§9097. Terms of rental agreement

Link to law: http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/10/title10sec9097.html
Published: 2015

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§9097. Terms of rental agreement








1. Eviction of tenant. 
A tenancy may be terminated by a park owner or operator only for one or more of
the following reasons:





A. Nonpayment of rent, utility charges or reasonable incidental service charges, except
that no action for possession may be maintained if, prior to the expiration of a notice
to quit, the tenant pays or tenders all arrearages due plus 5% of the outstanding
rent or a maximum of $5 as liquidated damages; [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










B. Failure of the tenant or the tenant's cohabitees, guests or invitees to comply with
local ordinances or state or federal law, rules or regulations relating to mobile
homes or mobile home parks, as long as the tenant first is given written notice of
failure to comply with those restrictions and a reasonable opportunity to comply with
the restrictions; [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










C. Damage by the tenant or the tenant's cohabitees, guests or invitees to the demised
property, except for reasonable wear and tear; [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










D. Repeated conduct of the tenant or the tenant's cohabitees, guests or invitees upon
the mobile home park premises that disturbs the peace and quiet or safety of other
tenants in the mobile home park; [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










E. Failure of the tenant or the tenant's cohabitees, guests or invitees to comply with
reasonable written rules of the mobile home park as established by the park owner
or operator in the rental agreement at the beginning of the tenancy or as subsequently
amended, as long as the tenant first is given written notice of failure to comply
and a reasonable opportunity to comply with those rules; [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










F. Condemnation or change of use of the mobile home park, as long as, in the case of
change of use, one year's notice is given in writing to the tenant, unless at the
beginning of the tenancy the tenant is given notice of the scheduled change of use; [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










G. Renovation or reconstruction of any portions of the park, if:





(1) In the case of a temporary eviction, the park owner or operator:





(a) Gives affected tenants 30 days' notice in writing, unless the temporary eviction
is necessary to correct conditions posing an immediate threat to one or more tenants'
health or safety; and









(b) Pays the removal and relocation costs of tenants, except for those tenants who
agree otherwise in a signed writing separate from the lease; or











(2) In the case of a permanent eviction, other than an eviction due to reconstruction
or renovation required by a federal, state or local governmental body, of one or more
mobile homes currently located in the park, the park owner or operator:






(a) Gives each tenant one year's notice in writing; or








(b) To each tenant for whose home the park owner has found a reasonable alternative
location acceptable to the tenant, gives 6 months' written notice and pays removal
and relocation costs; [1989, c. 662, (RPR).]
















H. Under terms and expressed conditions in the original lease or rental agreement that
is entered into by the tenant and landlord; or [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]










I. Violation by a tenant or the tenant's cohabitees, guests or invitees of paragraph
A, B or E, 3 or more times in a 12-month period, notwithstanding the fact that the
tenant in each case corrected the violation after being notified of the violation
by the park owner or operator. For purposes of termination under this paragraph,
the tenant or the tenant's cohabitees, guests or invitees must have engaged in at
least 3 separate instances of misconduct. [1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).]







[
1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD)
.]








1-A. Retaliation. 
The court may not order the termination of any tenancy if the tenant proves that
the eviction action is primarily in retaliation for:





A. The tenant's participation in establishing, or membership in, an organization concerned
with landlord-tenant relationships; or [1989, c. 650, (NEW).]










B. The tenant's assertion of any right under this chapter. [1989, c. 650, (NEW).]







[
1989, c. 650, (NEW)
.]








1-B. Abandoned mobile home or manufactured housing.  
Manufactured housing that is abandoned or unclaimed by a tenant following the tenant's
eviction in accordance with this section and section 9097-B must be disposed of by
a mobile home park owner or operator as follows. For purposes of this subsection,
"manufactured housing" includes all housing described in section 9002, subsection
7 located in a land lease community or mobile home park.





