Grab a Maine eviction notice template and read further to learn about what happens AFTER a notice is posted, how long the eviction process takes and other aspects of Maine eviction law.
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Types of Eviction Notices
In the state of Maine, there are a few different types of notices that can be sent to a tenant. There is a seven-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent. This is a notice that the landlord will use to tell the tenant that they have to pay what is owed for rent within seven days or vacate the premises. If neither action is done, then eviction proceedings can begin. There is also a seven-day notice to quit for non-compliance, which is used when the tenant has breached the contract in some way. The tenant will have seven days to stop the behavior or vacate the property. This type of notice can be one that is used when the tenant has been doing illegal things on the property or done something that is strictly forbidden like having pets in a unit that does not allow pets.
If the tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement, then they will receive a 30-day notice to quit when they are being asked to vacate the premises. With this type of notice, they will not be required to pay the rent or adjust a specific behavior, they will simply be required to move off of the property before the time period of 30 days is up.
What Happens After a Notice is Posted
When the notice is posted in the state of Maine, all the landlords can do is wait the number of days that the notice provides to see what actions the tenant takes. If they comply with the requests of the notice, whether to pay rent or cease a specific behavior, then the issue will be considered resolved. If there is still an issue after the time has passed, then the landlord can proceed with the eviction proceedings by filing a complaint and a summons form with the clerk’s office in the district court of the same county. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will have the option of appealing the judgment as long as they were in court for the hearing. If they failed to show for the court date, the judgment of the court will be final.
When is Rent Due?
Rent is considered due on the first of the month or the day that is stated in the actual rental agreement. If the rent is due at another time, it needs to be stated clearly in the terms of the rental agreement. Rent is considered late the day after it is due, but according to Title 14 § 6002(1), the landlord may not charge a late fee until the rent is 15 days late. The seven-day notice to quit can come at any time after the late fee has been applied.
When a legal document does not work out the way that it was intended, sometimes the landlord will need to begin the process for eviction. When this happens, the landlord will send the tenant a notice to quit. This will inform the tenant that they have violated the terms of the lease in some way, and they have a certain amount of time to remedy the situation. There are a few reasons that one of these documents can be filed, and they include:
- The tenant has not been paying their rent on time – No matter who the tenant is, there may be times when paying the rent on time is not possible. It is not always something that is intentional; however, it may be hard to remedy. With any rental relationship, paying the rent on time is important, so when this type of notice is sent out for the nonpayment of rent, the tenant will have so many days to pay the amount that is owed or vacate the property before legal proceedings begin.
- The tenant has damaged the property – Destruction of the property, regardless of whether it is done accidentally or on purpose, can be a reason that the landlord sends one of these notices. In some situations, the landlord may allow the tenant to continue living in the unit, but they may need to cover the cost of the damages that they caused.
- The tenant has violated specific terms of the lease – If there are specific rules that the landlord set forth in the original lease that the tenant has not been following, then they may get a notice of quit. I could be that the tenant has an animal in a unit that is not pet-friendly. It could be that they are smoking on the property where it is not permitted. The tenant could also be taking part in illegal activities in the unit, which is a clear violation of the terms of the agreement.
How Long Does the Eviction Process Take?
The entire eviction process can differ in length based on the amount of effort that the tenant puts into staying in the unit. The first part is to wait until the seven days pass for the notice that the tenant was sent. Then, if nothing has changed, the landlord can file for a court date and wait to see the judgment that the courts give for the case. In most cases, the eviction process should take one to two months when it is not contested. If the tenant decides to appeal the decision, the process could take up to six months or more.
When is Rent Considered Later in Maine?
In the state of Maine, the rent is late the day after it is due to be paid to the rental office. This date should be stated on the rental agreement, and the landlord cannot charge a late fee until 15 days after that point. Once the late fee is applied, the rent is officially late, and a seven-day notice can be sent, which will begin the eviction process.
