Jun 302022

The Governor of Vermont signed House Bill No 168 on June 2, 2022. The changes to the Statute goes into effect on or about July 1, 2022, the “Act”.

There are several changes of note. 1) Email of Default notices is now allowed. However, if you are going to send notices of Default by email, there are conditions. Specifically, you must obtain the Occupant’s consent to send Default notices by email in the Rental Agreement or a subsequent amendment to the Agreement, and you have to prove that the email was delivered in a manner consistent with the definition under the Statute. If you are not able to get that proof of delivery, then you are still required to send the Default notice by another method permitted under the Vermont Statute. You are encouraged to discuss this with your legal counsel, to determine
whether or not email is a viable method for you to serve Default notices before jumping on the email bandwagon. 2) Under the new Act, a maximum value limit and maximum liability to the owner of any claim by Occupant for a loss is now recognized. 3) A provision was added that unless otherwise provided for in the Rental Agreement, the Occupant has exclusive care, custody, and control of the property in the Storage Space until the property is sold or otherwise disposed of pursuant to the Act. 4) Advertising can now be in the print or electronic version of a newspaper of general circulation or as an alternative, can be advertised in a  commercially reasonable manner, however, commercially reasonable manner has a definition requiring you to
keep track of the bidders viewing or attending your sales. 5) It is now clear that you may legally hold sales on publicly accessible websites. 6) Language has now been added regarding “personal information”. You are not permitted to knowingly sell personal information of an Occupant, client, customer, or others with whom the Occupant does business. This personal information should be destroyed and you are required to give buyers information about returning any personal information they take, that you did not know was included in the sale. 7) Under the new Act, towing is now permitted in Vermont, if rent or other charges, fees, or expenses remain unpaid after 51 days with appropriate notice.

Congratulations to the Vermont Self Storage Association and the National Self Storage Association for these significant and important changes.

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