A. After a mobile home park owner or operator obtains a judgment for forcible entry and
detainer, the mobile home park owner or operator shall send written notice by first-class
mail, with proof of mailing, to the last known address of the tenant with a copy to
the lienholder, if known. The notice must set forth the mobile home park owner's
or operator's intent to dispose of the manufactured housing. The notice must advise
the tenant and lienholder, if known, that if the tenant or lienholder does not respond
to the notice within 14 calendar days the mobile home park owner or operator may dispose
of the property as set forth in this subsection. If the tenant or lienholder does
respond to the notice, the tenant or lienholder shall take possession of the property
within 21 calendar days. Subsection 2-B applies with respect to the rights and responsibilities
of the lienholder. [2011, c. 127, §1 (NEW).]










B. If a tenant or lienholder claims ownership of the manufactured housing within 14 calendar
days after the notice under paragraph A is sent, the tenant or lienholder shall take
possession of the property within 21 calendar days of claiming ownership. If the tenant
or lienholder timely claims the property but is not able to move the property within
21 days due to weather or posted road conditions, the mobile home park owner or operator
shall allow the tenant or lienholder to remove the property after the 21-day period
but the mobile home park owner or operator may charge for any additional costs incurred
as a result of the delay. [2011, c. 127, §1 (NEW).]










C. If a tenant or lienholder does not claim ownership of the property within 14 calendar
days after the notice under paragraph A is sent or fails to take possession of the
property after claiming ownership pursuant to paragraph B, the mobile home park owner
or operator may take one or more of the following actions:



(1) Condition the release of the property to the tenant or lienholder upon payment
of all rental arrearages, damages, costs of legal fees and costs of storage;




(2) Sell any property for a reasonable fair market price and apply all proceeds to
rental arrearages, damages, costs of storage, marketing expenses, legal fees and outstanding
taxes. Any balance must be sent to the tenant's or lienholder's last known mailing
address and, if returned to the sender, the balance must be forwarded to the Treasurer
of State; and




(3) Dispose of any property that has no reasonable fair market value. [2011, c. 127, §1 (NEW).]








[
2011, c. 127, §1 (NEW)
.]








2. Notice. 
A tenancy in a mobile home park may be terminated only by:





A. The tenant giving at least 45 days' notice of termination to the park owner; or [1987, c. 737, Pt. B, §1 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]














B. The park owner entitled under subsection 1 to the mobile home space giving at least
45 days' notice of termination in writing to the tenant. If the landlord or the landlord's
agent has made at least 3 witnessed good faith efforts made on 3 separate days to
serve the tenant, service may be accomplished by both mailing the notice by first
class mail to the tenant's last known address and by leaving the notice at the tenant's
space in the park.





(1) In cases where the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent, the tenancy may
be terminated by 30 days' notice given in the same manner provided that the notice
for eviction contains notice of the amount owed and a statement indicating that the
tenant can negate the effect of the notice of termination as it applies to rent arrearage
if the tenant pays the full amount of rent due before the expiration of the notice.








(2) In cases in which the reason for eviction is one listed in subsection 1, paragraph
B, C, D, E, H or I, the 45 days' notice of termination must refer to relevant provisions
of the lease or mobile home park rules and must state the reasons for the termination. [1993, c. 211, §1 (AMD).]










[
1993, c. 211, §1 (AMD)
.]








2-A. Notice to lienholders. 




[
1999, c. 207, §2 (RP)
.]








2-B. Responsibilities of park operator and lienholder. 
The responsibilities of the mobile home park operator and the holder of a lien on
the tenant's mobile home are as follows.





