Grab our free sample or generate an official Maine lease agreement for residential use. Read further about required disclosures in Maine, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Maine landlord tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.
Lease Agreement Sample
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Residential lease agreements in Maine should include the following universally required Maine-specific disclosures: radon gas hazards, smoke-free policies, and bedbug infestations. Additionally, refer to municipality codes to ensure lease agreements comply with any other special requirements.
Quick Facts for Maine
Max Security Deposit
2 month’s rent
Who Needs to Sign
Landlord, all tenants, and all co-signers or guarantors
Lead-based paint, radon gas, bedbugs, & smoking policies
Legal Early Termination
Beyond written mutual consent, a tenant can break their lease without penalty in Maine if they’re starting active military duty, the unit is considered uninhabitable, or the landlord violates their privacy rights. In these cases, the landlord must make a reasonable effort to re-rent the unit. A landlord may break a lease in Louisiana for a number of reasons, including not paying rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. Before breaking a lease, the landlord must first serve the tenant written notice.
Addendums to Consider
Pets, Utility Allocation, Mold, & Criminal Activity
What is a Residential Lease Agreement?
A residential lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant who intends to rent a specific property. It is an all-inclusive document created to outline the expectations of both parties and address any special circumstances that may arise during the length of the agreement. It also clearly states the potential consequences for not adhering to the stated terms. For maximum legal credibility, it is critical that this document be produced in writing, reviewed and signed by both parties prior to occupancy.
Before reviewing and signing a residential lease agreement, a landlord will likely ask a potential tenant to complete an application form to begin a background and credit check. If these assessments are met with approval, then the process of renting the property may continue. Applicable rent, security deposits and fees will be paid by the tenant, and the residential lease will be signed by both parties. The tenant may take occupancy on the date indicated in the residential lease.
So, again, just so we’re on the same page:
A residential lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant for the use of property for a fixed period in exchange for regular payments. By contrast, a rental agreement has no fixed period, and as a result, is usually month-to-month (read more)
Let’s now go through what you need to include in a residential lease agreement template in Massachusetts. This includes:
- Basic/universal elements – these are applicable to ALL states, not just Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts-specific required disclosures – there are 3, plus 1 conditional federal disclosure.
- Applicable Law – other legalities you should be aware of.
Basic Elements of a Maine Residential Lease Agreement
Introduction of the Lease and the Parties
When a rental agreement is going into effect, the first part of the document that you will need to see is the introduction of the lease. This will include the date that the lease begins as well as the end date of the initial term. This will need to be at the top of the document.
The next piece of information that should be addressed is the names of the individuals that are entering into the arrangement. All of the tenants will need to provide their full legal name, which will include the first and last name as well as the middle initial. Some documents may request the full middle names of the tenants. The landlord and the management company that is used to represent the landlord will also need to be stated by name in the document. Their phone numbers can also be listed in this area of the agreement so that they can be easily reached when it is required.
This section of the document will need to include the address of the unit that is going to be rented to the tenant. Make sure that the full address is written down in this section, which should include any unit number or floor that needs to be written in the mailing address. If there are any identifying aspects to the property, they can be listed here. The address of the management company should also be included in this section as well so that the tenant will know where they are to drop off their rent.
Terms of the Lease and Occupancy Limitations
The next section of the document should be used to clarify the terms of the lease so that both parties can review them and confirm that they agree with them. Specify whether the unit is a condo, an apartment, a single-family home, or another type of unit. Make sure that the number of bedrooms that the unit has is included in this section of the lease agreement as well as the bathrooms. Anything else that the tenant will have use of like an outdoor pool, a storage space, or furniture that is being left inside of the apartment should be taken not of and included in the document.
After all of the terms have been stated, the amount of rent that the tenant is going to be required to pay each month is going to need to be said, as well as the amount that they are going to need to include for the security deposit. If the rent due date is not the first of the month, then it needs to be clearly stated in this section so that the tenant knows when it is expected so that they can pay it on time. Also, include a series of boxes that can be checked off to indicate whether the agreement is for the term of a year, two years, or more. Also, make sure to include the renewal process for the lease so that the tenant knows what is expected of them if they choose to stay on the property.
