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What Is a Maine Lease Agreement?

A Maine lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the landlord or property management company and the tenant(s) interested in renting a specific piece of property. Once executed by the parties, the tenant may then move in. A Maine lease agreement may be used for either residential or commercial property.

Most Commonly Used Maine Lease Agreements

The most commonly used Maine rental agreements include a commercial lease agreement, a standard residential lease agreement, a lease to own agreement, a month-to-month lease agreement, a sublease agreement, and a roommate agreement.

Although the most commonly used Maine lease agreements use the same provisions, it is important to note that many have their own differences. For example:

  • A roommate agreement includes all of the same provisions as a standard residential lease agreement. It also includes an explanation of which areas are for the sole use of the tenant and which areas are considered common areas that may be used by all occupants.
  • A standard residential lease agreement is generally for one year. When it ends, it may switch to a month-to-month lease agreement or it may renew for another year. However, a yearly lease agreement may be similar to a month-to-month lease agreement because it includes a requirement of a 30-day written notice to move out if either party does not plan to renew the lease agreement when it ends.

How to Write a Maine Lease Agreement

Maine lease agreements must comply with Maine’s landlord-tenant laws. If they don’t, they cannot be legally enforced. Additionally, there are other laws that must be followed. Some of those will be briefly mentioned under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits.

Since a lease agreement is a legally binding contract, you should read it to make sure that you understand what it says before you sign it. You also have the right to have it reviewed by a lawyer.

A Maine lease agreement should include the following information:

  • Names of the Parties - This section has the landlord's full name or the property management company's legal business name and the legal name of the tenant(s).
  • Property Address - This section provides the full physical address of the rental property. It should include the city, zip code, and, if applicable, the lot or unit number.
  • Term Information - This section provides the type of lease agreement the parties agree to enter into as part of the contract. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed-term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will hold possession of the space for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that the lease will end.
  • Rental Amount - This section includes the date that the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
  • Late Fee - This is the fee that is due if the rent is not paid by a certain date.
  • Security Deposit - This section provides the amount of money that must be paid before the tenant can take control of the property. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
  • Initial Payment - This section provides the total amount of money that the tenant must pay to move into the property. This should include the amount of the first month's rent, the security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
  • Occupants - The full name of each tenant must be listed even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease for some reason. This part of a Maine residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
  • Utilities - This section explains which utilities or services a tenant does not pay.
  • Parking - This section informs the tenant if they will receive a parking space. If the parking space is designated, the spot should be listed in this section.
  • Furnishings - This section tells the tenant what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section.
  • Notices - This section lists the names of the landlord or their agent, such as the property manager, and tenant along with their full mailing address. This information is used if the parties need to send out a notice to the other party for some reason.
  • Eviction - This section explains to the tenant how eviction proceedings would be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
  • Additional Terms - This section lists any other terms that the parties agreed to that haven't been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
  • Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.

Which Disclosures Belong in a Maine Lease Agreement?

There are several disclosures that must be made in a Maine lease agreement. These disclosures are required by state law:

  • Bedbugs. Under state law, if the residential unit had bed bugs or if it is next to a unit that was treated or currently has bed bugs, this must be disclosed to the tenant.
  • Utilities for common areas. Under state law, the landlord may not bill the tenant for any utility or service that’s part of a common area unless both parties agree.
  • Energy efficiency. An energy efficiency disclosure must be completed by the landlord. It must be signed by the tenant.
  • Radon check. As of 2012, a landlord is required by law to check for radon every 10 years. A radon disclosure form must be completed and provided to the tenant.
  • Disclosure of location of security deposit. The landlord is required by law to provide the bank name and account number where the security deposit is deposited.
  • Smoking policy. The landlord is required to disclose whether smoking is allowed anywhere on the property, only in certain areas, or if there is a no smoking policy.
  • Access to property. Under state law, the landlord must provide the tenant with at least 24-hour notice before entering the property for non-emergency purposes.

Federal law requires that landlords renting out a residential property constructed in or before 1978 or before must provide a lead paint disclosure.

What You Need to Know About Maine Lease Agreement Deposits

A landlord cannot request more than two months of rent for a security deposit. The landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days for a fixed lease and 21 days for a month-to-month lease.

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Maine Lease Agreement

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