Q: Landlord options if they miss required window to notify tenant of increase in rent
As a landlord, if I ask a tenant to pay a higher monthly rent upon renewal of the lease, but I notify the tenant of my increase after the state of Maine required 45 days notice and the tenant refuses to accept my proposed increase, can I choose not to renew that lease and then find new tenants who are willing to pay the higher rent?
A: It depends on how you do it and what the terms of the current lease and your notice of rent increase provide. I would need to review the current lease and the notice of rent increase to provide you with an accurate and more complete answer. As a general matter, however, if you make it clear the higher rental amount applies to a new lease, which the existing tenant can either accept or decline, it seems to me if the tenant declines to accept the new lease, then you are free to allow the existing lease to expire and find another tenant. Please realize the terms of the documents could change this answer. Moreover, you should be extremely careful here because Maine law is very tenant-friendly and there are penalties for not properly and strictly following the applicable rules and procedures.
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