The Maine residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) can be used by property owners (“lessors”) to come to terms with a tenant (“lessee”) for the use of their property in exchange for rent payments. Landlords often check a tenant’s credit to ensure they are able to pay the rent amount.
Maine Lease Disclosures & Addendums
The following disclosure is required for all residential lease agreements in Maine.
- Late or Returned Check Fees – for any rental unit being charged late fees.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for any rental unit with a suspected or confirmed adjacent infestation.
- Radon Disclosure – for any rental unit in Maine.
- Energy Efficiency Disclosure Statement – for any rental unit in Maine where the tenant pays for utilities directly or through the landlord.
- Smoking Policy Disclosure – for any rental unit in Maine.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1978.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in Maine.
Late or Returned Check Fees
Applicable to any unit charging late fees.
While some states have no rules in place that dictate how a late or returned check fee may be assessed, Maine does for late fees. This means that you can dictate whether you will charge these fees, however the amount must be stated in the lease and the fees don’t exceed legal limits. In this case, late fees must not exceed 4% of a month’s rent, and are not able to be charged until the rent is at least 15 days late .
Bed Bug Disclosure
Applicable to any unit with a suspected infestation in adjacent units.
Landlords may not offer a unit for rent that is suspected of or currently infested with bedbugs. If there is an adjacent or contiguous property that is infested, the landlord must provide notice of the infestation. If asked, the landlord must also disclose the last date of inspection for bed bugs in the prospective or adjacent rental units .
An example of a bed bug addendum or section would be:
BED BUGS. At the time of presenting this agreement, Landlord certifies:
[ ] There is no known current infestation or history of bed bugs in this property.
[ ] There is no known current infestation, but there is a history of infestation in this property.
[ ] There is no known current infestation, but there is a nearby infestation or history of infestations which may place the property at risk.
See attached addendum for more information.
Addendum Bed Bug
Applicable to all units in Maine.
Due to the dangers presented by high radon levels, Maine requires landlords to regularly test radon levels for safety. The date and results of these regular tests must be provided to new tenants as an addendum to the lease agreement, along with additional information about the risks posed by radon gas. The addendum, which is provided by the Department of Health, also requires the signature of both parties to acknowledge the results and risks provided .
Here is the required disclosure for Maine landlords to include.
Energy Efficiency Disclosure Statement
Applicable to any rental agreements where the tenant is responsible for paying utilities directly or through the landlord.
In Maine, for any lease where the tenant will pay utility costs (either directly or through the landlord), the landlord must provide an energy efficiency statement and disclosure of either the utility supplier’s information or the 12-month energy consumption history .
The statement for supplying utility suppliers’ information is:
You have the right to obtain a 12-month history of energy consumption and the cost of that consumption from the energy supplier.
This energy efficiency disclosure must be included with the lease and signed by the tenant.
Smoking Policy Disclosure
Applicable to all units in Maine.
Landlords in Maine must specify the rules for smoking on the premises, including where smoking is and is not allowed . These rules can be outlined in a smoking policy disclosure that is included in the lease.
The following section may be included in the lease to address the smoking policy disclosure:
SMOKING POLICY. This property:
[ ] Does not allow smoking on the premises
[ ] Allows smoking in the following areas:______________________________
Violation of this policy is a violation of the lease agreement and may subject Tenant to action against them.
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Maine to:
- Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Maine law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Landlord Name & Address – to create a line of communication for important notices & demands between tenant and landlord, it is recommended that Maine landlords provide contact information within or alongside the lease for themselves or anyone authorized to act on behalf of the property.
- Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Maine law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to tenant negligence during the lease term.