In the state of Maine, some landlords may have a limitation on the number of people that can stay in a unit based on the number of bedrooms that it has. Guests typically do not count when the occupation limitations are set in place, but if there are any for the tenant to be aware of, make sure that they are clearly listed. There may also be rules about how long guests are permitted to stay in the unit, which will need to be listed as well if they exist.
Rent and Utilities
The next section should clearly list the amount of rent that is due each month as well as the total that is due each year. In addition to the amount of rent that is due each month, make sure that any late fee that the tenant is responsible for covering if they are late paying the rent. If the tenant seems to pay late consistently, the landlord has the option of asking that the tenant pays the rent with either a bank check or a money order to make sure that it is covered. If a personal check is not covered by the bank, an additional fee may be requested by the landlord.
Insofar as utilities are concerned, they are an additional expense that the tenant will need to cover unless the landlord has taken it upon themselves to cover the cost of one of the bills. If this is the case, the bill that the landlord is going to cover will need to be listed in the document. Also, make sure to include a list of viable companies that will cover the other utilities that the tenant may need. This will help them get an idea of their options in the area as well as getting their utilities started and put into their name when they move into the unit.
This is a lease (the “Lease”) […] between (Name of owner of the property) (“Landlord”) and (Name of person(s) to whom the property is leased) (“Tenant”), made this day of (Date).
TERM. The lease will be for a term of (Number of months) beginning on (Start date) and ending on (End date).
PREMISES. The premises is a (Type of dwelling i.e. house, apartment, etc.) located at (Address of rental property). The following features are included on the property (List of amenities).
RENT & UTILITIES. Tenants will pay a monthly rent of (Rent amount) on the (Day) of each month. Tenants are responsible for utilities including (List of utilities).
In addition, there are some added expenses that may need to be taken into account, but they will only apply to certain properties. For example, parking may be ample in some areas, but in others, it may be harder to come by. To make sure that a tenant has a parking space when they come home, spots may need to be assigned to the tenant. When a landlord does this, they will sometimes charge a small parking fee per month, especially if the space is in a garage. If there are any parking rules or regulations that the tenant will need to follow, make sure that they are listed in this section of the document.
Security Deposits and Fees
When a new tenant first moves into a unit, one of the expenses that they will need to consider is the amount that is going to be requested that they pay. This amount will vary a bit from state to state. However, according to Maine statute § 6032, the maximum amount that a landlord can charge for a security deposit is the amount of two month’s rent. This deposit will be held by the landlord to be used if there are any issues that need to be addressed when the tenant vacates the property. This amount can take care of any damage that needs to be repaired.
If there is no damage to the space, just typical wear and tear from living in the space, then the security deposit will need to be returned to the tenant in a timely fashion. According to statute § 6033, this amount must be returned to the tenant within 30 days of them vacating the property. With a month-to-month tenancy, the security deposit must be refunded within 21 days. If the money needs to be used when the tenant moves out, an itemized list of what it is required for will need to be sent to the tenant so that they are aware that the money is being used and for what reason.
Maintenance, Alterations, and Repairs
Maintenance and repairs are something that a new tenant is going to need over the time that they are living in the unit. Some landlords would prefer to do repairs to the unit themselves, but others will allow the tenant to take the initiative with the repairs that are needed and refund the money that they use to make the repairs be taking it off of the rent. This can be a great option for some tenants because it allows them to show that they can be handy around the house. If there is a process that the tenant needs to follow when repairs or maintenance needs to be taken care of, make sure the process is listed here so that they can get the work done quickly.
Alterations are something that almost every tenant is going to be concerned about at some point. The first alteration that many tenants wonder about is the locks. If there is only a single lock on the door, they may want to add another one to make them feel more secure. That being said, if there are any rules about the tenants changing the locks or adding a new one, make sure they are listed in this section of the document. Most landlords will not have an issue with the locks being added as long as they get a copy of the key to the new lock.
Other alterations that the tenant may ask about include changing the light fixtures in the unit, especially if they are not modern looking. This can make it brighter in the unit and add some style to the look of the place. The appliances are another consideration to make as well. When the appliances get older, they tend to slow down, especially when they are compared to more modern ones. When this happens, the tenant is likely to ask the landlord to replace the appliances that need to be updated. Some tenants may prefer appliances that are designed to save energy, and having them installed can be a major consideration for the landlord, especially f they pay the electric for the unit.
