An Act To Protect Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking
Sec. 1. 14 MRSA §6000 is enacted to read:
§ 6000. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
Sec. 2. 14 MRSA §6001, sub-§3, ¶C, as amended by PL 1989, c. 484, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 14 MRSA §6001, sub-§3, ¶E, as amended by PL 2011, c. 405, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 14 MRSA §6001, sub-§3, ¶F is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 14 MRSA §6001, sub-§6 is enacted to read:
(1) A nuisance under section 6002;
(2) Damage to property under section 6002; or
(3) A lease violation arising from a nuisance, a disturbance or damage to premises.
(1) Seven days' written notice and documentation required pursuant to paragraph H, in the case of a lease of less than one year; or
(2) Thirty days' written notice and documentation required pursuant to paragraph H, in the case of a lease with a term of one year or more.
A victim is not liable for any unpaid rent under the victim's lease.
(1) A statement signed by a Maine-based sexual assault counselor as defined in Title 16, section 53-A, subsection 1, paragraph B, an advocate as defined in Title 16, section 53-B, subsection 1, paragraph A or a victim witness advocate as defined in Title 16, section 53-C, subsection 1, paragraph C;
(2) A statement signed by a health care provider, mental health care provider or law enforcement officer, including the license number of the health care provider, mental health care provider or law enforcement officer if licensed;
(3) A copy of a protection from abuse complaint or a temporary order or final order of protection;
(4) A copy of a protection from harassment complaint or a temporary order or final order of protection from harassment;
(5) A copy of a police report prepared in response to an investigation of an incident of domestic violence; and
(6) A copy of a criminal complaint, indictment or conviction for a domestic violence charge.
Sec. 6. 14 MRSA §6002, first ¶, as amended by PL 2009, c. 171, §1, is further amended to read:
Tenancies at will must be terminated by either party by a minimum of 30 days' notice, except as provided in subsection subsections 2 and 4, in writing for that purpose given to the other party, but if the landlord or the landlord's agent has made at least 3 good faith efforts to serve the tenant, that 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 last and usual place of abode. In cases when the tenant has paid rent through the date when a 30-day notice would expire, the notice must expire on or after the date through which the rent has been paid. Either party may waive in writing the 30 days' notice at the time the notice is given, and at no other time prior to the giving of the notice. A termination based on a 30-day notice is not affected by the receipt of money, whether previously owed or for current use and occupation, until the date a writ of possession is issued against the tenant during the period of actual occupancy after receipt of the notice. When the tenancy is terminated, the tenant is liable to the process of forcible entry and detainer without further notice and without proof of any relation of landlord and tenant unless the tenant has paid, after service of the notice, rent that accrued after the termination of the tenancy. These provisions apply to tenancies of buildings erected on land of another party. Termination of the tenancy is deemed to occur at the expiration of the time fixed in the notice. A 30-day notice under this paragraph and a 7-day notice under subsection 2 may be combined in one notice to the tenant.
Sec. 7. 14 MRSA §6002, sub-§1, ¶¶B and C, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 171, §2, are further amended to read:
Sec. 8. 14 MRSA §6002, sub-§1, ¶D is enacted to read:
Sec. 9. 14 MRSA §6002, sub-§4 is enacted to read:
Sec. 10. 14 MRSA §6010 as corrected by RR 2013, c. 2, §26, is amended by adding at the end 2 new paragraphs to read:
A perpetrator of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking that occurs in a residential rental property against a tenant of the property, household member or a tenant's guest is liable to the tenant for the tenant's damages as a result of the domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is also a tenant. Such damages include, but are not limited to, moving costs, back rent, current rent, damage to the unit, court costs and attorney's fees.
Nothing in this section relating to damages as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking creates liability on behalf of a landlord.
Sec. 11. 14 MRSA §6025, sub-§1, as amended by PL 1999, c. 204, §1, is further amended to read:
A tenant may not change the lock to the dwelling unit without giving notice to the landlord and giving the landlord a duplicate key within 48 hours of the change. A victim may change the locks to the unit at the victim's expense. If the victim changes the locks to the unit, the victim shall provide the landlord with a duplicate key within 72 hours of changing the locks. For the purposes of this subsection, "victim" has the same meaning as in section 6000, subsection 4.
This bill amends the laws governing residential leases in instances where a tenant is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The bill prohibits a landlord from evicting a tenant because of an instance of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. It also renders the perpetrator liable for certain damages.