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How to Evict a Tenant in Vermont (7 Steps)

Evicting a tenant in Vermont requires the landlord to provide written notice to the tenant that they’ve breached the lease agreement in some way. If the tenant doesn’t respond, the landlord can file a Complaint for Ejectment with the local Vermont Superior Court, Civil Division. The tenant then has fourteen (14) days to file an Answer with the court. If the court rules in favor of the landlord it will issue a Writ of Possession to force the tenant to vacate the premises.

LawsTitle 9, Chapter 137; Title 12, Chapter 169 (Ejectment)

How to Evict

Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant

The landlord has to provide written notice to the tenant that they have breached the lease agreement. The notice outlines the nature of the breach and the timeframe the tenant has to move out or fix the breach, if applicable.1 The landlord can hand-deliver the notice or send it by first class mail. Three (3) days will automatically be added to the notice period if sent by first class mail.2

  • Non-Payment (14-Day Notice): A landlord uses this notice when the tenant is late paying rent. The notice gives the tenant fourteen (14) days to pay the overdue rent or move out.3 Note that the state of Vermont does not establish any required grace periods for paying rent.4
  • Criminal Activity (14-Day Notice): A landlord uses this notice when they suspect the tenant has engaged in criminal activity, illegal drug activity, or violent acts on the premises. This notice type also applies if the tenant threatens the health and wellness of any other tenants on the property. It notifies the tenant that they have fourteen (14) days to vacate the premises.5
  • Non-Compliance (30-Day Notice): A landlord uses this notice if the tenant has breached a term of their lease agreement other than criminal activity or nonpayment of rent. The tenant has thirty (30) days to fix the breach or move out.6
  • Month-to-Month Tenancy (60-Day or 90-Day Notice): A landlord uses this notice of they intend to end a month-to-month tenancy. They must give sixty (60) days notice if the tenant has lived in the unit for two (2) years or less7, or ninety (90) days notice if the tenant has lived in the unit for more than two (2) years.8

Step 2 – Wait for Tenant Response

The landlord waits the number of days on the notice to allow the tenant an opportunity to respond, cure the breach, or pay overdue rent. It is preferable to come to a compromise outside of court if possible.

Step 3 – File in Court

  • Average Processing Time: Fourteen (14) Days to Six (6) Months
  • Filing Fee: $295.009
  • Where to File: In-person or by mail with the Superior Court, Civil Division that is local to the property in question10

If the tenant doesn’t respond to the notice, the landlord can initiate formal eviction proceedings by filing a Complaint for Ejectment with the local Superior Court, Civil Division.11 They should also file a copy of the original notice and lease agreement.12 The court will issue a Summons which outlines instructions for the tenant’s required response to the Summons. The landlord has sixty (60) days from the end of the notice period to file.10

Step 4 – Serve the Tenant

The landlord must secure the services of the Sheriff’s department to serve the Complaint and Summons on the tenant. The Sheriff will send the landlord a Return of Service when the procedure has been completed. It is the landlord’s responsibility to file this document with the court immediately.9 The tenant then has fourteen (14) days to file a formal Answer Form with the court.13

Step 5 – Appear in Court

Both the landlord and tenant appear in court on the hearing date. It is important to bring copies of all documents that have been filed with the court to the hearing, including the lease agreement and original eviction notice. 

Tenants can win in court based on several common tenant defenses. If the court rules in favor of the tenant, the landlord must reimburse them for all court fees they incurred.14 In Vermont, tenants may claim that the landlord is out of compliance with any of the following responsibilities:

  • If the tenant pays back all overdue rent, any applicable interest, and the landlord’s court fees before the Writ of Possession is executed, they can stop the eviction. This action is only allowed once every twelve (12) months.15
  • The original lease agreement can’t contain any clauses that circumvent the obligations of Title 9, Chapter 137.16
  • The landlord didn’t maintain the rental unit according to applicable building, health, and housing regulations.17
  • The landlord either didn’t provide or interrupted necessary heating and water services to the rental unit without appropriate cause or notice.18,19
  • The landlord attempted to evict without following the proper court procedures.20
  • A landlord can’t evict in retaliation for a tenant’s complaint of a housing or safety violation to a government agency, or for a tenant joining a tenant’s union or similar group.22

Step 6 – Obtain Writ of Possession

If the court rules in favor of the landlord it will automatically issue a Writ of Possession.22 The Writ establishes a time frame for the tenant to move out from the date of the ruling, usually five (5) days.23 It also gives the Sheriff the authority to forcibly remove the tenant from the property if necessary.24

Step 7 – Repossess the Property

If the tenant does not move out on their own after the ruling, the landlord can deliver the Writ of Possession to the Sheriff’s office, who will serve the Writ on the tenant and forcibly remove them from the property if necessary.

Video: Evictions in Vermont


  1. § 4467(f)
  2. § 4451(1)
  3. § 4467(a)
  4. § 4455
  5. § 4467(b)(2)
  6. § 4467(b(1)
  7. § 4467(c)(1)(A)
  8. § 4467(c)(1)(B)
  9. https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/fees
  10. https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/civil/landlord-tenant
  11. § 4468
  12. § 4852
  13. § 4853a(b)
  14. § 4856
  15. § 4773
  16. § 4454
  17. § 4457(a)
  18. § 4457(c)
  19. § 4463(a)
  20. § 4453(b)
  21. § 4465
  22. § 4854
  23. § 4853a(h)
  24. § 4851