Maine Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Maine Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Last Updated: May 3, 2023

Maine legally requires landlords to meet certain “habitability” requirements for all rental properties. This means that they’re responsible for providing a property that meets specific health and safety standards and for fixing issues that violate them.

Maine Implied Warranty of Habitability

In Maine, the implied warranty of habitability requires a landlord to provide and maintain a safe, habitable rental property. “Implied” means the requirement applies whether written in the lease or not. The warranty can be waived, but only in writing and for specific named benefits, like a rent reduction.

Examples of clear habitability violations include:

  • Exposed electrical wiring.
  • A pipe leaking human waste.
  • A broken front doorknob that won’t lock.

      However, the implied warranty of habitability does not guarantee that anything at the property will be pretty, clean, new or issue-free, so it doesn’t cover things like stained carpet or dents in a wall. It only guarantees basic health and safety.

      Landlord Responsibilities in Maine

      Note: Landlord responsibilities are primarily determined by specific location in Maine. Check city/county laws and ordinances for additional requirements, as well as the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (which applies to certain larger communities across the state).

      Item Has To Provide? Has To Fix / Replace?
      Air Conditioning / Heating No Heating, Only If Provided
      Hot Water No No
      Kitchen Appliances No No
      Washer & Dryer No No
      Smoke/CO Detectors Yes Sometimes
      Window Coverings No No
      Light Fixtures No No
      Landscaping No No
      Garbage Removal No No
      Garbage Pickup No No
      Mold N/A Yes
      Pest Control No N/A
      Pest Infestations N/A Yes
      Water Leaks N/A Usually Not
      Clogs N/A Usually Not

      Landlord Responsibilities for Heating & Air Conditioning in Maine

      Maine landlords don’t have to provide heating or air conditioning unless required by the rental agreement or local laws. However, if the rental agreement provides for heating, the landlord must maintain it to a specific level, such as being able to warm the property to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

      By a special, separate written agreement with specific requirements, the landlord can sometimes offer the tenant a rent reduction in exchange for not providing heating services to the standard the law would otherwise require.

      Are Landlords Required to Provide Air Filter Replacements in Maine?

      Maine landlords don’t have to replace things like air filters, unless provided heating equipment won’t work otherwise.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Plumbing in Maine

      Maine landlords are responsible statewide for making sure no plumbing issue interferes with basic health and safety on the rental property. However, most communities in Maine provide more specific requirements.

      Are Landlords Required To Provide Hot Water in Maine?

      Maine landlords aren’t specifically required to provide or maintain hot water for rental property, unless the lease or locally applicable laws say otherwise.

      Are Landlords Responsible for Fixing Clogged Drains & Toilets in Maine?

      Maine landlords must fix clogs the renter didn’t cause, which keep the property from being in habitable condition.

      Are Landlords in Maine Responsible for Fixing Leaks?

      Maine landlords have to fix leaks the renter didn’t cause that keep the property from being in habitable condition.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Kitchen Appliances in Maine

      Maine landlords don’t have to provide or maintain kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, or refrigerator.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Electrical Issues in Maine

      Maine landlords are responsible only for making sure there are no electrical issues that endanger basic safety or habitability on the rental property.

      Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Light Bulbs in Maine?

      Maine landlords are not responsible for replacing light bulbs or particular light fixtures.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Garbage Removal in Maine

      Maine landlords have no specific responsibilities related to garbage removal. Garbage is the tenant’s duty, unless the landlord sets the property up in a way where garbage can’t be disposed without causing a habitability issue.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Landscaping in Maine

      Maine landlords have no specific obligation to provide landscaping or maintain it with actions like cutting grass. They only have to deal with issues like fallen trees if they violate local codes, or create a hazard to health and safety.

      Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Mold in Maine

      Maine landlords are responsible for mold issues the renter didn’t cause. While there’s no state requirement for testing, landlords must investigate and fix mold problems since they threaten health and safety.

      Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Pests in Maine

      Maine landlords must fix pest issues the renter didn’t cause, including rats, roaches, mice, and ants, since these threaten habitability. Bed bugs have special, detailed requirements: suspected infestations must be treated within 15 days, but a particular process lets the landlord bill the tenant for testing and treatment.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Windows & Window Coverings in Maine

      Maine landlords have no responsibility to provide or maintain particular windows or window coverings. The landlord has to repair broken windows the tenant didn’t cause, since this is a health and safety issue.

      Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Safety Devices in Maine

      Maine landlords are responsible for ensuring smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are installed at the beginning of a tenancy, and replacing them upon getting notice that they’ve broken. Otherwise, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to test such devices and prevent damage to them.

      Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Batteries of Safety Devices in Maine?

      Maine landlords are not responsible for replacing batteries of safety devices. This is the tenant’s duty.

      Landlord Responsibilities for Washers and Dryers in Maine

      Maine landlords are not required to furnish their rental properties with a working washer and dryer.

      Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Maine

      Renters in Maine have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. The renter must submit prompt repair requests (written or verbal) after noticing an issue. The landlord gets a reasonable time after notice to perform repairs.

      If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter can file a court action to get an injunction for repairs, and can pursue other potential remedies like monetary damages or a rent abatement. Renters can also repair and deduct, but aren’t allowed to withhold rent.

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