Vermont Rent Increase Laws: What Tenants Should Know

Renting a property in Vermont can be a convenient and affordable option for many people, but it also comes with some challenges and uncertainties. One of the most common issues that tenants face is rent increases. How much can your landlord raise your rent? When and how can they do it? What are your rights and options as a tenant? This article will answer these questions and provide some useful tips for dealing with rent increases in Vermont.

When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Vermont?

In Vermont, landlords can raise the rent for any reason as long as it is not discriminatory or retaliatory in nature and proper notice is given. However, there are some exceptions and limitations to this general rule:

If you have a fixed-term lease agreement, such as for six months or a year, your landlord cannot raise your rent during that period unless the lease allows for it.

If you live in a rent-controlled area, such as Burlington, your landlord may be subject to local laws that limit the amount and frequency of rent increases.

If you receive subsidized housing assistance, such as Section 8 vouchers, your rent may be adjusted according to your income and program rules.

How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in Vermont?

In Vermont, landlords must give at least 60 days’ written notice before raising the rent. The notice must be mailed or hand-delivered to the tenant and must specify the amount and date of the rent increase. A written lease agreement cannot shorten this notice period.

However, some cities may have longer notice requirements. For example, in Burlington, landlords must give at least 90 days’ written notice before raising the rent.

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent by in Vermont?

In Vermont, there is no state law that limits the amount that landlords can raise the rent by. Landlords can set the rent at any level that the market can bear, as long as they are not violating any local rent control laws or federal fair housing laws.

However, in 2023, a bill was introduced in the Vermont legislature that would cap the annual rent increase at 6% or the average rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The bill, known as House Bill 135, has not been passed yet and may face opposition from landlords and property owners.

What Can You Do If You Receive a Rent Increase Notice?

If you receive a notice of rent increase from your landlord, you have a few options to consider:

Accept the rent increase and continue living in the property. This may be the easiest and most convenient option, especially if you like your current home and the rent increase is reasonable and affordable for you.

Negotiate with your landlord for a lower rent increase or a longer notice period. You may be able to persuade your landlord to reduce the amount or delay the date of the rent increase, especially if you have been a good tenant, have a long-term lease, or have a strong rental market in your favor. You can also offer to make some improvements or repairs to the property in exchange for a lower rent increase. However, you should always get any agreement in writing and signed by both parties.

Move out of the property and find a new place to live. You have the right to terminate your tenancy and vacate the property by the effective date of the rent increase, as long as you give proper notice to your landlord. This may be a good option if you find the rent increase too high, unfair, or unaffordable for you. However, you should be prepared to pay for the costs and hassles of moving, such as security deposits, application fees, moving expenses, and utility transfers.

Challenge the rent increase in court or through mediation. You may be able to contest the rent increase if you believe that it is illegal, discriminatory, or retaliatory. For example, you can sue your landlord if they raised your rent because of your race, gender, religion, or disability, or because you complained about the property conditions or joined a tenants’ union. You can also request mediation if you live in a mobile home park and the rent increase exceeds 8.8%. However, you should be aware of the risks and costs of legal action, such as court fees, attorney fees, and possible eviction.


Rent increases are a common and legal practice in Vermont, but they are also subject to some rules and restrictions. As a tenant, you should know your rights and options when facing a rent increase and act accordingly. You should also keep a good communication with your landlord and try to resolve any issues amicably and respectfully. By doing so, you can protect your interests and enjoy a comfortable and secure rental experience in Vermont.

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