As the pandemic stretches on, landlords ask for help with tenant troubles

Ten weeks after it began, the RHSP had paid $5.4 million in back rent assistance to 2,291 Vermont households in all 14 Vermont counties, according to a Sept. 25 report[4] from the state housing authority. That’s about $108,000 and 46 households per day, with landlords receiving an average $2,364, the report said. The housing authority has hired extra employees to process applications, which have shown no signs of slowing down, the report said.

The state this summer added another program for renters called Money to Move, which covers first and last month’s rent plus security deposit for people who are homeless.

Security camera footage

None of that helps people like McPhetres and Mahmood, who are not looking for money but for the departure of their tenant.

Mahmood said when she called a lawyer in June, the lawyer told her not to bother trying to evict. 

Some tenants are taking advantage of the eviction moratorium, said Burlington lawyer Nadine Scibek, who isn’t working with McPhetres and Mahmood. She told of a tenant in Winooski who refused to leave a home as required after the landlord had a contract to sell the property. The prospective buyers even visited the tenant to ask him to leave, explaining they needed to move in, Scibek said. The tenant didn’t, Scibek said, and the sale didn’t go through.

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