Does Maine Have Rent Control Laws?
Maine does not have statewide rent control laws that limit the amount that landlords may ask for. However, state law allows local governments to establish rent control laws, like in Portland.
When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Maine?
Landlords in Maine can raise the rent at any time, as long as they comply with the following:
- Give reasonable notice
- Wait until the end of the lease term (unless otherwise specified in the lease)
- Aren’t raising rent for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons
Maine state law requires that rent increases on mobile homes be applied uniformly to all tenants unless the rent increase is approved by the majority vote of a resident-owned cooperative .
When Can’t a Landlord Raise Rent in Maine?
Landlords in Maine may not raise the rent if:
- The increase is applied in a way that discriminates against one of the protected classes specified in the Fair Housing Act.
- It is done in response to a protected tenant action, such as filing a complaint. This is known as “retaliation.”
- It is during the middle of a lease’s fixed term (unless stated otherwise in the lease agreement).
- The increase is higher than what’s allowed under local rent control laws
- The rental unit violates the warranty of habitability (unless the condition was caused by the tenant) .
In addition to the federal protections, Maine state law prohibits discrimination in housing because a tenant receives government assistance of any kind .
How Often Can Rent Be Increased in Maine?
By state law, landlords in Maine can increase the rent as often as they choose as long as they provide sufficient notice each time. However, cities and towns may enact stricter rules. For example, landlords in Portland must wait 12 months between rent increases .
How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Maine?
By state law, landlords in Maine can raise the rent by any amount and for any reason as long as they give proper notice, don’t do so during the fixed term of a lease, and aren’t doing so for certain discriminatory reasons. However, state law allows local governments to regulate rent increases.
In Portland, the law limits annual rent increases to a percentage of the rate of inflation in the Boston area. However, landlords can exceed the limit by applying to the Rent Board or carrying over their rent increase allowance from a previous year. Accessory units and owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units are exempt from Portland’s rent control laws .
How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in Maine?
In Maine, landlords cannot raise the rent during a lease term and must give 45 days’ notice to increase the rent. Landlords of mobile home tenants must give 30 days’ notice to increase the rent. However, local governments can enact different rules.
For example, in Portland, landlords must give 90 days’ notice to increase the rent .