Can a landlord ask for first month/last month and a security deposit?
Here is what I have found on the law:
In Vermont, the definition of a security deposit is any advance deposit or prepaid rent, however named, which is refundable to the tenant at the termination of the tenancy. The function of a security deposit is to secure the tenant's obligations to pay rent and to maintain a dwelling unit. There is no specification within the Commerce and Trade Chapter of the Vermont Statutes in the section titled “Residential Rental Agreements” determining any limitation on the amount that can be charged.
Some jurisdictions such as Burlington and Barre limit the amount of the security deposit to an amount equal to 1 month and do require interest to be paid on the security deposit. Landlords should check with their local authorities for the requirements of their location