Maine statutes establish specific procedures that a landlord must follow in order to evict a tenant from rental property.
The failure to follow the procedures to evict a tenant in Maine not only results in the renter remaining in the premises but also the landlord is exposed to a possible claim for violating the rights of the tenant. Before trying to remove a tenant for violating a lease, you need to obtain a general understanding of the laws on how to evict a tenant in Maine.
Obtain a standard form seven day notice to quit. Maine law requires you to prepare a seven-day Notice To Quit before you initiate an eviction lawsuit. On the notice you insert the reason the tenant violated the lease. For example, if the tenant failed to pay rent, include that in the notice. Under Maine law the tenant must be at least seven days behind on rent to start the process with the notice. If the notice is for nonpayment of rent, it must contain this clause pursuant to Maine law:
"If you pay the amount of rent due as of the date of this notice before this notice expires, then this notice as it applies to rent arrearage is void."
If you prepare a notice for another lease violation, the tenant must vacate the premises within seven days or you file an eviction lawsuit.
Deliver the seven day notice to the tenant. Maine law requires that you make at least three good faith attempts to deliver the notice to the tenant in person. After these attempts, you can leave the notice in a conspicuous place at the tenant's home.
Obtain a form Petition for Forcible Entry and Detainer if the tenant fails to vacate the premises (or pay the past due rent) within the time period of the notice. The petition is the document used to initiate an eviction case in Maine.
Complete the petition form, including listing the reason why you seek to evict the tenant (non-payment of rent, for example). Attach the notice to the petition.
File the petition with the clerk of the court in the county where the rental property is located.
Obtain an initial hearing date from the clerk of the court. If the tenant fails to show up for the initial hearing, you will be granted judgment. If the tenant appears and requests a trial, one is scheduled.
Appear at the trial and present evidence in support of the eviction. This includes any documents and witnesses that support the reason you initiated the eviction case. If you prevail in your eviction case, the judge grants an eviction order. The order includes a direction to the sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises if she does not voluntarily depart following the eviction trial.
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