Rent Increases & Fees in Maine

Rent Increases & Fees in Maine

Last Updated: April 28, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

In Maine, there is no statewide rent control. Currently, certain cities allow rent control in accordance with the Rent Control Ordinance. If proper notice is given, landlords can set rent and increase it.

Quick Facts
Rent Control In certain cities
Minimum Notice for Rent Increases 45 Days or 75 Days
Max. Late Fee 4% of rent payment
Max. Bounced Check Fee 12% per annum + court costs + processing charges

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent in Maine?

A landlord in the state of Maine may not increase rent during the term of a lease. However, a landlord may increase rent on a tenant renting without the benefit of a lease so long as the appropriate notice is provided.

Questions? To chat with a Maine landlord tenant attorney, Click here

When Is It Illegal to Raise Rent in Maine?

According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for a Maine landlord to raise rent based on the age, race, religion, nation or origin, familial status, or disability status of a tenant.

Rent cannot be increased if the dwelling unit is in violation of the warranty of habitability, unless it was directly caused by the tenant. (MRS Title 14 §6016)

Is There a Rent Increase Limit in Maine?

Maine does not legislate rent increases; however, cities such as Portland, Maine have their own Rent Control Ordinance which allows for an increase up to 10% in certain situations.

How Much Notice Is Needed for Raising Rent in Maine?

A landlord may increase rent on an “at-will” tenant so long as a 45-Day Notice is provided to the tenant before the increased rent is expected. (MRS Title 14 § 6015)

Cities may impose different notice requirements, for instance, in Portland, Maine landlords must give 75 days’ notice.

For a FREE rent increase notice template, click here.

How Often Can Rent Be Increased in Maine?

Maine does not legislate the frequency of rent increases.

Laws Regarding Late Fees in Maine

A Maine landlord may charge late fees that do not exceed 4% of the month’s rent so long as the fees are written in the lease. A landlord can collect the late fees 15 days after the date the payment is due. (Maine Title 14 § 6028)

Laws Regarding Bounced Check Fees in Maine

A Maine landlord may charge a tenant up to 12% per annum from the date of the payment plus any court costs and processing charges incurred in relation to a bounced rental check. (Maine Title § 14 6071)

Maine Cities With Rent Control

The Rent Control Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2021 and establishes a base rate rent for all dwelling units in Portland, Maine (including short term rentals). The Rent Control Ordinance allows for an increase in rent up to 10% and under the following circumstances:

  • An annual increase percentage that is equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index.
  • Tax rate rent adjustment for property tax rate changes.
  • New tenancy. A landlord may increase rent by 5% for new occupancy.
  • If a landlord could have increased rent in previous years but did not, they may now increase rent by this amount at a later date.
  • Additional increases with the Rent Board’s approval.

The Rent Control Ordinance has also brought a Rent Board where complaints will be heard and rent increase requests can be made.

Check your local laws for more information on rental control.