The Montana Rental Lease Agreements are a set of legal forms designed for the temporary transfer of property from a landlord to a tenant. What type of lease you will need varies depending on the type of property, the intended length of the rental and what the property will be used for. A Property Management License is needed to sell or rent property in Montana.
All leases should be read carefully, as they may contain clauses or provisions that a tenant could accidentally break if they fail to pay attention to all of them. Residential leases are obligated to have simple, easy to understand language to minimize the risk of misunderstanding, but should still be read closely. What follows are the most commonly used types of leases and other forms of their respective types.
Form Description Types
Montana Rental Laws
- Montana Code Annotated Title 70
Most leases, regardless of the length or type, will want to charge a Security Deposit, to ensure they can pay for any major damages that are inflicted during a tenancy. Montana state law does not cap how much a landlord can charge for a deposit, but it does require that the landlord provide the tenant with a checklist of the status of the property before collecting a deposit.
Montana landlords are required to return a deposit within ten (10) days of the tenant moving out. If the landlord wishes to make deductions from the deposit to pay for damages, they are required to return the deposit within thirty (30) days.
All of the rules for rent in a tenancy will be listed in the lease, regardless of the type of lease or its length. This will include how much rent is, where and when it is due and what forms are acceptable. There are no rent controlled communities in Montana, so there is no legal limit to how much a landlord can charge for rent.
While rent increases are not permitted in a One Year Lease, a landlord can increase the rent in a Month to Month Lease by giving the tenant fifteen (15) days written notice, essentially at their discretion.
If a tenant neglects to pay their rent on time, they may be charged a late fee. There are no laws in Montana governing how much a late fee can be, or when it can be charged, but there must be a late fee policy clearly spelled out in the lease itself, or no late fee can be charged.
There are a variety of different time frames that must be adhered to in Montana before a landlord can file for eviction Under Montana state law, if the tenant has violated the lease in a way that is fixable, they must give them fourteen (14) days to cure the violation before filing for eviction after being issued a written notice. If the violation is an unauthorized person or animal, the landlord only needs to give the tenant three (3) days.
If the tenant repeats a fixable lease violation twice in six months (a written warning must be issued for the first one) the landlord can issue an Unconditional Quit Notice that gives the tenant five (5) days to move out. If the tenant has permanently damaged the property, the Unconditional Quit Notice will give them three (3) days to vacate. If there has been some other violation of the lease that cannot be remedied, that Unconditional Quit Notice will give them fourteen (14) days to move out.
In any of these cases, if the tenant fails to vacate or remedy the violation in the allotted time, the landlord can seek an Eviction Notice from the local court system. Until the tenant has been issued an Eviction Notice, the landlord cannot tamper with utilities, change the locks or otherwise try to force the tenant to leave.
Under Montana and Federal law, rental discrimination (IE, altering rent, ending lease, refusing to rent, etc.) for the following reasons is illegal
- race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability
- note that sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered
Landlord’s Right to Enter
Under Montana state law, a landlord can only enter a property without notice or consent in an emergency setting or if the property has been abandoned for seven (7) days. In all other cases, the landlord will have to give the tenant twenty four (24) hours notice.