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Maine Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

The agreement you make with your landlord affects what rights you'll have. All states regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants to some extent, including limits on security deposits and anti-discrimination laws.

Security Deposits

A security deposit is money you give to your landlord when you move in. Your landlord can use it to cover any unpaid rent or damages. You may not use your security deposit to cover your last month's rent unless your landlord agrees.

According to Maine lease and rental agreement laws, landlords cannot charge you more than two (2) times your monthly rent for a security deposit. If you live in subsidized housing, your security deposit should be much less.

When Does My Landlord Have To Return My Security Deposit?

Generally speaking, your landlord must give back the deposit or send you a letter within 21 days after you move out and return the key. If you have a lease, check to see what it says. If there is nothing in the lease about this, or if the lease gives more than 30 days, then your landlord has 30 days to return the deposit.

Any damages subtracted from the original deposit amount must be itemized and clearly indicated when the deposit is returned.

Discrimination

Landlords may not discriminate against you because of your:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental impairment
  • Religion
  • Ancestry or national origin
  • Receiving Public Assistance
  • Being a single parent, being pregnant or having children

This means that a landlord cannot refuse to rent to you, charge you extra, or evict you for any of these reasons. If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination, you may wish to contact the Maine Human Rights Commission.

The details of Maine lease and rental agreement laws are listed in the box below. See FindLaw's Landlord Tenant Law section for additional articles and state-specific resources.

Code Section Title 14, Chapter 710, et. seq.
Deposits Limit two (2) month's rent; interest on deposit required; any damages subtracted from deposit must be itemized and balance of deposit must be returned within 21 or 30 days of termination.
Discrimination No discrimination on basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, affectionate or sexual orientation, familial status, or sex.
Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent Tenants may withhold rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” if a landlord fails to take care of important repairs, such as a broken heater.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Maine landlord-tenant law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more general information, check out FindLaw’s section on landlord-tenant law which discusses a variety of issues including: the basics of rental agreements, landlord rights, tenant rights, landlord-tenant disputes, eviction, and issues with repairs and maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about Maine's laws relating to leases and agreements, feel free to click on the links provided below.

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Maine Leases and Rental Agreements Laws: Related Resources

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