Maine Renters Screwed by Lack of Legal Protections


The story as reported on the front page of the “Bangor Daily News” last week goes like this:  almost a dozen renters were displaced  last month when owners of a nearby business, The Tarratine, purchased the historic George K. Stetson House for substantially more than its assessed value. The purchasers of the Bangor property, Tricia and Bob Quirk, gave the renters one month to move out.  To find another apartment in that short amount of time is unrealistic to put it mildly.  It’s common sense. It’s cruel. Especially when it is a well-known fact that Maine suffers from a lack of affordacble housing.

What is discouraging is that it happens all too often in Maine.  But unlike this story in the “BDN” dated April 6, it continues unnoticed for what it is.  It’s part of the process known as gentrification – a policy supported by cities like Portland and Bangor – with their hands off inaction that places the safe and affordable housing in jeopardy for too many.

There are steps that Bangor and Portland should put in place.  Make it illegal to give renters only one month to find a new place to live.  Require purchasers to assist in the expenses associated with moving for renters in good-standing with their landlords.  Renters usually don’t have the necessary spare cash on hand for these unanticipated expenses.  Expenses like moving costs, utility hook-ups and deposits would be a good starting point.

Maine needs to catch up with other states to improve its image as a welcoming state for all.  Even renters.

For more background information on the subject, please visit post herein dated April 30, 2015:  “Toothaaker Uses Questionable Business Practices; City Ignores Rental Crisis.