A. In the event the park operator moves to evict a tenant and there is a lien on the
tenant's home, if the holder of the lien has provided the park operator with a notice
of the lien and the notice includes the lienholder's mailing address, then prior to
evicting the tenant who resides in that mobile home, the park operator shall give
notice of the eviction in writing by certified mail to the lienholder at the time
the park operator serves the tenant with a notice to quit. Following receipt of this
notice from the park operator, the lienholder shall:





(1) Declare, in writing and by certified mail, to the park operator that the lienholder
intends to take possession of the mobile home and assume tenancy in the park. The
lienholder shall pay to the park operator:






(a) Any arrearage for rent and other recurring monthly fees owed the park operator
by the tenant at the time of issuance of the notice to quit;









(b) Rent and other charges that become due subsequent to issuance of the notice
to quit. Rent and charges imposed pursuant to this division may not exceed 3 months
of those rents and charges; and









(c) Rent and other charges that become due subsequent to the issuance of a forcible
entry and detainer or, if no forcible entry and detainer is issued, following abandonment
by the tenant or possession of the home by the lienholder; or











(2) Declare, in writing and by certified mail, to the park operator that the lienholder
intends to take possession of the mobile home but not assume tenancy in the park.
The lienholder also shall:






(a) Pay to the park operator any arrearage for rent and other recurring monthly
fees owed the park operator by the tenant at the time of issuance of the notice to
quit; and









(b) Remove the mobile home from the mobile home park.







The arrearage for which the lienholder is responsible may not exceed 3 months rent
and recurring fees. [1999, c. 207, §3 (NEW).]










B. In the event that the holder of a lien on a mobile home in a mobile home park intends
to repossess that home, the holder of the lien shall provide the park operator with
a notice that it holds a lien, which notice must include the lienholder's mailing
address and shall:





(1) Give notice in writing and by certified mail to the park operator of the lienholder's
intent to repossess and that the lienholder intends to leave the mobile home in the
park and assume tenancy in the park. The lienholder also shall pay to the park operator
any arrearage for rent and other recurring monthly fees owed the park operator by
the tenant at the time it takes possession of the mobile home and all rent and other
charges that become due subsequent to the time it takes possession of the mobile home;
or








(2) Give notice in writing and by certified mail to the park operator of the lienholder's
intent to repossess and that it does not intend to leave the mobile home nor assume
tenancy in the park. The lienholder also shall pay to the park operator any arrearage
for rent and other recurring monthly fees owed the park operator by the tenant at
the time it takes possession of the mobile home and all rent and other charges that
become due subsequent to the time it takes possession of the mobile home until the
lienholder physically removes the mobile home from the park.





The arrearage for which the lienholder is responsible may not exceed 3 months rent
and other recurring fees. [1999, c. 207, §3 (NEW).]







Notwithstanding this subsection, the lienholder and the park operator may agree to
an alternative arrangement if they so choose.


[
1999, c. 207, §3 (NEW)
.]








3. Fees. 
The owner of a mobile home park or the owner's agents may not charge any fees to
tenants other than charges for rent, utilities, reasonable incidental service charges,
entrance fees or security deposits, unless otherwise provided for in the original
lease or agreement. The owner of a mobile home park or the owner's agents may not
charge any entrance fee, regardless of what that fee is called, to a tenant who is
moving into a mobile home currently in the mobile home park that is greater than 2
times the amount of the monthly rent.


[
2005, c. 156, §1 (AMD)
.]








4. Rules. 
A mobile home park owner may adopt reasonable rules governing the conduct of tenants,
if the rules are reasonably related to preserving the order and peace of other tenants
and the mobile home park. A park rule may not be unreasonable, unfair or unconscionable.
Any rule or change in rent that does not apply uniformly to all park tenants creates
a rebuttable presumption that the rule or change in rent is unfair unless the rule
or change in rent is made by majority vote of all the members in a resident-owned
cooperative. Any park rule that does not comply with this section is void. For purposes
of this subsection, "resident-owned cooperative" means a corporation or other legal
entity that owns the mobile home park, the ownership interest in which is held only
by residents of the mobile home park.


[
1991, c. 738, (AMD)
.]








