The Maine month-to-month rental agreement is a written document that allows a tenant to rent property from a landlord, in exchange for monthly payments (“rent”), for a period of thirty (30) days at a time. This contract renews each month until either party chooses to cancel (with proper notice).
This is a type of agreement that can be beneficial to both parties, and it can be an excellent option for an individual to explore. For the tenant, they will be able to continue living in the unit until they need to move. This will make it easy to live in a location while doing work that is only short term. It will allow some freedom when it comes to moving from a rental property to a new house. For the landlord, they will be able to renovate and increase the rent of the property more frequently. They will also be able to get rid of a tenant that is causing them trouble more easily.
Maine Notice Requirements for Month-to-Month Termination
When a month-to-month lease in Maine is ending, the landlord will need to provide the tenant with a 30-day notice to let them know that their tenancy is ending and they are not going to be renewing the terms of the lease for another month. If the tenant has decided to move out, they will also need to give the landlord a notice of 30 days so that they are aware that the unit will be vacant, and they can begin looking for a new tenant to live in the space.
Raising Rent in Maine
In the state of Maine, there are rules and regulations that the landlord must follow when they are interested in increasing the amount of rent that the tenant pays each month. There is not a law that limits the amount of the increase, but to increase the rent at all, the landlord will need to send the tenant a notice of at least 45 days.
There is also no regulation that will determine how long the landlord must wait between increases, so they will be able to increase the rent more than once a year. The landlord cannot increase the rent because of a change in the tenant’s marital status or the arrival of a new baby.
How to Write a Maine Month-to-Month Lease Agreement
When writing one of these agreements, the first thing that should be considered is how this type of agreement differs from a traditional residential rental agreement. It will differ in the terms, but the tenant will have a lot of the same expectations for the rental unit. With this being said, it is important that the following information is covered in the document:
Identify the Parties
Since this is a rental agreement, one of the first things that will need to be defined is the parties that will be taking part in the arrangement. In this section of the document, the legal name of the tenant will need to be listed. This will include the first, middle, and last name of the tenant, and if there is more than one tenant, their names will need to be written in this section a well. Also, include the current address of the tenant as well as a phone number where they can be reached.
The information for the landlord and the management company will need to be included. Both should be named, and a phone number where they can be reached should be listed as well. Make sure to include the address where the management company is located so that the address for where the rent checks should be delivered can be found in the agreement.
Define the Property
Once the parties have been defined, it will be imperative that the property that is for rent is also discussed. Make sure to include the full mailing address for the unit so that it is clear which property is being rented to the tenant. This should consist of the street number, the name of the street, the unit number, the city, and the state. Also, make sure to include the county as well as any identifying features of the property. If there is storage space on the property that the tenant can use, a pool, or other things, they should be listed in this section as well.
Define the Terms of the Lease
Next, it is going to be essential to define the terms of the lease and the arrangement that the tenant and the landlord are agreeing to. In this section of the lease agreement, the first thing to be discussed is the amount of rent that is to be paid to the landlord each month. The date that the rental amount is due should also be written down here so that it can be referred to if needed. Since this is a month-to-month arrangement, it is likely that the rental amount that is requested is going to be slightly larger than it would be with a yearly lease, but if the number seems to be a bit too high, then it may be something that can be negotiated between the landlord and the tenant.
In most rental agreements, there is going to be a fee that the tenant will need to pay when they are late with their rental payment of the check that they provided I not honored by the bank. This information should be included as well as the start and end date of the original month-to-month lease.
A rental agreement of this type is called a tenancy at will, which means that there is not a specific end date to the lease agreement. However, if either party wishes to terminate the agreement, they are required to provide the party with a notice of at least 30 days.
Make sure that the security deposit that the landlord requests with the first month of rent is also included in this section. This amount is going to be put in an account by the landlord to be used if there is any damage done to the property when the tenant moves out. According to statute § 6038, the location of the funds must be disclosed to the tenant. This should include the name of the bank and the bank account number in the state of Maine. A security deposit in this state cannot be more than two month’s rent. If the deposit is not used when the tenant vacates the unit, the landlord will have a period of 21 days to return the money to the tenant with a month-to-month lease.
Expectations and Concerns of the Tenant
Some of the things that a tenant will come to expect with any type of lease agreement will also need to be laid out in this document. These will need to include some of the things that a tenant with a long term lease will want to know about as well. Some of the concerns that need to be covered include:
- Pet in the Units – When a resident has a pet that they want to bring with them when they move, they are going to want to know the rules and regulations regarding having pets on the premises. In the state of Maine, a landlord can allow all types of pets on the property, prohibit some, or ban all pets from living on the property. If there are any rules or regulations that the tenant will need to know about when it comes to pets, it must be listed here. Any breed limitations or limits on the number of pets that a tenant can have must be included in this section of the document.
- Quiet Time on the Property – When the unit that is being rented is located on property that is being used by other residents, then there is often a quiet time in place that will make it so that one tenant does not disturb the others late at night. After certain times at night, moving furniture, listening to loud music, and having excessive noise in the units will not be permitted. The times that the landlord recommends for quiet time can vary from area to area, but to make sure that all of the tenants are aware of this rule, it will need to be stated in the document as well.
- Designated Parking Spaces – Maine is a state where a lot of people tend to drive, especially in the more rural areas of the state. Traveling in a vehicle is easier, but only when the tenant returns to the unit with a place to park the vehicle, especially if they are coming in late at night. If there are designated parking spaces or rules that the tenants must follow when they are parking their vehicle, they need to be considered as well. If there are parking stickers that must be on the vehicle, make sure that they are provided for the tenants to use, even the month-to-month tenants.
- Grilling Concerns – Grilling is not always allowed in a community, so this is something that should be considered, especially during the warmer months of the year. Make sure to include where this can be done on the property and any other rules that may be pertinent.
- Snow Removal – Since Maine is about as far northeast as you can live in the country, it is likely to snow. With that being said, it is important to list any rules related to snow removal that the tenants will need to know. This can be related to parking when there is snow on the ground as well as the removal of snow from the sidewalks and walkways along the property.
The last part of this rental agreement that will need to be seen in this document will be the signature section. Here, both parties will need to print and sign their full legal name that was used at the beginning of the document. Underneath the signature, the parties will need to date the document. The signature and the date are an indication of the point when the agreement becomes legally binding. If there are multiple tenants moving into the unit, they will all need to sign and date the document.