Nearly one in three Americans missed their rent or mortgage payment over the summer, and COVID-19-related moratoriums on evictions are about to expire throughout the US. How much notice must a landlord provide before seeking to evict a tenant, and what protections do tenants have from eviction? Learn more about how the eviction process works and what landlords and tenants should be able to expect.
If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Maine (ME) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to Maine state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
In Maine, eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 14, Chapter 709 of the Maine Revised Statutes.
Maine Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Maine state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
30-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Maine, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
7-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if your tenant caused significant damage to the property, or is suspected of sexual assault or domestic violence.
If any of the situations listed in § 6002 (1) (A) through (F) apply to your tenant, use this fast-track eviction notice.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Maine, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to comply before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem.
7-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Maine, landlords must give tenants seven days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Maine Eviction Laws & Requirements
Maine’s legislature has enacted statutes and administrative regulations that govern just about every aspect of the eviction process.
- Eviction Lawsuit: Maine Revised Statutes (M.R.S.) Title 14 Chapter 709
- Late Fee Penalty: A late fee of 4% of the monthly rent amount may be collected 15 days from the date the payment is due, and if explicitly mentioned in the lease agreement. (14 M.R.S.§ 6028)
- Non-Rent Payment Notice: 7 days (14 M.R.S. § 6002 (1)(C))
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 30 days, 7 days for significant damage to the property or tenant is a perpetrator of sexual/domestic violence or any other reason mentioned in 14 M.R.S. § 6002 (1) (A) through (F).
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days (14 M.R.S. § 6002)
What is the Eviction Process in Maine?
Step 1: Send the tenant an eviction notice
If the tenant fails to pay rent for more than 15 days after their rent payment was due, the landlord may send a 7-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent. This notice will let the tenant know that the rent is late, and how much they must pay (by a specified deadline) to stop the eviction process.
Step 2: File an eviction complaint
This complaint can be filed in the circuit court of the county in which the property is located. To begin the forcible entry and detainer process, a landlord must personally serve the tenant with a copy of the summons and complaint.
If three good-faith efforts to serve the defendant are made on three different days, the landlord may then mail the summons and complaints to the tenant’s last known address. See 14 M.R.S. § 6004.
Step 3: Gather evidence and attend the eviction hearing
Even if the tenant doesn’t come to the eviction hearing or respond to the eviction complaint, it’s still the landlord’s responsibility to show three things:
- there was a valid rental agreement or month-to-month lease in place;
- the tenant breached the lease
- the landlord is entitled to immediate possession of the rental unit along with any financial damages.
Evidence for the eviction hearing includes items like a copy of the lease agreement, bank statements or payment records showing the history of rent payments, and photos of the property.
Step 4: Obtain an eviction order
If the landlord proves they’re entitled to repossess the rental property, the trial court will issue a judgment of eviction. This order will give the tenant a deadline for when to vacate the property. If the tenant fails to move out in time, the landlord may seek help from the county sheriff.
Related Maine Court Forms
- State of Maine Pandemic Management Order
- Instructions for Filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) Case
- Complaint for FED
- FED Information Sheet
Eviction Information for Maine Landlords and Tenants
Below are some resources that may be helpful for landlords and tenants facing eviction in Maine.