A. The following questions relate to the Vermont Supreme Court decision in Hilder v. St. Peter
1. Who were Ella Hilder and family?
three children, infant grandchild
2. What were the conditions in the apartment that led to the lawsuit?
-----see facts p. 1 of
3. How did the lower court rule?
What did they order the landlord to pay to Ms. Hilder?
-----return of all rent
-----additional $1500 in compensatory damages
4. In its decision, the Vermont Supreme Court discussed the development of landlord-tenant law from the early common law through modern times. It identified three doctrines that were the foundation of the early common law relationship between landlord and tenant. What do these terms mean?
7. What two standards did the
say it would look to in order to determine whether the warranty of
habitability was breached in any given case?
clean and fit for human habitation" (impact on tenant's safety and
-----complies with applicable housing codes
<>8. Identify the four remedies the court
said would be available to tenants when the landlord breaches the
B. The following questions relate
to the Vermont Landlord-Tenant Act linked from the lecture notes
True or false:
1. A rental agreement between a tenant
and landlord is not binding unless it is written.
-----if it's written, it's a "lease"
-----note also definition of "normal wear and tear"
2. A landlord may raise the rent
the first day of the rental period following at least 60 days' notice
3. Landlords are prohibited from
a prospective tenant an application fee.
-----Does it prohibit fee for a credit report? Probably not--if it's no more than the charge for the credit check
4. If there is no lease, a tenant can
out after giving the landlord one rental period notice.
5. A tenant who violates the terms of a
lease can be evicted on 14 days’ notice.
6. A tenant can only be evicted for
(i.e., violation of the lease or non-payment of rent).
-----4467 (c) (no lease) and (e) (if there's a lease)
7. A tenant who receives an eviction
for nonpayment of rent can avoid eviction by paying back rent before
termination date in the notice.
-----but only 3 times in 12-month period
1. Included in the warranty of
is the requirement that the landlord supply
a. a reasonable amount of heat
b. an adequate amount of water
c. both of the above
d. none of the above, unless they are required in a building, housing or health regulation
-----4457 (a) - (c)
2. If there is a defect in the
the tenant may repair it and deduct the cost from the rent if
a. the landlord has been given at least 30 days to repair the defect
b. the amount deducted does not exceed one-half of one month’s rent
c. the tenant provides the landlord with actual notice of the cost of the repair
d. all of the above conditions are met
3. A landlord may enter the tenant’s
a. with or without the tenant’s consent, as long as the landlord is not acting “unreasonably”
b. only with the tenant’s consent
c. without consent if he/she reasonably believes there is imminent danger to any person or property
d. only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tina Tenant calls today (Oct. 22) with the following questions. Answer each based on Vermont's landlord-tenant law. Assume she signed a one-year rental agreement (lease) that expires May 31.
1. I haven't paid this month’s rent
because I'm out of money. My landlord says that if I don't pay it
by the end of the day, he'll turn off my heat. He says he can do
it, because it's in the lease that I signed--which it is. Can he?
-----"illegal" or "self-help" eviction
-----"attempt to circumvent"
2. If I move out at the end of the
he says I'm responsible for rent until the end of May, even if he finds
another tenant. Is that true?
-----really an issue of
-----duty to mitigate damages/"cover"
3. The hot water in our bathrooms
work. I’ve mentioned it to the landlord several times, but he
done anything. What should my next step be?
-----write to health
inspector and/or landord
4. When can I expect my security
to be returned?
5. I know there is some damage to the
How will I know if the amount of the deposit that is returned to me is
-----4461 (c) and (e)
6. The building is for sale and the
says that if it's sold, I'll have to move, even if my lease hasn't
Is that true?
-----4467 (d) where there is no lease
7. The landlord also says that even if
I pay my back rent, he's going to evict me soon because he wants to
the place to his son. Can he do that? How long will I be able to stay