Christopher Kessler Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

South Portland and Cape Elizabeth Rep. Christopher Kessler has advanced a bill increasing notice period for certain rent increases.

The bill, LD 701, will require a landlord to provide 75 days notice when increasing a tenant’s rent by 10 percent or more from that of the previous year. Exempted are residential properties participating in housing assistance programs.

The bill was signed by Gov. Janet Mills and will go into effect 90 days after final adjournment of the legislative session.

“Rents across Maine have been increasing significantly, and lawmakers have allowed that to happen without enough guardrails in place to protect tenants,” said Kessler. “This new law is a modest step toward providing some stability for tenants by giving them a little bit more time to come up with additional resources to help pay their rent or find a more affordable place to live.”

Kessler is serving his third term in the Maine House of Representatives. He is a member of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee. He represents part of South Portland and part of Cape Elizabeth. He is a resident of South Portland and, according to his legislative bio, an advocate of housing rights, energy efficiency, and clean energy. He is the founder of the South Portland Tenants Association and is also an energy auditor. He has served on multiple boards and associations related to both causes.

LD 701 joins recent bills related to housing that Kessler has sponsored such as LD 691, that limits the fees a landlord can charge a potential tenant during the rental application process.

Kessler has recently been working with tenants at Redbank Village who have experienced significant rent increases.

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