A controversial measure that will put heavier restrictions on landlords has been passed by the Bangor City Council.

How Long Has the Bangor City Council Been Working On This Initiative?

The Tenants' Rights Ordinance has been a hotly contested topic of conversation in the city of Bangor since it was first introduced in October 2022. The Bangor City Council has led many public discussions of the measure and has made several revisions. Despite concerns voiced by Bangor landlords about how the restrictions could make their rental businesses more challenging, the initiative was approved by the City Council on Monday.

What Are Some of the Changes Included in the Ordinance?

Application fees are now a thing of the past in Bangor. Landlords are no longer allowed to charge a fee to potential renters for filling out an application.

Another change involves screening fees often charged by potential landlords. The screenings are used to detect past issues like bankruptcies, foreclosures, and evictions, as well as any criminal history. According to the new ordinance, the cost of those screenings will be capped at $75, and the only person the property owner will be allowed to charge that fee is the one that successfully gets the rental unit. The cost of screening other applicants would have to be paid by the landlord.

Records of the amounts of screening fees collected and returned will have to be kept by the landlords for two years. This includes written acknowledgments from tenants that they received any fees that were returned to them.

Landlords are now required to give 60 days' notice, in writing, of any increases in a tenant's rent. That's up from the previous requirement of 45 days' notice.

Why is the City Council Taking This Step?

The new ordinance is meant to target out-of-state landlords and property management companies to ensure that they are treating Bangor renters fairly, according to the BDN, and not to burden local individuals who own rental units.

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