New Proposed Bill Would Ban Tenant Application Fees for Maine Renters
For the past few years, state legislators in Augusta have passed a variety of bills to address Maine's housing crisis. A few examples include one piece of legislation to study zoning laws and land use restrictions, and another to help cities and towns cover the cost of building affordable housing units to reduce homelessness.
Now lawmakers are looking to address another barrier to finding affordable housing – tenant application fees. Representative Kessler of South Portland recently introduced LD 691: An Act to Reduce Barriers to Housing by Prohibiting Tenant Application Fees.
The proposed legislation, “prohibits a landlord from requiring a person to pay a fee in order to submit an application to enter into an agreement to rent a residential dwelling unit.”
As we’ve previously reported, 1 in 5 Maine renters pay more than half their income toward housing costs, and, for every family living in an affordable, federally subsidized unit, nearly three families are on a waiting list.
Navigating the housing market is hard enough during these times. The last thing Maine families need right now is additional barriers to finding the shelter they need. We applaud Rep. Kessler for introducing this legislation and we look forward to seeing its passage in the near future.