Montana Landlord Tenant Rights

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in Montana, entering into a lease agreement is a big decision. Before you sign on the dotted line, check out our quick guide to Montana Landlord Tenant Rights.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants. These include the duty to address, maintain, or provide the following:

  • Dwelling structures
  • Bed bugs
  • Electricity
  • Heating
  • Water
  • Plumbing and sanitation
  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Ventilation
  • Mold
  • Mandatory disclosures (lead, mold, and methamphetamine contamination)

If the landlord fails to address issues with any of the above within 14 days, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the next month rent. The landlord is prohibited from engaging in retaliatory conduct.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants also have responsibilities to their landlords. They owe a duty to:

  • Pay rent in a timely manner
  • Maintain the unit in a safe and habitable condition
  • Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
  • Remove garbage
  • Keep all fixtures in a safe and sanitary condition
  • Make small repairs and perform minor maintenance

Security Deposit

Montana law does not cap a maximum allowable amount for a security deposit. However, the landlord only has 30 days to return the deposit minus deductions to the tenant or else they may be held liable for twice the amount of the original deposit.

Rent and Fees

Landlords are free to charge whatever they wish for rent and fees. They are not required to give notice of rental increases and can raise the rent by any amount.

Evictions

Landlords can evict tenants on any of the following grounds:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Violation of lease term
  • No lease or the lease has ended
  • Material health or safety violation
  • Illegal acts

Tenants can legally end their lease early in the following circumstances:

  • Active military duty
  • Landlord harassment
  • Early termination clause in the lease
  • The unit is uninhabitable

Lease Termination Notice

Landlords are required to give notice before terminating a lease. If the termination is for nonpayment of rent, the landlord must give a 3-day Notice to Pay before proceeding with eviction. If the tenant has violated a lease term the landlord must give them 3 days to address the issue; if they fail to do so, the landlord can then issue a 3-day notice. If the lease has ended or there is no lease and the tenant has stayed in the unit the landlord may issue either a 7-day notice for week-to-week tenants or a 30-day notice for month-to-month tenants. If the lease is being terminated for a material health or safety violation, the landlord must give the tenant 14 days to either address the issue or vacate the premises. For illegal acts the landlord must issue a 3-day notice.

Tenants must also give landlords notice before terminating their lease. Week-to-week tenants are required to give a 7-day notice and month-to-month tenants a 30-day notice.

Relevant State Agencies

Tenants and Landlords: Montana Department of Justice

Montana Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

Billings:

Housing Authority of Billings

Water

Electric

Gas

Missoula:

Missoula Housing Authority

Water

Electric

Gas

Great Falls:

City of Great Falls Fair Housing

Great Falls Housing Authority

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

Montana Residential Landlord Tenant Act