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1. A renter has the right to be treated fairly and equitably when applying for or living in a rental unit.
2. Except in an emergency, a renter has the right to be given reasonable notice prior to any entrance into a rental unit by a rental property owner or manager. Twenty-four hours is presumed to be a reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
3. A renter has the right, upon request to the rental property owner or manager, to a prompt response to a request for repairs, especially if there is any condition that endangers or materially impairs the health or safety of the tenants.
4. Under certain specific circumstances, provided under Maine law, the renter may fix dangerous and unhealthy conditions and deduct the cost from the rent. Caution: Renters should read Maine law as there are numerous requirements and limitations to this right to repair and deduct. Some of the restrictions are:
A. The defect must be related to habitability. In other words, the problem must be serious and directly related to health or safety. For example, a broken heater, stopped-up toilets or broken windows.
B. The defect must not have been caused by the careless or intentional act of the resident or guest.
C. The amount you withhold must be less than $250 or an amount equal to ½ the monthly rent, whichever is greater.
D. Before having the work done, the renter shall notify the landlord in writing of the renter's intention to correct the condition as the landlord's expense. If the landlord fails to comply within 14 days after being notified by the tenant in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, or as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency, the renter may cause the work to be done with due professional care with the same quality of materials as are being repaired.
E. Installation and servicing of electrical, oil burner or plumbing equipment must be by a licensed professional.
F. If a landlord, who by agreement is responsible for heat, fails to maintain a minimum temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit at a distance of 3 feet from the exterior walls, and 5 feet above floor level, due to no fuel in the tank, then the purchase of heating fuel by the tenant shall be deemed to be a "cost of compliance".
5. Prior to any rent adjust ment, a renter has the right to a 45 days' written notice from the rental property owner or manager. In the case of a written lease agreement, rent may not be increased during the lease's term, unless there is explicit authorization for an increase in the lease.
6. A renter has the right to the return of any security deposit that may have been collected by the rental property owner or manager and a good faith written accounting of any charges against that deposit: a) in the case of a written rental agreement, within the time, not to exceed 30 days, stated in the agreement; and b) in the case of a tenancy at will, within 21 days after the termination of the tenancy or the surrender and acceptance of the premises, whichever occurs later.