The Maine rental agreements are contracts between a landlord and a tenant for the use of real property. The tenant makes regular payments (“rent”) and must abide by all of the terms laid out in the agreement. These documents cannot supersede state laws.
Maine Rental Agreement Types
Maine Required Lease Disclosures
- Late or Returned Check Fees (required for some) – Maine landlords are required to disclose in the lease agreement if late fees are going to be imposed and how much they will amount to, ensuring they are documented so that they can be enforced in court (if required).
- Bed Bug Disclosure (required for some) – Any Maine rental unit with a suspected infestation cannot be rented, and if there is an adjacent or contiguous property with an infestation, there must be a disclosure included in the lease agreement that offers inspection information upon request to limit the chances of the infestation growing or affecting the new tenant’s personal property that results in damages from the landlord.
- Radon Disclosure (required for all) – Maine landlords are required to provide the results for recently completed radon testing in new lease agreements, along with an information addendum from the Department of Health that requires both parties to sign to acknowledge the potential risks of radon exposure.
- Energy Efficiency Disclosure Statement (required for some) – If the tenant is expected to pay utilities directly to the utility company or landlord, the Maine lease agreement must contain an energy efficiency statement and the 12-month utility history or supplier’s contact information if paid directly to ensure the correct charges are being applied.
- Smoking Policy Disclosure (required for all) – The smoking policy for a Maine rental property must be disclosed in the lease agreement, including where smoking is allowed so landlords can limit smoke damage risk for their rental units.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – Every lease for a Maine property built before 1978 requires a lead based paint disclosure form and EPA-approved pamphlet regarding the dangers of lead paint in addition to any known hazards that exist in the rental building for the safety of its residents.
To learn more about required disclosures in Maine, click here.
Maine Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Maine’s laws require its landlords to provide all tenants with waterproof ceilings, adequate running water, heating, plumbing, and more. All repairs performed on these amenities must be made within 14 days of a reported problem. Otherwise, an effected tenant has the right to withhold certain amounts of rent or perform the repair on their own.
- Evictions – A Maine tenant can be legally evicted after failing to pay rent, committing an illegal act, or breaking the terms of their lease. Each of these require a 7-day notice to be issued. As such, many Maine evictions occur in precisely a week’s time.
- Security Deposits – A Maine landlord cannot charge a security deposit valued at greater than 2 months’ rent. These deposits must then be returned to their tenant within 30 days of their lease’s conclusion.
- Lease Termination – Month-to-month leasers in Maine must always provide 30 days of notice before breaking off their lease. Fixed-term leasers meanwhile only need to provide notice if they are claiming an early termination allowance for active military duty, landlord harassment, or unit uninhabitability.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Landlords in main can charge as much as they want for rent and increase said rent without justification. However, they are all required to provide 45 days of notice when performing a rent increase. Certain fee types are capped in value by the state, as well. These include late rent fees, which cannot be worth more than 4% of the missing rent.
- Landlord Entry – Maine landlords are only required to provide “reasonable” notice prior to entering a tenant’s dwelling. However, this standard is usually interpreted as 24 hours of notice. This excludes emergency entry, though, especially when a tenant is in immediate danger.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Claims of $6,000 or less can be arbitrated by Maine’s small claims courts. Landlords and tenants in Maine cannot file eviction claims in this venue, however.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Maine, click here.