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Maine Bed Bug Law

Title 14  Court Procedure - Civil

Part 7  Particular Proceedings

Chapter 710  Rental Property

6021

Treatment of Bed Bug Infestation

1.  Definition   As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, "pest control agent" means a commercial applicator of pesticides
certified pursuant to Title 22, section 1471-D [2009 c. 566, 8 (NEW)]

2.  Landlord Duties     A landlord has the following duties:

A.  Upon written or oral notice from the tenant that a dwelling unit may have a BED BUG infestation, the landlord shall within 5 days
conduct an inspection of the unit for bed bugs.   [2009 c. 566 8 (NEW)]

B.  Upon a determination that an infestation of BED BUGS DOES EXIST in a dwelling unit, the landlord shall within 10 days
 CONTACT A PEST CONTROL AGENT pursuant to paragraph C.  [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)]

C.  A landlord shall TAKE REASONABLE MEASURES to effectively identify and TREAT THE BED BUG INFESTATION as
determined by a pest control agent.  The landlord shall employ a pest control agent that carries current liability insurance to promptly treat the bed bug infestation  [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)]

D.  Before renting a dwelling unit, a landlord shall DISCLOSE TO THE PROSPECTIVE TENANT if an adjacent unit or units are
currently infested with or are being treated for bed bugs.  Upon request from a tenant or prospective tenant, a landlord shall disclose the last date that the dwelling unit the landlord seeks to rent or an adjacent unit or units were inspected for a bed bug infestation and found to be free of a bed bug infestation.  [2009 c. 566, 8 (NEW)]

E.  A LANDLORD MAY NOT OFFER FOR RENT a dwelling unit that the landlord knows or suspects is infested with bud bugs.
 [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)]

F.  A LANDLORD SHALL OFFER TO MAKE REASONABLE ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING FINANCIAL  assistance,
available to a  tenant who is not able to comply with requested bed bug inspection or control measures under subsection 3. paragraph C.   After first disclosing what the cost of the tenant's compliance with requested bed bug  inspection or control measures may be, a LANDLORD MAY CHARGE THE TENANT a reasonable amount for any  such assistance,subject to a reasonable repayment schedule, not to exceed 6 months,unless an  extension is otherwise agreed to by the land lord and the tenant.   [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)]   [2009 c. 566 8 (NEW)].



3.  Tenant Duties     A tenant has the following duties:

A.  A TENANT SHALL PROMPTLY NOTIFY  a landlord when the tenant knows of or suspects an infestation of bed bugs in the
 tenant's dwelling unit.  [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)].

b.  Upon receiving reasonable notice as set forth in section 6025, including reasons for and scope of the  request for access to the premises,
 a tenant shall grant the landlord of the dwelling unit, the landlord's agent or the landlord's pest control agent and its employees ACCESS TO THE UNIT  FOR THE PURPOSES OF AN INSPECTION for or control of the infestation of BED BUGS.  The initial inspection may include only a visual  inspection and manual inspection of the tenant's bedding and upholstered furniture.  Employees of the  pest control agent may inspect items other than bedding and upholstered furniture when such an  inspection is considered reasonable by the pest control agent.  If the pest control agent finds BED BUGS     in  the dwelling unit or in an adjoining unit, the PEST CONTROL AGENT MAY HAVE ADDITIONAL ACCESS TO THE TENANT'S PERSONAL BELONGINGS as determined reasonable by the peset control agent  [2009 c. 566, 8 (NEW)].

C.  Upon receiving reasonable notice as set forth in section 6025,  a TENANT SHALL COMPLY WITH REASONABLE  MEASURES
TO ELIMINATE AND CONTROL A BED BUG INFESTATION as set forth by the landlord and the pest control agent.  The TENANT'S UNREASONABLE FAILURE TO COMPLETELY COMPLY with the pest control measures  RESULTS IN THE TENANT'S BEING FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL PEST CONTROL TREATMENTS of the dwelling unit arising from  the tenant's failure to comply  [2009 c. 566, 8 (NEW)]    [2009, c 566, 8 (NEW)]

4.  Remedies     The following remedies are available:

A.  The   FAILURE OF A LANDLORD TO COMPLY  with the provisions of this section constitutes a finding that the landlord has
unreasonably failed under the circumstances to take prompt, effective steps to repair or remedy a condition that endangers or materially impairs the health or safety of a tenant pursuant to section 6021, subsection 3.  [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)].

B.  A LANDLORD WHO FAILS TO COMPLY with the provisions of this section IS LIABLE FOR A PENALTY OF $250 OR
ACTUAL DAMAGES,  whichever is grater, plus REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES   [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)]

C.  A LANDLORD MAY COMMENCE AN ACTION in accordance with section 6030  A and OBTAIN RELIEF AGAINST A
TENANT who fgails to provide reasonable access or comply with reasonable requests for inspection or treatment or otherwise unreasonably fails to comply with reasonable BED BUG control measures as set forth in this section.  For the purposes of section 6030 0 A  and this section, if a court finds that a TENANT HAS UNREASONABLY FAILED   with this section, the COURT MAY ISSUE A TEMPORARY ORDER or interim relief pursuant to Title 5, section 4654 to carry out the provisions of this section, including but not limited to:

(1)  Granting the landlord access to the premises for the purposes set forth in this section;

(2)  Granting the landlord the right to engage in bed bug control measures; and

(3)  Requiring the tenant to comply with specified bed bug control measures or ASSESSING THE TENANT WITH COSTS AND
DAMAGES RELATED TO THE TENANT'S NONCOMPLIANCE.

D.  In any action of forcible entry and detainer under section 6001, there is a rebuttable presumption that the action was commenced in
retaliation against the tenant if, within 6 months before the commencement of the action, the tenant has asserted the tenant's rights pursuant to this section.    [2009, c. 566 8 (NEW)],  [2009, c. 566, 8 (NEW)],  Section History 2009 c. 566, 8 (NEW)


LD 1198 - Signed June 22, 2011 - Amended 2010 Bed Bug Law

Sec. 9    14  MRSA 6021-A, sub-2, F as enacted by PL 2009, c. 566 , 8 , is amended to read:

F.  A LANDLORD SHALL OFFER TO MAKE REASONABLE ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, available to a  tenant who is not able to coply with requested bed bug inspectionor control measures under subsection 3, paragraph C.  The landlord shall disclose to the tenant what the cost may be for the tenant's compliance  with the requested bed bug inspection or control measure.  After first disclosing what the cost of the  tenant's compliance with requested bed bug inspection or control measures may be, making this  disclosure, the landlord may provide financial assistance to the tenant to prepare the unit for bed bug  treatment.  A  LANDLORD MAY CHARGE THE TENANT a reasonable amount for any such assistance, subject to a  reasonable repayment schedule, not to exceed 6 months, unless an extension is otherwise agreed to by  the landlord and the tenant.  This paragraph may ot be construed to require the landlord to provide the  tenant with alternate lodging or to pay to replace the tenant's personal property.


Sec. 10  14 MRSA 6021-A, sub-4  D, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 566, 8 is amended to read:

D.  In any action of forcible entry and detainer under section 6001, there is a rebuttable presumption that the action was commenced in  retaliation against the tenant if, within 6 months before the commencement of the action, the tenant has asserted the tenant's rights pursuant to this section.  The rebuttable presumption of retaliation does not apply unless the tenant asserted that tenant's rights pursuant to this  section prior to being served with the EVICTION NOTICE.  There is no presumption of retaliation if the action  for forcible entry and detainer is brought for failure to pay rent or for causing substantial damage to the premise.


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