Legal Information: Maine

Housing Laws

Updated: 
November 10, 2017

How does this housing law protect me?

The law offers various protections.  First, if you are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, you cannot be evicted from your rental unit for incidents related to this type of violence (regardless of whether or not the abuser is also a tenant or occupant of the rental unit).  Even if under other circumstances, those incidents would be considered a “nuisance” (disruption to your neighbors), damage to the rental property, or a lease violation (and therefore the basis for an eviction), you are protected from being evicted.1  However, the landlord can still evict you for a valid, legal reason that is not related to the incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.2

Second, if you are a victim of domestic violence and the abuser is also a tenant, the landlord can keep your security deposit to cover any damage to your rental property that is the result of an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking but cannot sue you for any additional charges.  However, within 30 days of the when the damage occurs, you must give the landlord written notice of the damage along with one of the required documents that proves that you are a victim, explained in What documents or proof do I need to give my landlord to get out of my lease if I am a victim?3

Third, you may be able to end your lease early due to an incident or threat of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  To do so, you must provide your landlord with:

  1. one of the required documents that proves that you are a victim, explained here; and
  2. one of the following:
  • seven days’ written notice if your lease is less than one year; or
  • thirty days’ written notice if your lease is one year or more.4

1 ME ST T. 14 § 6001(6)(A)
2 ME ST T. 14 § 6001(6)(E)
3 ME ST T. 14 § 6001(6)(B)
4 ME ST T. 14 § 6001(6)(D)