The Program will send an email to introduce the mediator to both parties or their attorneys (if applicable).  The email will provide instructions and forms.  Please note that many forms provided to you by the Program are for use between the parties and mediator and are not to be returned to the Program.  Forms attached to the email will include:
    1. Mediation Statement Form
    2. Mediation Attendees Form (i.e. who is going to participate in mediation)
    3. Information sheet about various eviction moratoria, basic landlord-tenant law (access statute, warranty of habitability, and reasonable accommodation/modification requests), as well as an outline of all programs that can help the parties (Rental Housing Stabilization Program/Back Rent, Money to Move, Utility Programs).
    4. Online Mediation Guide and Steps for Participants

Mediation:

  1. Once the mediator is assigned and introduced, you will work with the mediator to set the schedule. You will set deadlines for required documentation and other items needed for your mediation.  You will need to sign a Mediation Agreement.
  2. The Parties mediate their issues and/or dispute.
    1. You and the mediator can structure the mediation in a way that suits you.
    2. If issues are resolved, you will create and sign a Settlement Agreement
  3. After the mediation is done
    1. The mediator returns the Mediation Report to the Program along with an invoice for services.  The Program pays the mediator.
    2. The Program will send you (the landlord and tenants) a mediation evaluation form to fill out.  The evaluation helps provide an assessment of the usefulness of the program and the mediators.

Mediation Program Application

Mediator Biographies 

 


PDF Document

NEW Rental Assistance Money

5/17/2021 - The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) has launched.  That program is very different than the RHSP in 2020.  Tenants will need to apply and submit certifications and income information.  

Landlords can start their part of the process by uploading your W-9 to the system.  The W-9 and other required documents can be uploaded in the Landlord Portal.  You cannot create your account until you have uploaded the W-9, as that is the information used to set-up your account. 

VT Landlord had an informational seminar on the Landlord Portal on May 14, 2021.  That seminar is being uploaded to the VT Landlord YouTube Channel and covers a lot of the details for what landlords need to know about the program.      

2/3/2021 Update *********** A new program cannot be developed or started until the Legislature authorizes the funding.  This has not happened.  There is a Bill (S.36) which provides for a $10 million allocation, however this bill has not moved beyond House Appropriations in more than a week.  Program administrator, Vermont State Housing Authority, has requested $50 million (out of $200 million) to get the program launched and up and running to assist both landlords and tenants with rental assistance.  Until the program is funded, no money will be forthcoming.

How can you help?  Please contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to move S.36 forward with a $50 million allocation for the Rental Assistance Program.  You can find your Senators and Representatives contact information by clicking the links.  

Find a Legislator


All Representatives


The most recently passed Stimulus Bill from the federal government includes a substantial rental assistance allocation.  Vermont's share will be approximately $200 million.  The details of a new program or an extension of the RHSP program are not known at this time. 

More information about the timing and requirements for this new money will be known in the next few weeks.  Updates will be posted.



Seminar - COVID Update

Join the Director on February 11, 2021 from 12:00pm-1:00pm to receive COVID related updates.

Included will be the status of the Vermont Eviction Moratorium, new rental assistance program (if updates are available), status of the Rental Housing Stabilization Program (if available), access during COVID.  

You will need to register to receive the access information.  This session is being held on Zoom.  It will be recorded and later posted to the VT Landlord YouTube channel.

REGISTER NOW.


More Information

PDF Document

RHSP Survey

Did you receive RHSP money?  The Vermont State Housing Authority is requesting that you complete a survey about the program.  Your responses will help the design and structure of new programs and your feedback is appreciated.

Survey Link.


More Information

Landlord Certificate (LC-142) Guidance

The Vermont Department of Taxes has released guidance for Landlords on how to report any Rental Housing Stablization Program (RHSP) funds received.  Any RHSP money is not to be reported on the LC-142 form at all (not even lin Line 3).

The specific guidance for each form can be viewed below.

Landlord Certificate (LC-142)
Renter's Rebate