Montana Tenant Rights Laws

Choosing to enter into a residential lease is an important decision. Before doing so, it's a good idea to read the lease carefully to be sure you understand your rights and obligations under the contract. It's also smart to understand your state's laws governing residential landlords and tenants. If you are a renter in Big Sky Country, read on to learn more about Montana tenants' rights laws.

Montana Tenants Rights Laws at a Glance

Montana has state laws that limit some aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship. For example, while Montana chooses not to limit how much a landlord can require you to pay as a security deposit, the law does set time limits for the return of your security deposit or itemized list of deductions when you move out.

Montana also has regulations ensuring that landlords provide tenants with safe and habitable living environments. This includes your right as a tenant to "repair and deduct," where you pay for an important repair and deduct it from your rent payment if your landlord unreasonably fails to make such critical repairs.

The below chart provides more details about Montana tenants' rights laws at a glance.

Statutes

Montana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1977

Security Deposits

  • Montana law doesn't limit how much landlord can require as security deposit
  • Full security deposit must be returned to tenant within 10 days of move-out, or landlord must provide an itemized list of deductions within 30 days of move-out

Paying Rent

  • Landlords must provide 15 days' notice before raising rent
  • Tenant has 3 day grace period for paying rent before landlord can evict

Living Conditions

  • Landlord must comply with all building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
  • Landlord must keep premises in a fit and habitable condition
  • Tenant has right to "repair and deduct" if landlord fails to make important repairs
  • Landlord may enter tenant unit without notice in the event of an emergency
  • In non-emergency circumstances, landlord must provide 24 hours' notice before entering unit
  • Tenant can't unreasonably withhold consent for landlord to enter unit

Discrimination

  • Montana law prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of sex, marital status, race, creed, religion, age, familial status, physical or mental disability, color, or national origin

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • A tenancy at will can be terminated by landlord after giving at least 1 months' notice to tenant
  • Landlord can evict tenant for non-payment of rent after giving 3 days' notice

Retaliation

  • It's illegal for landlord to discriminate against tenant for reporting safety violations to government agencies or organizing tenants' organizations

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related: Montana Tenants' Rights Resources

Get a Free Evaluation of Your Landlord/Tenant Case

If you're having a conflict with your landlord, then you understand first-hand how stressful and draining that can be. Understanding your state's laws about landlord/tenant issues is an important first step. It may also be a good idea to seek professional legal help. FindLaw can help match you with an experienced attorney in your area for your free case evaluation.

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