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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 011 : LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 603)
  • § 603. Rental housing safety; inspection reports

    (a)(1) When conducting an investigation of rental housing, a local health officer shall issue a written inspection report on the rental property using the protocols for implementing the Rental Housing Health Code of the Department or the municipality, in the case of a municipality that has established a code enforcement office.

    (2) A written inspection report shall:

    (A) contain findings of fact that serve as the basis of one or more violations;

    (B) specify the requirements and timelines necessary to correct a violation;

    (C) provide notice that the landlord is prohibited from renting the affected unit to a new tenant until the violation is corrected; and

    (D) provide notice in plain language that the landlord and agents of the landlord must have access to the rental unit to make repairs as ordered by the health officer consistent with the access provisions in 9 V.S.A. § 4460.

    (3) A local health officer shall:

    (A) provide a copy of the inspection report to the landlord and any tenants affected by a violation by delivering the report electronically, in person, by first class mail, or by leaving a copy at each unit affected by the deficiency; and

    (B)(i) if a municipality has established a code enforcement office, provide information on each inspection according to a schedule and in a format adopted by the Department in consultation with municipalities that have established code enforcement offices; or

    (ii) if a municipality has not established a code enforcement office, provide information on each inspection to the Department within seven days of issuing the report using an electronic system designed for that purpose, or within 14 days by mail if the municipality is unable to utilize the electronic system.

    (4) If an entire property is affected by a violation, the local health officer shall post a copy of the inspection report in a common area of the property and include a prominent notice that the report shall not be removed until authorized by the local health officer.

    (5) A municipality shall make an inspection report available as a public record.

    (b)(1) A local health officer may impose a civil penalty of not more than $200.00 per day for each violation that is not corrected by the date provided in the written inspection report, or when a unit is re-rented to a new tenant prior to the correction of a violation.

    (2)(A) If the cumulative amount of penalties imposed pursuant to this subsection is $800.00 or less, the local health officer, Department of Health, or State's Attorney may bring a civil enforcement action in the Judicial Bureau pursuant to 4 V.S.A. chapter 29.

    (B) The waiver penalty for a violation in an action brought pursuant to this subsection is 50 percent of the full penalty amount.

    (3) If the cumulative amount of penalties imposed pursuant to this subsection is more than $800.00, or if injunctive relief is sought, the local health officer, Department of Health, or State's Attorney may commence an action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court for the county in which a violation occurred.

    (c) If a local health officer fails to conduct an investigation pursuant to section 602a of this title or fails to issue an inspection report pursuant to this section, a landlord or tenant may request that the Department, at its discretion, conduct an investigation or contact the local board of health to take action. (Added 2017, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2019, No. 48, § 6.)