Maine Eviction Laws

Eviction Laws

Reasons for Eviction in Maine

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violations
  • Material health or safety violation
  • No lease or end of lease
  • Illegal acts, such as:
    • Committing domestic violence on the premises
    • Stalking the landlord, landlord’s agent, or another tenant on the premises
    • Committing sexual assault on the premises
    • Threatening violence against the landlord, another tenant, or any other person
    • Engaging in or promoting prostitution

Notice to Vacate

The landlord must provide:

  • A 30-day notice to vacate when the lease ends or if there was no lease
  • A seven-day notice to quit for illegal activity

Learn more about the eviction process, including the average cost.

Notice to Comply

The landlord must give a seven-day notice for:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violations
  • Health or safety violations (should be a notice to cure or quit)

Serving the Tenant

  • For notices, the landlord must attempt to serve it to the tenant at least three times. After that, the landlord can post on the premises AND mail a copy by first class mail with a certificate of mailing.
  • Complaints and aummons must be served to the tenant by a Sheriff or other person authorized by the court by either:
    • Delivering a copy to the tenant
    • Leaving a copy with someone of “suitable” age
    • Delivering a copy to an agent authorized by law

Tenant Possessions

If tenants do not claim their property within seven days of notice or don’t pick up the property within 14 days, the landlord may sell the property at fair market value, throw away any property without value, or return the property to the tenant so long as all back rent, storage, and costs are paid beforehand.

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Eviction Timeline

Below you’ll learn the average timeline for a complete eviction in Maine. This projected timeline could change based on the complexities of your specific case.

Typically, the Maine eviction process takes between one to two months.

How to Start the Eviction Process in Maine?

Serve your notice to pay, cure, or quit. The complaint and summons must be served to the tenant at least seven days before the hearing date.

The tenant only needs to file an answer if they intend to file an appeal. The hearing would then be recorded, and a transcript of the proceedings will be provided.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of possession will be issued within seven days and the eviction process will continue. The writ of possession will be served to the tenant by the Sheriff, and then tenants have 48 hours to move out.

If the tenant doesn’t move out, the Sheriff will forcibly evict the tenant and all possessions left behind will be considered abandoned property.

How to Stop the Eviction Process in Maine?

To stop the eviction process in Maine, tenant can pay owed rent or cure their lease violations. Otherwise, the landlord can file a motion to dismiss their complaint.

How Long is the Eviction Process in Maine?

The eviction process usually takes one to two months but could take longer depending on the circumstances and the court’s schedule.

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