What documents do I need to give my landlord to get out of my lease if I am a victim?
If you are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and wish to end your lease, you must provide specific notice and documents to your landlord. You must provide:
- written notice that you are terminating your lease. If your lease is for a period of time of less than one year, you must provide at least seven days’ notice of your move out date. If your lease is for a period of one year or more, you must provide your landlord with at least thirty days’ notice of your move out date;
- any of the following forms of documentation:
- a statement signed by a Maine-based sexual assault counselor or victim witness advocate;
- a statement signed by a health care provider, mental health care provider, or law enforcement officer that includes their license number, if applicable;
- a copy of a protection from abuse complaint, temporary order, or final order of protection;
- a copy of a protection from harassment complaint, temporary order or final order of protection from harassment;
- a copy of a police report taken in response to an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or
- a copy of a criminal complaint, indictment, or conviction for a domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking charge.1
1 ME ST T. 14 § 6001(D), (H)
Once I notify my landlord that I want to end my lease, do I still have to pay rent?
If you end your lease because of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, you are not liable for any rent after the later of these two events:
- the date on which the seven-day or 30-day notice expires if you move out before the date given in the notice; or
- the date that you actually leave the rental unit if you move out after the date given in the notice.1
However, if you have already prepaid your rent, the landlord does not have to return that money to you.1
1 ME ST T. 14 § 6002(4)
What will happen to my security deposit if I terminate my lease early?
If your rental unit is damaged for any reason, including due incidents of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, the landlord can keep your security deposit to cover the damages. The landlord cannot keep your security deposit as a penalty for breaking the lease.
However, if the rental unit was damaged as the result of an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and you provide written notice of the damage and the proper documents proving that you are a victim within 30 days of the incident, you cannot be charged any additional money for the damage.1 See What documents or proof do I need to give my landlord to get out of my lease if I am a victim? to read more about acceptable forms of documentation.
1 ME ST T. 14 § 6001(6)(B)