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BURLINGTON, VT  A new website launched today, Vermont Rental Housing Codes at www.rentalcodes.org. It provides guidance on the health and safety standards that existing residential rental housing in Vermont must meet. It outlines the legal rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants throughout the rental process and explains the standards that municipalities and town health officers should enforce when inspecting rental housing. The site was developed as an outgrowth of a study committee established by the 2008 Legislature’s Act 176, which established a safe rental housing study committee, which Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency chaired. The committee’s report to the Legislature from February 2010 is available at http://www.vhfa.org/documents/act176.pdf. “Finally landlords, tenants, and municipalities have one place to look for rental housing codes, instead of searching through several different websites to cobble together what applies to them,” Carpenter said. “For most renters –and landlords – it has been hard to know exactly what applies to them and who is responsible for what. This site tries to clarify the most common questions.” Sanitation, building systems, structural elements, lead paint, life safety, and mobile homes are all discussed in detail. The site also links to the municipalities that have additional ordinances beyond the state’s minimum, and allows users to register for updates so they can be made aware of new additions or changes to the site. The Vermont Legislature created VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped approximately 26,500 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of approximately 7,700 affordable rental units.