The Maine eviction notice is a letter a landlord uses to inform the tenant that they must leave the property within a certain deadline. When drafting the eviction notice, the landlord must also provide the reasons for the eviction and, when possible, give the tenant the option to cure the violation they’ve committed and stop the eviction process.
If the tenant doesn't leave the property or cures the violation after a provided deadline, the landlord can initiate the eviction procedure before the court by filing an eviction lawsuit.
Types of Eviction Notices in Maine
The landlord should use a different type of eviction notice depending on the lease type and reasons for the eviction:
Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
If the tenant fails to pay the rent after the due date and after a 15-day grace period provided by law, the landlord can issue an eviction notice requiring them to pay the due rent or leave the property within 7 days. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
Notice for Non-compliance
The landlord can issue this notice if the tenant violates some of the clauses in the lease agreement or the Maine landlord-tenant law. The landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days to leave the property. However, they are not obliged to give the tenant an option to cure the violation and stop the eviction.
Notice for Terminating the Month-to-Month Tenancy
If the landlord wants to terminate the holdover tenancy or the periodic tenancy (e.g., week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.), they must issue an eviction notice. For a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days to leave the property. The landlord, however, doesn’t have to provide any reasons for the eviction.
Eviction Laws and Requirements in Maine
Laws & Requirements
Rent grace period. 15 days. (Title 14, § 6028)
Non-payment of rent. 7 days. (§ 6002(1)(C))
Lease agreement non-compliance. 7 days. (§ 6002(1)(B))
Illegal activity. 7 days. (§ 6002(1)(D, E))
Substantial damage to premises. 7 days. (§ 6002(1)(A))
Periodic lease termination. 30 days for a month-to-month lease. (§ 6002)
Eviction process. Title 14, Chapter 709
When Is Rent Late in Maine?
The rent in Maine is late if the payment is not made within 15 days after the due date. A due date is usually determined in the lease agreement. If nothing is set in the lease agreement, the rent is considered due on the first day of each pay period (the first day of the week or the first day of the month).
In practice, if the rent is due on the 1st day of the month, the landlord can send an eviction notice on the 16th day of the month.
Grounds for Eviction in Maine
The landlord in Maine can initiate the eviction for the following reasons:
Grounds for Eviction
If the tenant fails to pay the rent
When the tenant violates the lease agreement or the Maine landlord-tenant law
In case the tenant commits a certain illegal activity at the property
If the tenant causes substantial damage to the property
In case the landlord wants to terminate the holdover tenancy or periodic (e.g., week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.) tenancy
Eviction Process in Maine
The eviction process in Maine starts when the landlord issues the eviction notice to the tenant and can last between 4 and 8 weeks.
#1. Write a Notice
If there is a reason for the eviction, the landlord will first issue an eviction notice to the tenant, notifying them about the reasons for the eviction and giving them a deadline by which they must vacate the property.
If the reason is rent non-payment, the landlord must give them the option to stop the eviction by paying the rent. For other types of violations, the landlord is not obliged to give the tenant an option to cure the violation.
#2. File the Complaint
If the tenant doesn’t comply with the instructions provided in the eviction notice, the landlord can then turn to the court and file an eviction lawsuit. The landlord does so by submitting the Complaint and Summons Form to the appropriate court’s office. The landlord will also be obliged to pay the filing fee.
#3. Serve the Tenant
The sheriff serves the complaint and summons the tenant. This way, the tenant will be informed about the legal proceedings against them and the hearing date. The summons must be served on the tenant at least 7 days before the hearing date. The tenant is not required to file a written answer with the court, and they can present all of their arguments at the hearing.
#4. Wait for Court’s Judgment
The court will hold the hearing, and both parties will present their arguments. If one of the parties fails to appear before the court, the court will make a decision in favor of the other party.
If the court makes a decision in the landlord’s favor, they will later issue a Writ of Possession. This document serves as a final warning to the tenant to leave the property. It also authorizes law enforcement to forcefully remove the tenant from the property.
Other Eviction-Related Forms in Maine
Other Eviction-Related Forms
State Instructions. This form provides instructions on how to file an eviction lawsuit in Maine.
Complaint for Forcible Entry and Detainer. If the tenant doesn’t leave the property after they’ve received the eviction notice, the landlord can use this form to file an eviction lawsuit.
Answer Form. The tenant can use this form to provide the court with their arguments against the landlord's claims.
Request for Issuance of Writ of Possession. If the court rules in the landlord’s favor, they can request from the court the issuance of a Writ of Possession, which authorizes the sheriff to remove the tenant from the property.
Notice of Appeal. The tenant can use this form to appeal the court's judgment.
Eviction Information for Landlords in Maine
The landlord must follow the eviction procedure provided by Maine landlord-tenant law. They cannot use any of the self-help methods to evict the tenant. The self-help methods include:
Eviction Information for Landlords
Shutting off the utilities at the leased unit
Changing the locks at the leased unit
Removing the tenant's belongings from the leased unit
Forcefully removing the tenant from the leased unit without the Writ of Possession
Eviction Information for Tenants in Maine
The tenant can use the following arguments to fight the eviction in Maine. They can claim that:
Eviction Information for Tenants
The landlord didn’t provide them with the eviction notice before filing an eviction lawsuit.
The eviction notice didn’t provide the reason for the eviction.
The landlord didn’t provide an adequate deadline for the tenant to leave the property.
The eviction is initiated as a retaliatory or discriminatory measure against them.
The tenant used some of the self-help methods to evict them.
How to Write an Eviction Notice in Maine
Maine Eviction Notice Checklist
Maine Eviction Notice FAQ
You can file an eviction notice when the tenant fails to pay the rent, violates the lease agreement or the landlord-tenant law, causes substantial damage to the property, or if you want to terminate the month-to-month tenancy.
The eviction notice must be issued to the tenant before any further eviction-related action can be taken. When filing an eviction lawsuit, the landlord must provide a copy of the eviction notice and proof of service to the tenant. Otherwise, the court will dismiss the landlord’s lawsuit.
The eviction process in Maine can last between 4 and 8 weeks. However, the following factors can make this process even longer:
Type of the lease
Reason for the eviction
Tenant’s actions in the eviction process (objecting to the landlord’s claims, filing an appeal to the court’s judgment, etc.)
No, the shortest period the landlord can give the tenant to leave the property, for most eviction reasons, is at least 7 days.