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 can pay the rent amount.
Maine Lease Agreement Disclosures
The below disclosures are required for all or some residential lease agreements in Maine.
|Late/Returned Check Fees||All Units Charging Late Fees|
|Bed Bugs||All Units with Suspected/Confirmed Infestation|
|Energy Efficiency||Tenants Who Pay Utilities|
|Common Area Utilities||Units with Shared Common Area Utilities|
|Security Deposit Holdings||All Units with a Security Deposit|
|Smoking Policy||All Units|
|Lead Paint||All Units Built Prior to 1978|
Late or Returned Check Fees
Applicable to any rental unit charging late fees in Maine.
Landlords can dictate whether tenants will be charged with late fees or returned check fees; however, the amount that will be charged must be stated in the rental agreement. Late fees must not exceed 4% of one month’s rent, and shall not be charged until the rent is at least 15 days late.
Bed Bug Disclosure
Applicable to any unit with a suspected/confirmed infestation in adjacent units in Maine.
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:
[ ] 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
Download: Maine Bed Bug Disclosure Form (PDF)
Applicable to all units in Maine.
Due to the dangers presented by high radon levels, Maine requires landlords to test radon levels for safety. By March 1, 2014 and then every 10 years, all rental units must be tested for radon. For residential buildings that were built after March 1, 2014, a landlord must have the air tested within 12 months of the occupancy of the tenant.
A registered radon tester must perform the test and the date and results of these regular tests shall be provided to new tenants as an addendum to the rental agreement. The tenant must be provided with information about the risks of radon gas.
The addendum, which is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, also requires the signature of both parties to acknowledge the results and risks provided.
Here is the required disclosure for Maine landlords to include.
Download: Maine Radon Level Disclosure Form (PDF)
Energy Efficiency Disclosure Statement
Applicable to any rental unit where the tenant is responsible for paying utilities directly or through the landlord in Maine.
In Maine, for any rental agreement 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.
The landlord must obtain the tenant’s signature on the disclosure and must retain the disclosure for a minimum of three years.
Common Area Utility Disclosure
Applicable to any rental agreements where the tenant is responsible for paying utilities for common areas in Maine.
In Maine, dwelling units that share a utility line with a common area (i.e., stairwell, hallway, storage area, water heaters, etc.) or other areas outside of the dwelling should have this fact disclosed as part of the rental agreement. Compensation in the form of monthly rent reductions or other considerations may be included, or a notice that no compensation is to be provided may be a part of the disclosure.
Security Deposit Holdings Disclosure
Applicable to any rental agreements where the landlord collects a security deposit in Maine.
If a Maine landlord asks for a security deposit, they must provide a written disclosure of how those security deposit funds will be kept while the tenant is renting the property. All security deposits received after October 1, 1979 must be held in an account at a bank or other financial institution.
Per the tenant’s request, this disclosure must include the name of the holding institution, the location of the holding, and the account number where the funds are held. Funds cannot be combined with personal assets.
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. The landlord must obtain a written acknowledgement of the smoking policy from the tenant.
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 Environmental Protection Agency (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 below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Maine law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Landlord’s Name & Address||Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Move-in Checklist||A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
A tenant in Maine can bring forth a lawsuit if the landlord does not comply with the bed bug disclosure. Maine landlords may be fined $250 or for actual damages, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees.
If a landlord fails to provide a radon disclosure to the tenant or falsifies a test or test results, they can be fined up to $250 per violation. Other damages may be sought if the landlord is in breach of the implied warranty of habitability.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.