A Maine lease agreement is a legal document signed by the landlord and the tenant for the purpose of leasing a commercial or residential property.
Parties are free to include any clause in their Maine lease agreement that is not considered prohibited or illegal by federal and state laws and regulations.
The lease agreement usually covers matters like tenancy duration, rent amount, the due date for the rent payment, and the rights and duties of contractual parties.
Before even starting the lease agreement drafting procedure, the landlord would usually require the tenant to fill out an application form and submit their credit report and references from previous landlords. Only after the review has been passed successfully will the landlord invite the tenant to start negotiations and draft the lease agreement.
Maine Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
When leasing a property in Maine, you need to ensure that your lease agreement includes the mandatory disclosures listed below. These disclosures serve as a means of protecting the rights and interests of all parties involved in the rental property transaction.
Lead-based paint disclosure. If you are renting a property that was built before 1978, federal law requires you to include this disclosure in your lease agreement. It must contain information about any lead-based paint hazards at the property.
Bedbugs disclosure. The landlord must disclose to the prospective tenant if the leased unit is treated for or infected by bedbugs. (§ 6021-A(2)(D))
Energy efficiency disclosure. The landlord must provide information about the energy efficiency of the property and include it in the lease agreement if the tenant is responsible for paying for the electricity. (§ 6030-C(1))
Radon disclosure. Every leased property in Maine must be tested for the presence of radon once every 10 years. The results of such testing have to be disclosed to the tenant. (§ 6030-D(2))
Smoking policy disclosure. This disclosure shall indicate if smoking is allowed at the leased property or provide information about the designated smoking areas. (§ 6030-E(2))
Rental housing rights. This disclosure is mandatory only for the property located in Portland, Maine. It’s in the form of a pamphlet, and it contains all the information about the tenant’s rights according to local laws and regulations.
Security deposit disclosure. If a security deposit is required, the landlord must disclose the institution’s name and the account number of the place where the security deposit is kept. (§ 6038)
Maine Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
There are a few optional disclosures you might want to include in your lease agreement in order to provide extra stability for both the landlord and the tenant in their contractual relationship.
Asbestos disclosure. This disclosure should be included in the lease agreement for any property built before 1981 or where the landlord knows about the presence of asbestos in the property’s construction. It contains guidelines for the tenant on using the property without disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Mold disclosure. The landlord should include this disclosure in case there is any mold at the property or if the mold was previously present at the property.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
The tenant can file a civil lawsuit for any damages caused by the safety and health risks that were not disclosed in the lease agreement by the landlord.
As provided by the laws of the state of Maine, the landlord must pay for the actual damages or $250, whichever is greater, plus attorney’s fees for a bedbug disclosure violation.
In cases of radon disclosure violations, the landlord can be fined up to $250 per violation.
The landlord that fails to include the lead-based paint disclosure in the lease agreement can be fined up to $19,507, according to federal law.
Maine Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
The landlord cannot charge more than two months' rent as a security deposit. (§ 6032)
Security Deposit Return
In the case of a fixed-term lease, the landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days of the lease termination. (§ 6033)
If it’s a month-to-month lease, the landlord must return the security deposit no later than 21 days after the lease is over.
When is Rent Due in Maine? (Grace Period)
The rent is due on the day provided in the lease agreement. However, the state of Maine provides a 15-day grace period from the moment of the rent due date. (§ 6028(1))
This means that the landlord cannot charge the late fees or start the eviction process until the grace period is over.
Even after the grace period is over, the landlord will have to send a 7-day notice to pay or quit before initiating the eviction process.
Maine Rent Late Fees
The landlord cannot charge more than 4% of the monthly rent as a late fee. (§ 6028(2))
Moreover, the late fee cannot be charged unless it is previously disclosed upon the lease agreement signature. (§ 6028(3))
Maine NSF Checks
According to the state of Maine's laws, if the tenant uses a non-sufficient funds check to pay for the rent, the landlord has the right to compensation that includes the following:
Maine Landlord’s Right to Enter
If there is an emergency, the landlord can access the property without providing prior notice.
However, in any other case, the landlord must provide at least a 24-hour notice before entering the leased unit. (§ 6025(2))
If the landlord violates any of the rules for accessing the leased property, the tenant is eligible for compensation of damages of $100, whichever is greater.
Maine Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, the Maine lease agreement is a legally binding document.
The lease agreement can be in writing or verbally agreed upon. Although both kinds of lease agreements are valid, the written lease agreement is a more solid way of proving the content of the landlord and tenant's agreement.
For the written lease agreement to be valid, it must be signed by both contractual parties.
The lease agreement for a property in Maine should have the following outline:
Names and addresses of contractual parties
Details about the leased property
Term of the lease and maximum occupancy
Rent amount and the due date
Disclosure of any late or non-refundable fees
Mandatory disclosures provided by federal and state law
Rights and duties of the landlord and the tenant
Date and place of the lease agreement signature
Signatures of the landlord and the tenant
Depending on the duration and type of your lease, you can download one of the many lease agreements available on our website.
You can choose between:
Commercial and residential lease agreement
Long-term and month-to-month lease agreement
Sublease and room rental lease agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After drafting the Maine lease agreement, inspect the leased property and sign the move-in form.
The move-in form will have a description of all the items and appliances at the property and a description of the overall condition of the leased property. If no additional repairs or cleaning are needed, the tenant can pay the first month’s rent and deposit and move into the leased unit.