Breaking Down the Types of Eviction Notices
Depending on the state, the type of eviction notice that the landlord will send out to the tenant will vary. In the state of Maine, there are basically three types of eviction notices that can be used. They include:
A Seven-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
With this type of notice, the landlord is reminding the tenant about the amount of rent that they owe. The full amount will need to be listed on the document, and the intent of the landlord must be known as well. Typically, the tenant will have the seven days to pay the full amount that is listed on the notice or vacate the premises. If neither option occurs, eviction proceedings may begin.
A Seven-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
This type of notice can be used when the tenant is in breach of the original rental agreement in some way. The reason for the notice will need to be listed on the document, and if the tenant does not remedy the situation within seven days, they will need to vacate the property. If the situation is not managed, then eviction proceedings will begin.
A 30-Day Notice to Quit for a Month-to-Month Tenancy
Since a month-to-month tenancy is going to differ from an annual one, the notice to quit that they must be provided will be different as well. Since this is an arrangement that can be renewed each month, the landlord will need to provide the tenant with this 30-day notice when they want them off of the property.
How to Write a Notice to Quit
No matter which type of notice the landlord sends to the tenant, there are going to be specific sections that need to be covered in the notice. This is so that the document is in compliance with all of the laws of the state of Maine. Make sure that the following sections are included:
Consult the Original Lease
Before the notice is written, it is essential to start by making sure that all of the information on the document is correct. The best way to do this is to consult the original lease. This will help you ensure that the name of the tenant is correct as well as any other information that needs to be on the notice. All of the information that goes on the notice to quit will need to be copied from the original rental agreement.
Name the Recipient
The first part of the notice to quit is the section that will address the individual who the notice is going to. The full legal name of the individual will need to be used, so make sure that it is spelled the same way that it is in the rental agreement. If there are multiple tenants who reside in the space, then all of their names must be written on the notice.
Define the Property
When the recipient of the notice is defined, the unit that is being rented will also need to be listed in the notice. This will include the full street address of the property as well as any identifying information about the property. There will be a few blank lines in this section so that the county and the unit number can be listed.
Reason for the Notice
The next section is going to be one of the most important parts to include in the notice. This piece of information will let the tenant know what they have done to receive the notice. It could be that they have not been paying rent in a timely manner or that they have violated the terms of the lease in another way. To indicate the reason for the notice, it is a good idea to have a checkbox for both non-payment and non-compliance for the landlord to check off.
When the reason for the notice is a non-payment of rent, the amount that is owed will need to be written in this section as well so that both parties are on the same page. Make sure that the amount is listed per month as well as the total amount that is due. Also, include any late fees and legal fees that the tenant will be responsible for paying so that they know the total amount that is due.
Establish the Intent of the Landlord
The final section of the document that will need to be completed is the actual statement of intent from the landlord. This means that the landlord wants to have the money that is owed or the activities that are non-compliant with the terms of the lease to stop. If the tenant is not compliant with the terms of the letter, then the landlord will need to make it clear in the notice that there will be repercussions. This means that when the tenant does not comply, the landlord can take the case to court and see if they can get the issue resolved that way.
If this happens, the landlord is likely to tack more legal fees and processing fees onto the rent that is owed. At the end of the section, the landlord will need to sign and date the document so that everything is done legally. In addition, make sure to save a space for the landlord to print their name as well.
Certificate of Delivery
With this type of notice, it is important for the landlord to take note of when the document was received and how it was delivered. This will serve as a means of proof that shows that the document was delivered in a timely fashion. To make sure that the delivery information is noted in the proper location, there is going to be a specific person in charge of the delivery. They will need to write down the person who received the notice and the date that it was delivered. They will also need to sign and date the bottom of the document once it has been filled out.
The notice to quit can be delivered to the recipient personally. If the individual who the letter is addressed to is not around, the delivery agent can leave the notice with a responsible adult who also lives in the unit. This person must be over the age of 18, and when it is handed to them, it must also be sent to the tenant using first class mail. If the individual is not home or no one else is at the unit to receive the letter, it can be taped to the door and mailed to the individual as well.