Maine Landlord Tenant Law

Maine Landlord Tenant Laws are provided in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 14, Part 7. Chapters 709 and 710 explain the rights and responsibilities of each of the parties to a landlord tenant agreement in the State of Maine. Violation of the statutes could potentially lead to a successful claim against the other party if one of the parties fails to comply with the statutes of Maine Landlord Tenant Law.

This information is not intended to substitute for legal advice. If you have questions regarding Maine Landlord Tenant Law, you should seek the advice of an attorney.

Maine Landlord Tenant Law

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Maine Landlord Tenant Law – Security deposits

Chapter 710-A §6032 specifies that a security deposit required of tenants may not exceed the equivalent to more than the rent for two months. The landlord must return the security deposit in full at the end of the tenancy, provided the tenant does not owe back rent. The amount of rent due and the cost of repairs for any damages caused by the tenant can be retained. However, if any portion of the security deposit is retained, the landlord must provide written notice to the tenant, itemizing the reasons for the withholding of any part of the security deposit. Landlords are not permitted to retain any part of the security deposit for normal wear and tear.

If a landlord fails to return the security deposit to the tenant without legal reason to do so, the tenant can commence legal action against the landlord. If the court rules against the landlord, the landlord is liable for double the amount of the withheld security deposit, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees of the tenant.

Maine Landlord Tenant Forcible entry and detainer

If a landlord files an action under Chapter 709 §6002, the landlord is required to include in the forcible entry and detainer notice to the tenant “language advising the tenant that the tenant has the right to contest the termination in court.” A landlord may commence an action to terminate a tenancy with seven day notice in the event that:

A. The tenant, the tenant’s family or an invitee of the tenant has caused substantial damage to the demised premises that the tenant has not repaired or caused to be repaired before the giving of the notice provided in this subsection;

B. The tenant, the tenant’s family or an invitee of the tenant caused or permitted a nuisance within the premises, has caused or permitted an invitee to cause the dwelling unit to become unfit for human habitation or has violated or permitted a violation of the law regarding the tenancy; or

C. The tenant is 7 days or more in arrears in the payment of rent.

If a landlord alleges that a tenant is in arrears of the rent, the tenant may raise as a defense any alleged violation of the habitability of the premises, provided that the landlord or the landlord’s agent received notice of the alleged violation from the tenant and failed to take corrective action. This is permissable provided the damage or condition was not caused by the tenant or tenant’s guests. You can possibly avoid such allegations by completing the comprehensive Maine Landlord Forms, one of which is the Move In/Move Out Checklist. Both parties will sign the form agreeing to the condition of the premises, which can then be produced in court if necessary.

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Maine Landlord Tenant Law – Miscellaneous

Rent and security deposit receipt – Under Maine Landlord Tenant Laws, landlords are required to give a written receipt for each partial or full payment of rent or security deposit payment, as provided in Chapter 710 §6022 (1).

§6011 – House of ill fame; lease void at landlord’s option provides that if a tenant “of a dwelling house is convicted of keeping it as a house of ill fame,” the landlord has the option to terminate the rental agreement in the same manner as if the tenant is holding over at the expiration of the lease.

Retaliation – Maine Landlord Tenant Law, §6001(3) states that if a landlord files forcible entry and detainer action within six months of a tenant doing any of the following, there is “a rebuttable presumption that the action was commenced in retaliation:”

A. Asserted the tenant’s rights pursuant to section 6021 or section 6030-D

B. Complained as an individual, or if a complaint has been made in that individual’s behalf, in good faith, of conditions affecting that individual’s dwelling unit that may constitute a violation of a building, housing, sanitary or other code, ordinance, regulation or statute…to a body charged with enforcement of that code, ordinance, regulation or statute, or such a body has filed a notice or complaint of such a violation;

C. Complained in writing or made a written request, in good faith, to the landlord or the landlord’s agent to make repairs on the premises

E. Prior to being served with an eviction notice, filed, in good faith, a fair housing complaint for which there is a reasonable basis with the Maine Human Rights Commission or filed, in good faith, a fair housing complaint for which there is a reasonable basis with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development concerning acts affecting that individual’s tenancy.

Maine Tenant Screening Background Checks

A key component of landlord tenant laws is also Maine Tenant Screening Background Checks. We’ve dedicated an entire page to it because of its importance. Visit Maine Tenant Screening Background Checks to screen your tenant.

Maine Landlord Forms

All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and Maine is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s Maine Landlord Forms now.

Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws

Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of Maine? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant laws page.

Reminder: This information is a general explanation and summary of Maine Landlord Tenant Law but is in no way meant to substitute for legal advice, nor does it list all the statutes under the Maine Residential Landlord Tenant Act.