Maine Landlord and Tenant Duties

§ 6021. Implied warranty and covenant of habitability

2.  Implied warranty of fitness for human habitation. In any written or oral agreement for rental of a dwelling unit, the landlord shall be deemed to covenant and warrant that the dwelling unit is fit for human habitation.

5.  Waiver. A written agreement whereby the tenant accepts specified conditions which may violate the warranty of fitness for human habitation in return for a stated reduction in rent or other specified fair consideration shall be binding on the tenant and the landlord.

6.  Heating requirements. It is a breach of the implied warranty of fitness for human habitation when the landlord is obligated by agreement or lease to provide heat for a dwelling unit and:

A. The landlord maintains an indoor temperature which is so low as to be injurious to the health of occupants not suffering from abnormal medical conditions;

B. The dwelling unit's heating facilities are not capable of maintaining a minimum temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit at a distance of 3 feet from the exterior walls, 5 feet above floor level at an outside temperature of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit; or

C. The heating facilities are not operated so as to protect the building equipment and systems from freezing.

Municipalities of this State are empowered to adopt or retain more stringent standards by ordinances, laws or regulations provided in this section. Any less restrictive municipal ordinance, law or regulation establishing standards are invalid and of no force and suspended by this section.

§ 6026. Dangerous conditions requiring minor repairs

1.       Prohibition of dangerous conditions. No landlord leasing premises for human habitation may maintain or permit to exist on those premises any condition which endangers or materially impairs the health or safety of the tenants.

9.  Lack of Heat. If the landlord fails to comply with the provisions of Title 14, section 6021, subsection 6, then the purchase of heating fuel by the tenant shall be deemed to be a “cost of compliance” within the meaning of subsection 2. For tenants on general assistance, municipalities shall have the rights of tenants under this subsection.

§ 6030. Unfair rental contracts

1.  Illegal waiver of rights. It is an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of Title 5, section 207 for a landlord to require a tenant to enter into a rental agreement for a dwelling unit, as defined in section 6021, in which the tenant agrees to a lease or rule provision that has the effect of waiving a tenant right established in chapter 709, [FN1] this chapter and chapter 710-A. [FN2] This subsection does not apply when the law specifically allows the tenant to waive a statutory right during negotiations with the landlord.

2.  Unenforceable provisions. The following rental agreement or rule provisions for a dwelling unit, as defined in section 6021, are specifically declared to be unenforceable and in violation of Title 5, section 207:

A. Any provision that absolves the landlord from liability for the negligence of the landlord or the landlord's agent;

B. Any provision that requires the tenant to pay the landlord's legal fees in enforcing the rental agreement;

C. Any provision that requires the tenant to give a lien upon the tenant's property for the amount of any rent or other sums due the landlord; and

D. Any provision that requires the tenant to acknowledge that the provisions of the rental agreement, including tenant rules, are fair and reasonable.

§ 6030-B. Environmental lead hazards

1.  Environmental lead hazard disclosure. A landlord or other lessor of residential property shall provide to potential tenants and lessees a residential real property disclosure statement that includes, but is not limited to, information about the presence or prior removal of lead-based paint in accordance with Title 22, section 1328.

2.  Application. The landlord or lessor shall provide the residential real property disclosure statement under subsection 1 when a structure that is part of the real property was built prior to 1978.

3.  Notification of repairs. A landlord or other lessor of residential property who undertakes, or who engages someone else to undertake, any repair, renovation or remodeling activity in a residential building built before 1978 that includes one or more units that are rented for human habitation shall give notice of the activity and the risk of an environmental lead hazard pursuant to this subsection.

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