It’s every landlord’s fear, that for some reason, your tenant has abandoned the premises. While this can seem to wreak havoc upon all your future plans, there are still steps to follow when dealing with abandonment. Evidence of abandonment must first be noted: the tenant has abandoned the premises if there are circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the premises is no longer occupied as a full-time residence, rent is not current, and the landlord has made reasonable efforts to ascertain the tenant’s intentions.

Luckily, per Vermont law, the tenant remains liable for the rent until the expiration of the agreement term. If, however, you re-rent the property before the expiration of the current agreement term, the older term expires upon the date of the new tenancy.

Abandoned personal property

Finally, when dealing with abandoned property of the tenant, a few notice periods exist to create a quick and efficient turnover process. You, the landlord, must complete two things to comply with abandoned property law: first, you must provide written notice to the tenant mailed to their last known address that you intend to dispose of the property after 60 days if the tenant has not both claimed the property and paid for storage fees; second, you must place the property in a safe, dry, and secured location for at most those 60 days.

The tenant may recover said property by providing both a reasonable written description of the abandoned property and storage fees incurred by you while storing the property within 60 days after the date of the notice. If the tenant does not claim the property within 60 days, it becomes the property of the landlord. On the other hand, if the tenant does claim the property and pay the fees, you, the landlord, must immediately make the property available to the tenant at a reasonable time and place, and the tenant will take possession of the property at said time and place.