Introduced by Representatives Kiss of Burlington, Cross of Winooski, Donovan of Burlington, Dowland of Holland, Fisher of Lincoln, Head of S. Burlington, Howard of Rutland City, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Marek of Newfane, McLaughlin of Royalton and Pillsbury of Brattleboro
Subject: Housing; residential rental housing; public safety; receivership
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to create a process whereby residential rental housing that is in violation of the housing code and poses a serious health or safety risk to tenants be placed in receivership with a third party.
AN ACT RELATING TO RECEIVERSHIP OF UNSAFE OR UNHEALTHY RESIDENTIAL RENTAL HOUSING
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 20 V.S.A. Part 11, chapter 205 is added to read:
PART 11. HOUSING
CHAPTER 205. RENTAL HOUSING SAFETY AND HABITABILITY
§ 4641. HEALTH AND SAFETY VIOLATIONS; RECEIVERSHIP
(a) The commissioner shall issue to the owner of any property in which there is found to be a violation of the Vermont life safety code or the Vermont rental housing health code an order for immediate action to abate the violation when the violation is both of the following:
(1) The fault of the owner of the property.
(2) A serious health or safety risk to residents of the housing unit or other housing units on the property.
(b) If the owner fails to comply with a duly issued housing code abatement order within the time frame set in the order or comply with performance requirements in a subsequent plan for compliance as the result of an agreement with the department, the commissioner may petition the superior court in the county in which the property is located to appoint a receiver or temporary manager of the property until the violation has been abated. The court shall hear the petition with as little delay as possible and appoint a receiver which may include a property management company, a relative, or a business associate of the owner.
(c) The receiver shall continue to collect rent due for the property or affected units during the period of receivership. The receiver shall apply the rental funds in the following order of priority:
(1) To provide monthly compensation to the receiver. The permitted compensation shall not exceed $50.00 or 15 percent of the monthly rents of the affected units, whichever is greater.
(2) To correct the violations that led to the appointment of a receiver.
(3) To repair and maintain the property or unit.
(4) To meet property tax and other municipal charges.
(5) To pay obligations owed to any mortgage holder or other creditor having a secured interest in the rental unit or property.
(6) To compensate the property owner.
(d) A receiver shall comply with the provisions of this section throughout the term of the temporary manager. A receiver who fails to comply with this section shall be removed and replaced by the court.
The Vermont General Assembly
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