• Vermont Legal Aid is part of renter problem
    August 14,2014
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    The following is text taken from the Vermont Legal Aid website “Our Projects” page: Vermont Legal Aid is a nonprofit law firm established in 1968 to provide free civil legal services to Vermonters who are low-income, elderly and those with disabilities. VLA serves the community by providing information, advice and representation in the areas of health care, housing, education, family law, benefits and consumer law. I am sure that Vermont Legal Aid does very good work in most of the subjects listed in the paragraph above. I am not isolated in my opinion that Vermont Legal Aid is not doing good service on behalf of low-income renters in Vermont.

    Ask any landlord/residential property manager and they will tell you about nightmare tenants who have taken advantage of antiquated laws that have been used to allow these tenants to go from one landlord to the next by giving a nice story, getting into an apartment and then after a month or two, finding a reason that they can’t pay the rent (car payment, cable, vacation are more of a priority). I have had tenants pull this on me. After three months, when I am forced to inform them that they are not living up to their obligations under their lease agreement, that is when the attitude comes out, usually with the statement, “I can sit here for 5 months and you can’t do a thing about it!” More often than not it is followed with, “I’ve taken Renters 101 and I have a Legal Aid lawyer.”

    Laws need to be changed to make tenants more responsible, which would improve landlord/tenant relations and make apartments more affordable. I like nothing more than to be able to give a tenant a good reference and full security deposit back at the end of their tenancy. When they have cost me months of lost rent and the aggravation of going to court, it makes me leery of renting to the next person. Abuse by tenants, encouraged by Legal Aid, takes away money for capital improvements to the property and reduces its marketability.

    KELLY M. SOCIA

    Wallingford
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