Montana Landlord Tenant Law

Montana Landlord Tenant Laws are stated in Montana Code Title 70, Chapter 24, Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1977. The purpose of Montana Landlord Tenant Laws, according to 74-24-102 (a) is to “simplify, clarify, modernize, and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants; and (b) encourage landlords and tenants to maintain and improve the quality of housing.” The laws regulate the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords and provide remedies for violations of Montana Landlord Tenant Laws.

No part of this information is meant to provide or to substitute for legal advice. Should you have legal questions or legal issues regarding Montana Landlord Tenant Law, you should seek the advice of an attorney.

Montana Landlord Tenant Law

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Montana Landlord Tenant Law – Security deposits

The Montana Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General explains that landlords can require that a tenant pay a security deposit, which is refundable at the end of the tenancy, provided there is no damage caused by the tenant, that the tenant completes all required cleaning upon moving out and there are no unpaid utilities or rent. The security deposit statute is one more important example of how Montana Landlord Forms are crucial. The Montana Attorney General points out that it is the landlord’s responsibility to “provide the tenant with a written statement of the condition of the property, signed by the landlord.” If the landlord fails to provide the tenant with a properly signed move in checklist, “the landlord may not keep any part of the tenant’s security deposit when the tenant moves out, unless the landlord can clearly prove that the tenant caused the damage.”

Montana Landlord Tenant Law – Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

Montana Landlord Tenant Law 70-24-303 (1)(h) requires that landlords “shall install in each dwelling unit under the landlord’s control an approved carbon monoxide detector, in accordance with rules adopted by the department of labor and industry, and an approved smoke detector, in accordance with rules adopted by the department of justice.” The landlord is required to verify that both are in good working order at the beginning of the tenancy. It is the tenant’s responsibility to “maintain the carbon monoxide detector and the smoke detector in good working order during the tenant’s rental period.” While the landlord must provide working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for every rental property under Montana Landlord Tenant Laws, if the detectors are deemed defective at some point, 74-24-303 (5) states “The landlord is not liable for damages caused as a result of the failure of the carbon monoxide detector or the smoke detector required under subsection (1) (h).”

Montana Landlord Tenant Laws – Responsibilities and rights of the parties

Under Montana Landlord Tenant Law, it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain the premises in accordance with all housing, building and safety codes, to keep the premises in a safe and habitable condition. The landlord must make all necessary repairs within a reasonable time period. The landlord must keep all electrical, plumbing, appliances and services provided by the landlord in good working order. Montana Landlord Tenant Law specifies in 70-24-303(1)(b) that the landlord “may not knowingly allow any tenant or other person to engage in any activity on the premises that creates a reasonable potential that the premises may be damaged or destroyed or that neighboring tenants may be injured.” If the landlord fails to comply with responsibilities of landlords under Montana Landlord Tenant Laws, the tenant may have a claim for remedies. As specified by the Montana Attorney General, the tenant should give the landlord written notice that repairs must be made within 14 days. If the landlord still fails to make repairs, the tenant may either:

  • Notify the landlord that the tenant is terminating the rental agreement

or

  • Have the repairs made and deduct the cost from the rent. However, before a tenant deducts any amount from the rent, the tenant should consult an attorney to make sure the deduction is lawful. Whenever a tenant pays less that the full rent due, there is a risk that the landlord will seek eviction based on nonpayment of rent.

In event of emergency repairs, the landlord must make the repairs within three days.
Montana landlords must not infringe on the requirement to give proper 24 hour notice before entering the premises and must only arrange for entry during reasonable times. The exception is for emergency situations.

Tenants have the responsibility to pay rent on time and maintain the premises in safe, sanitary condition. The tenant must not change locks to the property. If a tenant refuses to surrender the premises at the end of the tenancy or violates the lease, the landlord must deliver written notice to the tenant that specifies “the acts and omissions constituting the noncompliance and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date specified in the notice not less than the minimum number of days after receipt of the notice provided for in this section.” The landlord may terminate the rental agreement for continued failure of the tenant to comply with the violations.

Make sure that you have professionally prepared Montana Tenant Screening and Montana Landlord Forms on hand so you can conduct extensive tenant screening to get the best tenants for your rental properties and to always have necessary landlord forms throughout the tenancy.

Montana Tenant Screening Background Checks

An important element of property management and landlord tenant laws is Montana Tenant Screening Background Checks. Learn more about how to properly screen your tenant by visiting our page about Montana Tenant Screening Background Checks.

Montana Landlord Forms

All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and Montana is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s Montana Landlord Forms now.

Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws

Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of Montana? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant law page. To visit the homepage of landlord tenant laws, click here.