Maine Security Deposit Collections & Holdings

Maine Security Deposit Collections & Holdings

Last Updated: April 3, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Quick Facts Answer
Maximum / Limit 2 or 3 Months’ Rent
Receipt Requirement Yes
Inventory Requirement None
Interest Requirement Only for Mobile Homes

To learn about laws on security deposit returns in Maine, click here.

Maximum Security Deposit Allowed in Maine

Maine law limits the maximum security deposit to two months’ rent, except the maximum security deposit for a mobile home is three months’ rent. However, local governments may enact a different limit, like in Portland.


The state security deposit rules do not apply to buildings with five or fewer dwelling units if the landlord lives in one of the units.

In Portland, the maximum security deposit is one month’s rent.

Can Landlords Charge an Additional Pet Deposit in Maine?

In Maine, landlords can charge a pet deposit, except for service dogs and emotional support animals. However, the total security deposit cannot exceed the legal limit, unless the rental unit is exempt. Landlords cannot exceed the limit by giving them another name like “pet deposit” or “damage deposit.”

This law does not prevent landlords from adding a monthly pet premium.

How Much Rent Can a Landlord Collect Upfront in Maine?

Landlords in Maine can collect the first month’s rent in advance. However, landlords can only collect an additional advance payment up to the security deposit limit, whether called a “security deposit” or “last month’s rent.” “Last month’s rent” is considered a security deposit by the law.

Security Deposit Collections in Maine

While other states have additional requirements for landlords that collect a security deposit, such as providing certain documentation of the condition of the unit at move-in, Maine does not.

Do Landlords Have to Provide a Receipt for the Security Deposit in Maine?

Landlords are required to provide a receipt for any security deposit paid for in cash, unless the rental unit is exempt. If a tenant pays rent and a security deposit at the same time, the landlord must provide a separate receipt for each payment.

The receipt must include:

  • The signature and legible name of the person accepting the payment
  • The amount and purpose of the payment
  • The date of the payment
  • Who the payment is for

What Obligations Do Landlords Have to Establish the Condition at Move-in in Maine?

Maine law does not have specific obligations before a tenancy. While other states like Washington have pre-tenancy obligations like a written inventory of damages, Maine does not.

Security Deposit Holdings in Maine

Maine landlords are required to hold security deposits in a bank or other financial institution. The security deposits cannot be commingled with the landlord’s own funds. Upon the tenant’s request, the landlord must provide the account number and name of the financial institution.

Are Tenants Entitled to Interest on Their Security Deposit in Maine?

Maine law does not require landlords to provide interest on held security deposits unless the rental unit is a mobile home.

If the rental unit is a mobile home, the tenant is entitled to the actual interest earned on the account where the security deposit is held. If the account does not earn interest, the interest must not be less than the Federal Reserve Bank, secondary market, annual interest rate on a 6-month certificate of deposit.

How Are Security Deposits Accounted for in Maine?

Security deposits are not considered taxable income when they are collected.

What Happens to a Security Deposit When the Property is Sold in Maine?

When a property is sold in Maine, the seller can make any allowable deductions and then must either:

  • Transfer the security deposit to the new owner with a full accounting
  • Return the security deposit to the tenant

If the seller chooses to transfer the security deposit to the new owner, it must occur prior to closing. They must also notify each tenant by mail of the:

  • Amount transferred and a copy of the accounting
  • Successor’s name and address