Some tenants will ask about painting the walls in the unit. If there are any restrictions that are in place that will prevent the tenant from painting the walls when they want, they need to be listed here. Some landlords will allow the tenant to paint the walls, but they must remain white. Others will prefer that the tenant does not pain the walls at all, so it will be an allowance that is offered to tenants every two years or so.
Access to the Property
Any time that there is a rental agreement between the owner of the property and another party, they will need to respect the privacy of the tenant. This means that the landlord will not be permitted to just drop by to do an inspection or repairs; they must make an appointment with the tenant or at least provide them with a notice. Of course, at some point, the landlord may need access to the property, so they will need to make the tenant aware of their intent.
According to statute § 6025, in the state of Maine, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 24-hour notice before they can enter the unit. The only time that this notice is not required is when there is an emergency that needs the landlord’s attention right away.
When a tenant has a pet, being able to bring the pet with them when they move in may make the difference as to whether they take the unit or not. Some landlords will permit both cats and dogs to live on the premises; however, there are some that will not allow pets on their property at all. If there are any rules that the tenant will need to know about when they move in, make sure that they are listed in this section of the lease agreement.
Some landlords may have rules that pertain to having certain breeds of dogs on the property or animals that are over a certain size. This is designed to make sure that all of the tenants feel safe with the animals that they will see when they are walking on the property.
If animals are allowed on the premise, make sure that any type of pet fee that the tenant will need to pay for having the pets in the unit is covered in the rental agreement as well. This fee can be a monthly fee that is added for each pet, so it must be mentioned in case the fee makes it less possible for the tenant to pay the rent on time.
Check out our sample of a pet addendum below.
This Addendum is made on [ DATE ] between [ LANDLORD’S NAME ] (Landlord) and [ TENANT’S NAME ] (Tenant), and is understood to modify the Residential Lease for [ PROPERTY ADDRESS ] originally dated [ DATE ].
The landlord grants permission to the tenant to keep the domesticated pet(s) on the premises during the term of the lease agreement (INCLUDE LEASE START AND END DATE). The landlord may revoke permission at any time if the tenant fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions in the lease or following addendums.
2. SERVICE ANIMALS
Service, Guide, Signal, or Support animals are not “Pets” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as long as the animal is being used by the tenant to support a disability or handicap, or if the tenant is training the animal(s).
If the tenant’s pet actually a Certified Service Animal or in training to be a Certified Service Animal? : _______ Yes _______ No
3. ANIMAL PROFILE
Type of Animal(s): Dog, Cat, Bird, Rabbit, Pig, Reptile, Fish (circle all that apply)
Name of Animal(s): ________________________
Weight of Animal(s): ______________________ (lbs.)
Breed of Animals(s): ______________________
Age of Animal(s): ________________________
Spayed or Neutered?: __________ Yes _______ No
Current on Vaccinations?: _______ Yes _______ No
Valid Animal Licenses?: _________ Yes _______ No
Legal Restrictions and Rules
One of the concerns that many landlords will take into consideration, especially when they have a property that has a lot of tenants, is the amount of noise that individual tenants make. This can be disruptive to the other tenants, so to prevent loud noises from causing a disruption, there may be a quiet time in place late at night.
Depending on where the property is located, the landlord may have a smoking policy that needs to be followed on the property. This policy will need to state whether smoking is allowed, whether it is only permitted in certain areas, or whether it is not to be done on the property at all. Any rules regarding smoking on the property will need to be listed in this section.
Also, since Maine in a northern state that tends to get a lot of snow, any snow policies that the tenant will need to be aware of will need to be included in the document. This can mean moving the vehicle so that the parking area can be plowed or cleaning a sidewalk that is in front of the unit.
Required Landlord Disclosures in Maine
Dangers of Radon Gas
In the state of Maine, there is a lead-based paint disclosure that must be provided to all tenants. This will let them know of the dangers of this type of paint for buildings that were built before 1978. This substance can be hazardous, especially to young children and pregnant women, so make sure to include documentation that can help make the tenant aware.
According to statute § 6030-D, all landlords in the state of Maine must provide a radon disclosure form to any new tenant. It requires the landlord to inspect the property for the existence of radon gas every 10 years. This form will let the tenant know when the last inspection occurred, and when to expect the next one to happen.