5. Tenant to be given copy of rules and applicable laws. 
Before any rental agreement is entered into, the owner must provide each tenant
who resides in the park and all prospective tenants with:





A. A written copy of the rules of the mobile home park; and [1987, c. 737, Pt. B, §1 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]














B. A written copy of this chapter. [1989, c. 104, Pt. B, §5 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]








[
1989, c. 104, Pt. B, §5 (AMD);
1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD)
.]








6. Enforcement. 
In addition to any other remedy under this chapter, any mobile home park resident
may sue to enforce any provision of this section and the court may award damages or
grant injunctive or other appropriate relief.


[
1989, c. 104, Pt. B, §6 (AMD);
1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD)
.]








7. Waiver prohibited. 
No lease or rental agreement, oral or written, may contain any provision by which
the tenant waives any rights under this chapter. Any such waiver is contrary to public
policy and unenforceable.


[
1989, c. 104, Pt. B, §7 (AMD);
1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD)
.]








8. Written or oral rental agreement. 
Nothing in this section may be construed to permit a park owner or operator to vary
the terms of a written or oral rental agreement without the express written consent
of the tenant.


[
1987, c. 737, Pt. B, §1 (NEW);
1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW);
1989, c. 6, (AMD);
1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD);
1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD)
.]








9. Rental agreements involving children. 




[
1989, c. 104, Pt. B, §8 (RP);
1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD)
.]








10. Discrimination against tenants with children prohibited. 
Discrimination against any tenant with children is prohibited in accordance with
Title 5, chapter 337.


[
2005, Pt. B, §7 (AMD)
.]








11. Breach of warranty of habitability as an affirmative defense. 
In an action brought by a mobile home park owner to terminate a rental agreement
on the ground that the tenant is in arrears in the payment of rent, the tenant may
raise, as a defense, any alleged violation of the implied warranty and covenant of
habitability provided that:





A. The tenant gave the mobile home park owner, or the owner's agent has received, actual
notice of the alleged violation while the tenant was current in rental payments; [1989, c. 687, (NEW).]










B. The park owner or operator unreasonably failed under the circumstances to take prompt,
effective steps to repair or remedy the condition; and [1989, c. 687, (NEW).]










C. The condition was not caused by the tenant or another person acting under the tenant's
control. [1989, c. 687, (NEW).]







Upon finding that the leased premises is not fit for human habitation, the court shall
permit the tenant either to terminate the rental agreement without prejudice or to
reaffirm the rental agreement and the court shall assess against the tenant an amount
equal to the reduced fair rental value of the property for the period during which
rent is owed. The reduced amount of rent owed is to be paid on a pro rata basis,
unless the parties agree otherwise, and payments are due at the same intervals as
rent for the current rental period. The mobile home park owner may not charge the
tenant for the full rental value of the property until the property is fit for human
habitation.


[
1989, c. 687, (NEW)
.]








12. Application; mobile homes owned by park. 
If a park owner or operator owns a mobile home in the mobile home park and rents
that mobile home, termination of the tenancy is governed by the terms of the lease.
If there is no lease agreement, the tenancy is a tenancy at will and termination is
governed by Title 14, section 6002.


[
1999, c. 287, §1 (NEW)
.]





SECTION HISTORY

1987, c. 737, §§B1,C106 (NEW).
1989, c. 6, (AMD).
1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD).
1989, c. 104, §§B4-9,C8,10 (AMD).
1989, c. 650, (AMD).
1989, c. 652, (AMD).
1989, c. 662, (AMD).
1989, c. 687, (AMD).
1991, c. 738, (AMD).
1993, c. 180, §1 (AMD).
1993, c. 211, §1 (AMD).
1995, c. 365, §2 (AMD).
1997, c. 27, §1 (AMD).
1999, c. 207, §§2,3 (AMD).
1999, c. 287, §1 (AMD).
2005, c. 156, §1 (AMD).
2005, c. 683, §B7 (AMD).
2011, c. 127, §1 (AMD).