Tenant Law in Maine

Relations between tenants and landlords in Norway, Maine can sometimes be touchy. The fact is that it's not easy to be a landlord or a tenant, especially 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 obligations. It's essential that the parties to a landlord/tenant relationship know what obligations they have to one another.

Landlord's Rights in Norway, ME

The most basic right that landlords have is the right to be paid the agreed-upon rent by their tenant. Obviously, renting apartments is how landlords make a living, so they are entitled to collect the rent that the tenant agreed to pay.

Landlords also have a right to be free from damage to the rented unit. Tenants are expected not to damage their dwellings, intentionally or negligently. Landlords can deduct the cost of repairs from the tenant's security deposit. In general, tenants are not responsible for damage resulting from ordinary wear and tear.

Tenant's Rights in Norway, ME

Much like landlords have a right to get paid for the service they provide, tenants have a right to get what they pay for: a suitable place to live. In Norway, Maine, all residential rental agreements carry an "implied warranty of habitability." This means that a landlord implicitly guarantees that any residence he or she rents will be fit for human habitation. In general, an unit will be automatically deemed uninhabitable if it lacks running water, electricity, heat, and adequate protection from the elements. There are several more factors that can be considered, as well, but those are some of the basics.

Moreover, tenants are entitled to common areas that are reasonable safe and sanitary. The common areas of an apartment building would include lobbies, laundry rooms, stairwells, hallways, and fire escapes (basically, any part of the building which all of the tenants can access). In Norway, Maine, these areas must be kept reasonably clean and safe.

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. Moreover, 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. However, the landlord can require tenants to remove those modifications and restore the property to its original condition once the tenant moves out.

Tenants are also legally protected from unfair eviction. Before a lease agreement expires, landlords cannot evict tenants unless they breach as significant term of the agreement by not paying rent, causing serious damage to the property, engaging in activities that are a nuisance to the other tenants, or engaging in illegal activity on the property, among other things.

Can a Norway, Maine Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Tenants and landlords always want to avoid getting into any serious disputes - these disputes interfere with the tenant's living arrangement, and the landlord's business. In short, they help nobody. While a good Norway, Maine attorney can certainly help his or her client prevail in such a dispute, they may be more valuable for their ability to help prevent such disputes from escalating in the first place.