By law, all rental units must be tested for radon in the air every 10 years. Only a registered radon tester may conduct the test. The Maine CDC has information about the law and has also created a sample disclosure form:
Maine has a special disclosure law that requires landlords to tell tenants, in writing, where smoking is allowed, if anywhere, on the property. Smoke-free policies are not considered discriminatory and may be enforced by landlords. Here is a sample disclosure to include in your Maine residential lease agreement:
NO SMOKING RULE. No Tenant shall smoke, nor permit anyone to smoke, in the Tenant’s apartment. Smoking shall be prohibited throughout the entire apartment complex, including but not limited to, hallways, stairways, foyers, common rooms and facilities, decks, patios, exterior landings, front steps, entrance ways, roof tops, fire escapes, basements, storage areas, parking areas, driveways, walkways, lawns, gardens, adjoining grounds, and building facilities.
DESIGNATED SMOKING AREA. The foregoing rule notwithstanding, the Landlord may designate an area for smoking, provided the designated area is located outside of, and away from, any building or other location where secondhand smoke might drift back into the building. Tenant acknowledges that the designated smoking area may be relocated from time to time or eliminated entirely at any time during the lease term
According to Maine statute § 6021-A, the landlord is responsible for telling the tenant if there are any bedbugs on the property. The landlord must also tell the tenant in writing if the unit or any adjacent rental units are infested with bedbugs. The tenant must also confirm that the properties that they have lived in during the past 12 months have been bedbug-free.
Landlords in Maine are also required to disclose the status of a bedbug infestation in the rental property. Maine’s bedbug infestation law also requires tenants to notify property owners of a bedbug infestation, and requires landlords to use a professional pest control agent to identify and remedy an infestation. Here’s how a bedbug addendum should look
BEDBUG INFESTATION HISTORY
(Only checked boxes apply)
There is no history of any bedbug infestation within the past year in the building or in any apartment.
During the past year the building had a bedbug infestation history that has been the subject of eradication measures. The location of the infestation was on the _______________ floor(s).
During the past year the building had a bedbug infestation history on the _____________ floor(s) and it has not been the subject of eradication measures.
During the past year the apartment had a bedbug infestation history and eradication measures were employed.
During the past year the apartment had a bedbug infestation history and eradication measures were not employed.
Other: (Explanation of infestation history & control measures)
As with any type of legal document that is written up between two parties, this one will need to be completed with a signature section. This is where the parties that are involved in the agreement will need to print their full legal name that was used at the beginning of the agreement. Under the printed name, each party will need to sign and date the unit to make sure that all of the parties agree to the terms.
If the tenant does not have sufficient credit, the landlord may request a guarantor for the rental agreement. If this is the case, their name and information will be requested here as well. In addition, they will need to sign the document to show that they give their permission to be contacted when the landlord has an issue with the tenant.
Security Deposits in Maine
In the state of Maine, the maximum amount that a landlord can charge for a security deposit is two months’ rent. According to the Me. Rev. Stat. Ann §6037 (2), this state law does not apply to a rental unit that has five or fewer. This money can be used to recoup the damages that were done to the property when the tenant vacates. The landlord must return the security deposit if there is no damage within 30 days of the vacancy. If only a partial refund is sent, then an itemized list of repairs that were needed must be sent as well. If the full or partial payment is not returned in time, the landlord will not be able to keep any of the security deposit for repairs.
Breaking a Lease in Maine
When a tenant needs to break a fixed-term lease in the state of Maine, they are typically going to be responsible for paying the rent that they agreed to in the original contract. This penalty of paying for all of the missed rent can be avoided if a tenant is starting active duty in the military. Another reason that a tenant can break the lease when the landlord has not kept the rental up to par when it comes to the safety and the health of the tenants. If the landlord has violated the privacy of the tenant in any way, then the lease can be broken as well.
Eviction Process in Maine
For an eviction to happen in the state of Maine, the landlord will need to have a legitimate legal reason for not wanting the tenant in the unit anymore. Most landlords will start the eviction process when the rent has not been paid or the tenant has broken the terms of the lease in another way. This landlord will then send out a 7-day notice to quit that will describe the issue with the tenant and provide them with some time to pay the rent that is owed, adjust their non-compliant behavior, or vacate the premises. If action is not taken by the end of the seven days, the landlord can take the matter to court to begin the eviction process.