An American flag is displayed outside of a tent in Bangor's "Tent City" behind the Hope House on September 30, 2022. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Bangor landlords may soon have to give tenants two months’ notice before raising their rent, after renters reported landlords levying rent increases of hundreds of dollars over the summer.  

The City Council’s government operations committee will consider an ordinance at its Monday night meeting that would require landlords to give 60 days’ notice for any rent increases, cap application fees and reaffirm anti-discrimination protections for renters.

The ordinance stops short of implementing a rent control ordinance or restricting the size of rent increases, even though a handful of councilors had called for the Bangor City Council to consider a rental control ordinance. Portland is the only Maine city that has such an ordinance.

Bangor has a dearth of available housing stock for both tenants and first-time homebuyers, as well as a growing homelessness population. Homeless residents, many of them employed, have told the Bangor Daily News that they cannot afford Bangor rents, that waitlists for apartments are too long, and that landlords raised their rent to unaffordable levels, forcing them into homelessness.

In addition to requiring more notice of rental increases, the drafted ordinance on tenants’ rights would require landlords to disclose any fees before accepting applications and only allow them to levy application fees when a rental unit became available or would be available at a later reasonable time.

It would also cap application fees at either $50 or to cover the screening process, whichever was lower, and require landlords to give renters a copy of the ordinance when they started their lease.

The ordinance would also reaffirm renters’ protection against housing discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, creed, nationality or familial status, which the Maine Human Rights Act prohibits.

Avatar photo

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to