Maine state law (14 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 6001 (3)(4), 6021-A) prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants.
It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant in Maine who has exercised a legal right, including:
The kinds of retaliatory acts covered by Maine law include terminating a tenancy or filing an eviction lawsuit; increasing the rent; or decreasing services, such as locking the laundry room. Maine state law presumes retaliation if the landlord acts in these types of negative ways within six months of the date that a tenant has exercised a legal right, such as complaining to the landlord about an unsafe heater in the apartment or the tenant exercising rights regarding bedbug infestations. (The landlord can still evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent or substantial damage to the rental unit.) State law allows tenants to raise his or her complaint of retaliation to a fair housing agency as an affirmative defense to unlawful detainer.
For advice on how to respond to—and prove—retaliation, see the article Landlord Retaliation.
For an overview of tenant rights under Maine landlord-tenant law, and resources for filing complaints, see http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=27933&an=1.
For state law on landlord retaliation, see 14 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 6001 (3)(4).
See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.
Also, check your local housing ordinances, particularly if you are covered by rent control, for any city or county rules that protect tenants from landlord retaliation. To find yours, call your mayor or city manager’s office or check your city or county website.