Heating Requirements for Residential Rental Property

Under Maine law, all landlords of residential units must warrant that the unit is fit for human habitation. If the landlord is obligation to provide heat for the unit under the lease or rental agreement, this implied warranty of fitness for human habitation is breached when: A. The landlord maintains an indoor temperature which is so low as to be injurious to the health of occupants not suffering from abnormal medical conditions; B. The dwelling unit’s heating facilities are not capable of maintaining a minimum temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit at a distance of 3 feet from the exterior walls, 5 feet above floor level at an outside temperature of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit; or C. The heating facilities are not operated so as to protect the building equipment and systems from freezing. 14 M.R.S. å¤ 6021(6). The landlord and tenant may agree to have the landlord provide heat at least than 68 degrees Fahrenheit but this agreement must: A. Be in a separate written document, apart from the lease, be set forth in clear and conspicuous format, readable in plain English and in at least a 12-point type, and be signed by both parties to the agreement; B. State that the agreement is revocable by either party upon reasonable notice under the circumstances; C. Specifically set a minimum temperature for heat, which may not be less than 62 degrees Fahrenheit; and D. Set forth a stated reduction in rent that must be fair and reasonable under the circumstances.14 M.R.S. å¤ 6021(6-A). A landlord and tenant may not enter into this type of arrangement, however, if anyone over the age of 65 or under the age of 5 resides on the premises. Id.