Maine Landlord Tenant Rights

A lease agreement is a big commitment regardless of whether you are a landlord or a tenant. Before you enter into a lease agreement in Maine, take a look at our guide to Maine Landlord Tenant Rights below.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants under Maine law. They owe tenants the duty to address, provide and maintain the following:

  • Dwelling structures
  • Bed bugs
  • Water
  • Heating
  • Mold
  • Electrical wiring and outlets
  • Plumbing

If the landlord fails to address issues with the above, a tenant can either withhold rent or make the repairs themselves and deduct up to $500 of one month’s rent. Landlords are prohibited from engaging in retaliatory conduct.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants also have responsibilities to their landlords. They owe a duty to:

  • Pay the rent in a timely manner
  • Keep fixtures in a clean and sanitary condition
  • Keep the unit in a safe and habitable state
  • Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
  • Perform minor maintenance and small repairs

Security Deposit

State law caps the maximum allowable security deposit at 2 months’ rent. The landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit minus deductions to the tenant or else they may be held liable for up to twice the amount of the original deposit.

Rent and Fees

Statewide, landlords are able to charge any amount for rent. Local jurisdictions, however, can choose to adopt rent control. Landlords can increase the rent in any amount but must give 45 days’ written notice first. Late fees can only be added if they are included in the lease agreement and do not exceed 4%.

Evictions

Landlords can evict tenants on the following grounds:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Violation of lease term
  • Material health and safety violation
  • No lease or the lease has ended
  • Illegal acts

Tenants can legally end their lease early in the following circumstances:

  • The lease has an early termination clause
  • Landlord harassment
  • The unit is uninhabitable
  • Active military duty

Landlords are required to make reasonable efforts to re-rent the premises. If they fail to do so, the tenant can be held liable for the remainder of the lease term.

Lease Termination Notice

If the tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord must give them a 7-day Notice to Pay before proceeding with eviction. If the grounds of termination are a lease violation, tenants should receive a 7-day notice. If a material health or safety violation has occurred, a 7-day notice is required. If the tenant stays in the premises after the lease has ended or there wasn’t a formal lease, the landlord is required to issue a 30-day notice. For illegal acts, landlords should give a 7-day notice before filing for eviction.

Tenants also are required to give notice before terminating their lease. Week-to-week, month-to-month, and annual tenants are required to give the landlord 30 days’ notice.

Relevant State Agencies

Maine Department of Housing and Urban Development

Maine State Housing Authority

City-Specific Links

Portland:

2020 Portland Landlord Tenant Rules

Tenant and Landlord Resources

Rent Control and Rental Housing Rights

Water

Electric

Gas

Lewiston:

Rental Registration Program

Water

Electric

Gas

Bangor:

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

Maine Landlord Tenant Law