Running a homeowners association requires knowledge of the laws in your state. In Vermont, there are a handful of state laws that apply to such associations. Learn about these Vermont HOA laws here.
The Vermont Common Interest Ownership Act regulates the creation, powers, operation, and management of common interest communities established after January 1, 1999. This includes condominiums and planned communities such as homeowners associations.
Some of the provisions within this Act can also apply to common interest communities established prior to January 1, 1999. But, such provisions only apply to events and circumstances that take place after December 31, 2011.
You can find the Vermont Common Interest Ownership Act under Title 27A of the Vermont Statutes. It contains four articles, each one broken down further into sections.
The Vermont Condominium Ownership Act regulates the creation, operation, and management of condominium associations that explicitly opt to adhere to the provisions of this Act by recording a declaration in the county recorder’s office where the property is located.
You can find the Vermont Condominium Ownership Act under Title 27, Chapter 15 of the Vermont Statutes. It consists of three subchapters, each with its own set of sections.
The Vermont Nonprofit Corporation Act applies to non-profit corporations in the state. This Act regulates the corporate structure and procedure of condominiums and homeowners associations that establish themselves as non-profit corporations.
You can find the Vermont Nonprofit Corporation Act under Title 11B of the Vermont Statutes. It contains 16 chapters, namely:
Under the HOA laws of Vermont, homeowners associations must make association records available to owners for copying and inspection (Section 3-118). This includes minutes of meetings, detailed records of receipts and expenditures, membership lists, financial statements, and tax returns, among other things. But, an association may withhold certain documents such as medical records, personnel records, salary records, contracts under negotiation, litigation proceedings, minutes of meetings held in executive session, and the like.
The Vermont Consumer Fraud Act protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices. It contains provisions similar to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which considers homeowners as consumers and HOA dues as debts. The state-level Act regulates debt collection practices carried out by creditors, attorneys, or collection agencies.
Like many states, Vermont has its own Fair Housing laws that protect citizens from housing discrimination. The Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious creed, disability, marital status, or age. It also protects persons with one or more minor children, persons who are the recipient of public assistance, or persons who are victims of sexual assault, abuse, or stalking.
The Act contains similar provisions as the federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Victims of housing discrimination can file a private lawsuit in state or federal court. They may also report the matter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Vermont Human Rights Commission.