The Preferred Renter Certificate Program is designed to provide participants the skills, materials, and confidence necessary to find and maintain stable housing. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a Preferred Renter Certificate as a way to demonstrate their readiness for sustaining housing. When a landlord receives an application or has a current tenant with this certificate, they will know the applicant or tenant is invested in being a successful renter, knowledgeable about resources, and connected to service providers, such as a financial coach. Experienced teaching teams from CVOEO’s Vermont Tenants and Financial Futures programs collaborate to offer the following free classes and coaching experiences.
- Tenant Skills includes the fundamentals of tenant rights & responsibilities, leases, security deposits, repairs, health code violations, terminations, evictions, fair housing and disability law.
- Finding Housing focuses on strategies for overcoming barriers to finding housing (such as a past eviction, no landlord references or a criminal record), understanding the landlord's perspective and how to build a positive tenant-landlord relationship, and skills for conducting an organized housing search, including where to look.
- Getting Ready to Rent / Sustaining the Rent focuses on strategies to financially prepare for renting, including determining what "affordable" rent would be and comparing costs of apartments, and understanding how credit affects the ability to pay rent, as well as developing the knowledge and skills needed to track spending, building a budget, and finding resources to help meet housing and basic needs.
- Financial Coaching: After completing the three classes above, participants meet one-on-one with a financial coach to review their credit report, discuss action steps to improve credit, assessing current savings and capacity to increase savings, and discuss how expenses will change as participants go from current living situation to renting and strategies adapt to these changes.
All workshops are offered as 90 minute webinars and can be taken in any order - take one class or the full series!