Montana Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

The Montana Month-to-Month Lease Agreement defines the legal relationship between Owners and Tenants for month-to-month rentals. These leases automatically renew each month until the Tenant or Owner provides proper notice. While oral agreements are legally binding, a written lease is recommended for clarity and mutual protection.

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Montana Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

In Montana, month-to-month leases offer flexibility and legal protection for both Tenants and Owners as stipulated under the Montana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Title 70, Chapters 24 and 25 of the Montana Code Annotated [MCA]). Streamline your rental process with this legally compliant Montana Month-to-Month Lease Agreement, covering essential terms, renewals, notices, and Tenant rights.

Lease Termination & Renewal

  • Notice Requirements: Tenants must provide a 30-day advance notice to terminate a month-to-month lease in Montana.
  • Early Termination: Montana Tenants may legally terminate their lease early under the following circumstances:
    • If the lease agreement includes an early termination clause, Tenants may break the lease under its terms.
    • Tenants entering active military service have the right to terminate their lease early.
    • Tenants may break the lease if the rental unit becomes uninhabitable and doesn’t meet health and safety standards.
    • Tenants may terminate their lease early in cases of Owner harassment or violating Tenant privacy rights.
  • Monthly Renewal: The lease agreement renews automatically month-to-month unless either party gives appropriate notice to terminate it, per the notice requirements.

Rent Increases

  • By Montana state law, which neither endorses nor implements any form of rent control and explicitly prohibits municipalities from enacting such measures, the following are best practices for rent adjustments:
  • Property owners in Montana retain the prerogative to determine rent amount increases.
  • In the event of a rent increase, owners must provide Tenants with a minimum of 30 days’ advance notice.

Security Deposit

  • Maximum Security Deposit: Montana law doesn’t limit the funds a Landlord can collect as a security deposit. This state allows Owners discretion in setting the deposit amount.
  • Pet Deposits: Landlords in Montana are permitted to charge a separate pet deposit. However, this doesn’t apply to service dogs and emotional support animals.
  • Security Deposit Collection Requirements:
  • For inventory requirements, Landlords must provide Tenants with a written statement detailing the rental unit’s condition at the beginning of the lease term.
  • For receipt requirements, Montana Landlords aren’t required to issue a receipt for security deposits.
  • Holding Security Deposits: No specific account is required to hold security deposits. Montana law doesn’t mandate that Landlords have security deposits in a separate account from the Owner’s other funds.
  • Interest on Security Deposits: There are no interest requirements for security deposits. Landlords in Montana aren’t obliged to pay interest on held security deposits.
  • Returns and Deductions: Landlords may deduct for unpaid rent, utilities, late fees, damages beyond normal wear and tear, costs related to storage and disposal of unclaimed property, and cleaning costs.
  • The timeline for returning a security deposit depends on whether the Owner made any deductions:
    • 10 Days: If no deductions are made.
    • 30 Days: If deductions are made.
  • Tenants have the legal right to initiate a lawsuit for double the sum of the deposit wrongfully withheld, in addition to court costs and attorneys’ fees.

Tenant Rights

  • Except in emergencies, the owner must provide at least 24-hour notice before entering a rental dwelling.
  • Tenants have the right to a habitable living environment, including functional plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.
  • If an owner neglects necessary repairs, Tenants might have the right to pay for repairs and deduct the cost from their rent under certain conditions.
  • Tenants are protected from retaliation by owners for exercising their legal rights, such as lodging a complaint about unsafe living conditions.
  • Tenants can pursue legal action if the owner violates the lease terms or Montana’s Owner-Tenant laws.
  • It’s unlawful to discriminate in housing matters based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, or disability. In addition, Montana extends these protections to include age and marital status.
  • Discriminatory behavior that’s prohibited under the law when directed at a member of a protected class includes:
    • Declining a legitimate offer to rent or sell.
    • Imposing varied terms, conditions, or privileges.
    • Misrepresenting a unit as not available.
    • Engaging in blockbusting or steering practices.
    • Denying specific financial services.
    • Bias in property appraisals.
    • Advertising with a bias toward or against a particular group.

Required Disclosures in Montana

In compliance with Montana state law, it’s incumbent upon owners to provide Tenants with specific disclosures in the Montana Month-to-Month Lease Agreement before the commencement of a tenancy. These mandatory disclosures ensure transparency and protect the health and safety of Tenants.

  • Lead-Based Paint: For residences built before 1978, the Owner must disclose any lead-based paint hazards.
  • Authorized Agents: The Agreement must have the names and addresses of individuals or entities responsible for property management.
  • Move-In Checklist: For leases where a security deposit is charged, owners must provide an inventory of the property’s condition at lease start.
  • Mold Disclosure: Owners must disclose any known presence of mold that may have health impacts
  • Methamphetamine Contamination: The owner should disclose if there was any methamphetamine production without the decontamination process on the property.