BTU Demands

COVID Demands

  • Immediate Eviction Freeze/Moratorium 
  • Suspension of the collection of rent 
  • Absolvement of all tenant debt
  • Suspension on the collection of of all utility payments 
  • Absolvement of all utility debt
  • Access to cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer for all tenants 
  • A freeze on apartment showings

Ongoing Demands

  • Immediate Eviction Freeze/Moratorium
  • Suspension of the collection of rent
  • Absolvement of all tenant debt
  • Suspension on the collection of of all utility payments
  • Absolvement of all utility debt
  • Access to cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer for all tenants
  • A freeze on apartment showings

Demands for Unhoused People

  • Immediate Eviction Freeze/Moratorium 
  • Suspension of the collection of rent 
  • Absolvement of all tenant debt
  • Suspension on the collection of of all utility payments 
  • Absolvement of all utility debt
  • Access to cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer for all tenants 
  • A freeze on apartment showings

Community Demands

  • Immediate Eviction Freeze/Moratorium 
  • Suspension of the collection of rent 
  • Absolvement of all tenant debt
  • Suspension on the collection of of all utility payments 
  • Absolvement of all utility debt
  • Access to cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer for all tenants 
  • A freeze on apartment showings

Student Demands

  • Immediate Eviction Freeze/Moratorium 
  • Suspension of the collection of rent 
  • Absolvement of all tenant debt
  • Suspension on the collection of of all utility payments 
  • Absolvement of all utility debt
  • Access to cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer for all tenants 
  • A freeze on apartment showings

FAQ

DISCLAIMER: This is not legal advice. Please contact Vermont Legal Aid for immediate legal support at 1-800-889-2047. This information as follows is listed on their COVID-19 related info page which can be found by clicking here.

As of this moment, unfortunately our State has not suspended the collection of rent, and there is no moratorium for evictions. The eviction courts are currently closed- this means that until the courts are reopened, no new evictions can be filed. *However, please note that if you do not pay rent, you will still owe your missed rental payments, and are still at risk for eviction once the courts reopen. 

We recommend taking these steps:

Step 1: Call 2-1-1 or visit their website for available resources. 

Step 2: Write a letter to your landlord. We have a sample letter here but feel free to make your own. The purpose is to facilitate a conversation as soon as you know you will not be able to make rent, in order to better understand how flexible your landlord is willing to be regarding rent forgiveness, partial payment or repayment plans. We recommend not signing any legal documents surrounding repayment until the VT state legislature passes through bills that are more specific to housing policy. 

Step 3: Please look at our list of resources page. We highly recommend reaching out to CVOEO (The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity) Tenants Hotline at (802) 864-0099  or Vermont Legal Aid at 1-800-889-2047 for further assistance regarding your rights, and available financial assistance statewide. 

Step 4: Join our Tenant Solidarity Network(attach form here) to organize under your landlord. By connecting with other tenants under a shared landlord, you can create a list of goals specific to your needs, with the help of an organizing team to assist you in strategy. More information can be found here. Please feel free to look at our entire COVID-19 list of demands and calls to make to our legislature for other ways to advocate for your needs.

Please note that you are not fully evicted from your housing until the entire eviction process is completed and you are served a court order. More information about what these steps entail, and important information and deadlines can be found here. 

 

As of this moment, there is no moratorium for evictions, however the eviction courts are currently closed. This means that until the courts are reopened, no new evictions can be filed. *Please note that if you do not pay rent, you will still owe your missed rental payments, and are still at risk for eviction once the courts reopen. 


If you are served an initial Complaint (the first step of the eviction process) from your landlord or property management company, you are still required to Answer within 21 days. Please visit the VT Legal Aid informational page around what your answer should entail. Please contact the Tenants Hotline at (802) 864-0099 offered through CVOEO for in-depth information and resources.

If you have received orders to pay rent into court, those payments still must be paid; however, we highly recommend calling your courthouse to check and see how they would like to receive payments. We also recommend contacting your courthouse if you were scheduled for a hearing before April 16th, as the date may have been pushed back. 


We highly recommend contacting Vermont Legal Aid as soon as possible if you are served a Writ of Possession for an eviction process that was started prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Their number is 1-800-889-2047.

Please call 2-1-1 or visit their website for available resources regarding emergency housing.

If you are over 60 or have underlying medical conditions that are recognized by CDC regulations, you may be eligible for housing assistance through The Department of Children and Family’s Economic Services Division. You can contact them at 1-800-479-6151.

The “stimulus check” included in the Federal CARES act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act) is a recovery rebate for individual tax payers- although this sounds confusing, it is simply a one-time payment from the government. The IRS is using information from 2019 tax returns (or 2018 for those who haven’t filed yet) to determine eligibility. The maximum amount is $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couple, and an additional $500 will be granted for each qualifying dependent child under 17.

If your adjusted gross earnings are below 99,000 for an individual, or 198,000 if you are filing jointly as a married couple, then you qualify. There are some exception to this if you make at or above those amounts and have children- you may be eligible for the $500 grant for each qualifying dependent child under 17. If you are a senior who makes too little to file taxes and relies on social security for income, you are eligible as well.

If you are a legal U.S. resident that is not claimed as a dependent or eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, as well as if you have a qualifying gross income, you are eligible and do not need to apply for anything. The information is based off of your 2019 tax return (or 2018 for those who haven’t filed yet). If you have moved addresses since filing, please declare this by sending in a change of address form to the IRS.

Yes. If you are already receiving unemployment insurance, you will receive an added $600 a week increase in benefits for up to four months. As well as this, those who are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance (if you are self-employed, an independent contractor, or if you have a  limited work history), there is additional federal funding which will possibly qualify you to receive UI. Please contact the VT Department of Labor at (877) 214-3330 for any questions surrounding unemployment benefits and eligibility, or apply online.

If you receive federally subsidized housing, the CARES act includes a 120-day ban on new non-payment evictions. The new law does not ban for-cause evictions or no-cause evictions. The law bans evictions for nonpayment of rent started between March 27 and July 25, 2020. Eligible programs include:

  • Section 8
  • Public Housing
  • Housing for Seniors or People with Disabilities
  • The Rural Housing Voucher Program
  • Properties with Federally Backed Mortgage Loans. 


A full list of covered programs is on the National Housing Law Project website.

The Governor recently mandated an order stating that temporary lodging entities (hotels, motels Airbnb sites, inns, b&b’s) and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks to close. There are some exceptions, such as housing out-of-state medical professionals that are supporting our COVID-19 response.

 

Please note, that if you have been living in a motel/hotel or for at least 30 consecutive days, you are legally considered a tenant, despite not having signed a lease. You cannot be sent away without an eviction process. If this is your situation, please contact Vermont Legal Aid at 1-800-889-2047 or fill out their intake form online


If you dwell in any other temporary housing facility, and believe there is a mistake in ordering you to leave, please contact The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development by sending an email to ACCD.Covid19@vermont.gov

If your landlord is showing your apartment, we believe it is violating Addendum 4 to Executive Order 01-20 ( the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration) by operating a close-contact business. Tell your landlord no and send them this letter. Keep in mind that they legally must give you a 48 hours advance notice to come to your unit, regardless. If they come anyways, feel free to call the police, and explain how your landlord is violating your safety and this executive order. 


If you have a recognized underlying health condition as outlined by the CDC you may be able to write a letter of “reasonable accommodation” to your landlord, outlining how your medical condition increases your risk of exposure. This basically means that if you have a disability or medical condition, you are entitled to ask your landlord to reasonably accommodate around your needs, particularly during this epidemic. View our letter template here.