Tenant Law in Maine

Relations between tenants and landlords in Berwick, Maine can occasionally be touchy. The fact is that it's not easy to be a landlord or a tenant, particularly because landlords and tenants often don't understand the legal rights and responsibilities that apply to them.

Landlords and tenants have to navigate a web of legal rights and commitments. It's essential that the parties to a landlord/tenant relationship know what obligations they have to one another.

Landlord's Rights in Berwick, ME

First and foremost, landlords have a right to timely payment of rent from their tenants, at the agreed-upon rate. This, of course, imposes on tenants a duty to pay their rent in whole, in a timely manner.

They further have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.

Tenant's Rights in Berwick, ME

The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to present. Landlords in Berwick, Maine are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are various factors that are considered in deciding if an unit is habitable or not, but, generally, an unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).

Furthermore, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In Berwick, Maine, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.

Tenants also have rights, under federal and Maine law, to not be victims of racial, ethnic, or gender discrimination in housing, whether they are renting or buying. Additionally, landlords are not allowed to discriminate against tenants based on physical disabilities. They must also allow physically-disabled tenants to make reasonable modifications to the apartment to make it more accessible. Nonetheless, the landlord can require tenants to remove those modifications and restore the property to its original condition once the tenant moves out.

Lastly, tenants in most states have a right to be free from unfair eviction. Typically, lease agreements last for a set period of time, and both parties are bound by that contract. Landlords cannot arbitrarily evict clients while the lease is still in effect.

Can a Berwick, Maine Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants almost always prefer to prevent conflict. In a perfect world, tenants would pay rent on time, and landlords would always provide the services that they're being paid for. As we know, the world isn't perfect. When situations demonstrate the world's imperfection, a Berwick, Maine real estate attorney can help, whether you're a landlord or a tenant.