Maine Tenant Rights Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

As a party to a residential lease, it's important to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. It's smart to read your lease carefully before signing and make sure you understand critical provisions. It's also a good idea to understand how you are impacted by your state's laws and local ordinances regulating residential leases.

Maine Tenants Rights Laws at a Glance

Maine, like all other states, has laws in place that govern the landlord/tenant relationship. If you are a Maine renter, there are some important laws that you should be familiar with. For example, as a tenant, you have the right to live in a safe and habitable environment. If, after you provide adequate notice, your landlord fails to make important repairs in your dwelling unit, Maine gives you the right to "repair and deduct" by paying for the repairs yourself and withholding that amount from your rent payment.

Maine law controls the collection and return of security deposits, capping the amount a landlord may charge and enumerating a timeline for the return of your security deposit at the end of your tenancy. Also, Maine dictates how much a landlord can charge you in late fees, and how much notice a Maine landlord can give before raising your rent.

The below chart provides more details about Maine tenants' rights laws at a glance.

Statutes

Maine Revised Statutes Title 14, Chapter 710

Security Deposits

  • Landlord can't charge more than two months' rent as a security deposit
  • Under written agreements, security deposit must be returned to tenant within 30 days after tenant move-out
  • Under an at-will tenancy, security deposit must be returned within 21 days

Paying Rent

  • Landlord must provide 45 days' notice before raising rent
  • A rent payment is considered late if not made within 15 days of the due date
  • Landlord can't assess a penalty for late payment of rent that exceeds 4% of the amount due for one month

Living Conditions

  • All leases contain an implied warranty that landlord will provide a dwelling unit fit for human habitation
  • Tenant can "repair and deduct" if landlord fails to make critical repairs
  • Unless in case of emergency, landlord must give tenant "reasonable notice" before entering unit
  • Tenant can't unreasonably withhold consent for landlord to enter unit to make repairs

Discrimination

  • It's illegal for landlord to discriminate against tenant on the basis of race, color, sex, physical or mental impairment, religion, ancestry or national origin, welfare status, status as a single parent, or pregnancy

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Tenants at will must provide 30 days' notice before terminating a lease, unless tenant and landlord agree beforehand to a shorter notice period
  • Landlord can evict tenants at will without cause after giving 30 day Notice to Quit
  • Landlord can evict tenants at will for cause after giving 7 day Notice to Quit

Retaliation

  • It's illegal for a Maine landlord to retaliate against a tenant for exercising legal rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related: Maine Tenants' Rights Resources

Get a Free Evaluation of Your Landlord/Tenant Case

Whether you're considering entering a residential lease, or are currently embroiled in a housing conflict, it's important to understand your legal rights as a tenant. If you are feeling frustrated, consider seeking professional help. An experienced landlord/tenant attorney can guide you through the process and help you resolve your conflict. Get matched with an attorney today for your free case evaluation.

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