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Renter's Bill of Rights for Maine

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    Security Deposits

    • It is illegal in Maine for a landlord to charge you more than two months rent as a security deposit. While your landlord does not have to pay you interest on the deposit, she is required to keep it in a bank account separate from her personal funds. If she sells your building, Maine law requires her to either return your security deposit directly to you or turn it over to your new landlord to hold until you end your tenancy. Your security deposit must be returned to you within 21 days after you move out if you had an oral lease. If you had a written lease, the security deposit must be returned in the timeframe specified in the lease, but no later than 30 days after you move out. If there is damage to the apartment, or you owe back rent, your landlord can deduct these costs from your security deposit but must also provide you with an itemized list of deductions.

    Safety and Repairs

    • You have a right to live in a safe, livable home. Your landlord must maintain the home so that your utilities work and it remains structurally sound. If your landlord fails to do this and does not respond to your requests for repairs, you can report him to your local code or health inspector. You may also be able to sue him in small claims court to force him to take action.

    Privacy

    • You have a right to privacy in your rental home. Your landlord must notify you in advance when she plans to enter your home, unless there is an emergency, and she needs to have a good reason for doing so, such as making repairs or performing an inspection. You also have the right to request that your landlord schedule these repairs or inspections at a time that is convenient for you.

    Eviction

    • Landlords in Maine can't evict tenants without a court order. If you have a written lease, it should state the reasons for which you can be evicted and what kind of notice the landlord must give you. If you don't have a written lease, your landlord must give you 30 days notice if he doesn't have a significant reason for the eviction or a seven day notice if your rent is late, you've damaged your rental home, changed your locks but not provided your landlord with a new key or you have harassed other tenants. Even if you are given notice by your landlord, you are still entitled to a court hearing, and only a judge can order your eviction. Your landlord cannot move your property or shut off your utilities until you move. Only a law enforcement officer can physically force you from your home and remove your possessions.

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