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H.802

Introduced by   Representatives Johnson of South Hero and Trombley of Grand Isle

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Housing; landlord tenant; court procedure; eviction; abandoned property

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to shorten the time that landlords are obligated to store abandoned property of previous tenants and to require that tenants be required to pay present, past, and future rent into court pending court determination of the dispute.

AN ACT RELATING TO EVICTION FOR NONPAYMENT OF RENT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  9 V.S.A. § 4462(c) is amended and (d) is added to read:

(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 30 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 30 days after the date of the notice:

(1)(A)  A reasonable written description of the property; and

(2)(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)  The landlord may dispose of any personal property remaining in the dwelling unit without liability and without further notice to the tenant or owner of the personal property no sooner than seven days after one of the following events:

(1)  A writ of possession has been served and executed in an ejectment action pursuant to 12 V.S.A. chapter 169.

(2)  The tenant has notified the landlord that the tenant has permanently vacated the dwelling unit.

(3)  The tenant has vacated the dwelling unit with the consent of the landlord or pursuant to the terms of a residential rental agreement.

Sec. 2.  12 V.S.A. § 4853a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  If the court finds the tenant is obligated to pay rent and has failed to do so, the court shall order full or partial payment into court of past due rent and current rent as it accrues while the proceeding is pending and prorated rent for the month in which the hearing is held.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us