State law contains specific rights and obligations for tenants and landlords. The following resources provide general information on Maine landlord/tenant laws. For specific advice, you should contact an attorney.
Consumer Law Guide
The Maine Attorney General's Office publishes the Consumer Law Guide, a technical summary of the law with references to the specific statutes. The Guide includes chapters on consumer rights when renting an apartment (Chapter 14), consumer rights when living in a mobile home (chapter 15), and a model lease (Chapter 16). For more information, see www.maine.gov/ag and click on the Consumer Law Guide, or call 1-800-436-2131.
Bed bugs are becoming much more common in Maine. For more information regarding landlord and tenant responsibilities related to bed bugs, see also Pine Tree Legal Assistance's The Rights of Tenants in Maine . Additional information, including a link to the relevant statutory language, is available on the Maine CDC website.
A tenant who will be paying energy costs has the right to get information on the last 12 months of energy use from the energy supplier(s). Before a tenant enters into a contract or pays a deposit to rent or lease a property, the landlord shall provide the energy efficiency disclosure statement, obtain a signature, and keep a copy on file for three years.
Landlords, property management companies, real estate agencies, and home sellers are required by state and federal law to inform potential occupants of the known presence of lead-based paint in pre-1978 housing. Before signing a lease the landlord must disclose known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards and provide available written reports if applicable. The landlord must provide the pamphlet developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), titled "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home." The landlord must also provide a written disclosure statement developed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) titled "MAINE WARNING: LEAD BASED PAINT HAZARDS". Notification and disclosure language when lead paint hazards exist must be included in rental agreements.
Landlords are required to have the air in each building with rental units tested for the presence of radon by March 1, 2014. The testing must be done by a State registered radon tester and must be repeated every 10 years. The landlord must provide written notice about radon and the results of the radon testing to each potential tenant before the tenant signs a lease or pays the deposit to rent and also to existing tenants. The tenant must sign the notice. If radon test results are 4 pCI/l or higher, the landlord must mitigate those levels within six months, or if a local permit is required, six months from the date of the permit, and provide written notice of the results to the tenants.
Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Landlords are required to provide working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at the time a property or unit is rented. Tenants are required to keep the batteries in the detectors charged and to test the detectors. Tenants are prohibited from disabling the smoke detectors. Landlords are required to repair or replace a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector if a tenant provides written notice to the landlord that the detector is not working properly.
Landlords are required to provide written notice to tenants and potential tenants about whether or not smoking is allowed. The notice must state whether smoking is prohibited on the premises, allowed on the premises, or allowed in limited areas. If the landlord allows smoking in limited areas, the notice must identify where smoking is allowed. A landlord may notify a tenant of the smoking policy in a written lease agreement, or provide a separate written notice. The landlord must provide this written notice before a tenant enters into a contract or pays a deposit to rent or lease the property.