A Maine Rental Application helps property management companies and landlords gather information and determine prospective tenants’ ability to meet their obligations. The document allows you to spot tenant issues by investigating an applicant’s rental history, verifying their income and finances, and running background checks.
Below you may find crucial information for the rental application process in Maine. Learn about rental application fees, security deposits, pet deposits, eviction record searches, and additional useful resources.
There is no maximum limit on rental application fees in Maine. Landlords typically charge applicants a reasonable application fee to cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with tenant screening.
For most Maine landlords, security deposits are limited to two months’ rent. However, mobile home parks may charge up to three months’ rent under 10 Maine Rev. Stat. § 9098
Additional Provisions on the handling and return of security deposits are governed by Maine’s Landlord-Tenant laws:
- Holding requirements — Maine landlords must hold deposits in a financial institution and cannot commingle them with the landlord’s other assets. Tenants can request the institution’s name and the account number.
- Providing receipts — Upon a tenant’s request, a Maine landlord must provide receipts for rental payments and security deposits. Properties with fewer than five residential units are exempt if the landlord occupies one of the units.
- Returning deposit funds — Upon lease termination and within 30 days of the end of the agreement, the landlord must return the full security deposit or supply an itemized list of deposit deductions and the remaining balance. In a tenancy-at-will, the deadline is 21 days from termination or surrender of the property —whichever comes later.
If Maine landlords fail to return security deposits or wrongfully retain funds, tenants may be able to recover up to double their damages plus legal fees.
Maine allows landlords to collect a separate pet deposit as long as the amount is reasonable. Service animals are exempt; applicants with a disability cannot be denied to own an assistance pet.
How To Conduct an Eviction Record Search
You can use a third-party service to gather eviction records or access them for free via Maine’s public portal:
- Open Maine’s eCourt Public Portal.
- Select “Smart Search” at the bottom of the page.
- Enter the applicant’s first and last name.
- Click a case number to view available records.
A potential tenant’s rental history, including past evictions, is critical in evaluating a Maine rental application.
Other Landlord Resources
Familiarizing yourself with Maine’s housing regulations and registered sex offenders ordinances simplifies the rental application process:
- Maine Laws on Fair Housing – It is illegal to discriminate against applicants based on national origin, race, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), color, familial status, or disability status. Additionally, landlords may not deny a Maine rental application due to a tenant’s ancestry, receipt of public financial assistance, or order of protection under 19-A Maine Rev. Stat. § 4007.
- Maine Sex Offender Registry – Maine law does not impose residency restrictions on registered sex offenders. However, it does allow municipalities to adopt their ordinances regarding offenders convicted of severe crimes against victims under 14 years old. You can search applicants in the Registry as part of your tenant screening process.
Below is an example of what a Maine rental application form looks like. You may download it for free or use our customized document builder for your real estate needs.