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Maine Rental Application Form

If you are a landlord leasing residential property, you must file a Maine Rental Application Form. This document is necessary to verify both the credibility and eligibility of any potential tenants. 

Last Update March 23rd, 2022

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What Is a Maine Residential Rental Application

Using a Maine rental application allows you to screen a tenant before formally signing a lease agreement with them. 

The document is also known as a “tenant application,” “rental lease application,” “lease application,” or an “application for rental property”. Furthermore, each renter over 18 that will occupy the residence must complete their own individual tenant form.

Having a prospective tenant complete an ME rental application is an important step for real estate owners when making a final decision on whom to rent a property to. 

This legal document allows you to assess the income, background, and rental history of the applicant before entering a binding contract to ensure no issues arise once the tenancy begins.

Maine Rental Applications by Type

There are two main types of rental applications in Maine. You must select the most relevant one depending on the type of property being rented, local laws, and the type of leasing agreement that will be used. 

Standard/General Maine Rental Application

The most common type of vetting document used by {statecode} landlords is the Maine Standard Rental Application. This form can be customized according to the specific necessities of the property owner or manager. 

Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application 

Landlords of low-income tenants or those offering Section 8 Housing should use a HUD rental application. It is specifically designed to only include information that is allowed under subsidized housing rules.

What to Include in a Maine Rental Application Form

It is important to request the right data from a tenant when asking them to fill in a Maine rental application and to make sure they are properly informed about the contract. This will be essential to make sure you get the right tenant into your property.

Almost all application forms for rental properties request some or all of the following information:

  • Personal data

  • Rental history

  • Employment details

  • Income information

  • Credit history

  • Personal references

  • Permission for background checks

Additionally, landlords must provide vital disclosures to ensure that potential residents can safely use the property. They must provide details about:

  • The property’s condition

  • Potential hazards to the tenant

  • Shared utility arrangements

  • Rent control rules

  • Smoking policy

  • The security deposit

  • Associated fees

Maine Rental Application Laws

Maine state has various laws regarding the use of rental applications. If your document is not compliant with ME law, you may get sued by the applicant and face legal consequences. 

Application Fee

Landlords can charge any fee they choose for a rental application, as these are not limited by Maine statutes. The fee that is paid is also non-refundable to the tenant. 

Security Deposit

Landlords cannot charge more than 2 months’ rent if they are leasing an apartment under Maine law (§ 6032). 

Housing Discrimination Law

Maine has no specific statutes policing housing discrimination. Nevertheless, the Fair Housing Act (FHA), is enshrined in federal law meaning that landlords may not refuse a tenant for discriminatory reasons.

Under the FHA you may not reject a tenant application for reasons such as their race, religion, sex, family status, or because they have any disabilities. You may also not discriminate against their criminal history (whether or not a background check is carried out) or nationality.

Notice of Eligibility

You must disclose the screening criteria used during the application process, as well as anything that could lead to a refusal. To make sure individuals understand this in advance of the application, they must provide a signature of acknowledgment on the application. 

Consent Credit Check

Within Maine, federal law is in effect that requires potential renters to provide written consent for a credit history check during the application process. This is known as the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Maine Rental Application Sample

It’s sensible to look over the template of a Maine rental application before starting your own. This can help to give you a better idea of what your final form will look like and the kind of information you’ll need to add to it.

FAQs About Maine Rental Application Form

Understanding what your Maine rental application can and cannot do is vital before you create your own from scratch. Find out more about how these screening documents work and what you need to know when writing them.

What Is The Screening Process in Maine?

When you wish to rent out your property to a tenant, you can use a ME rental application to check the potential resident before they move in. This allows you to get important background information from the applicant.

In Maine you might use a rental application to find out any of the following about a prospective tenant:

  • Whether they can afford rent or not

  • If they have a positive or negative rental history

  • If they are employed

  • Their credit history

  • Whether they have committed any crimes or felonies

What Are Credit References on a Maine Rental Application?

A credit reference is a document that provides information on the credit history of an applicant for a rental property. This may be requested on Maine rental applications so that landlords can properly assess whether a potential tenant will be able to meet the rental payment schedule.

Do I Need to Ask for a Social Security Number in a Maine Rental Application?

It is not usually necessary to request a Social Security number (SSN) on an ME rental application. However, you may consider requesting this data from an applicant if you want to run certain background checks on them.

Additionally, you must always get written permission from the tenant on the application form if you want to use their SSN. When you handle someone else’s Social Security information you always need consent first and must disclose that you will properly handle this data. 

These days, most screening companies can obtain the applicant’s SSN directly by requesting it securely from the applicant via email. Remember, however, that you must always inform the potential tenant and have their permission before you run any background checks.

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