A Montana lease agreement is a legal document created to regulate the rights and responsibilities of the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee).
The landlord and the tenant are free to include any clause in their lease agreement that is not prohibited or illegal under federal or Montana state laws and regulations. They usually provide the rent amount and lease duration as one of the main constructive elements of the Montana lease agreements.
The tenant sends an application form to the landlord before they start negotiating the terms of the lease agreement. The application form usually includes basic information about the tenant and their financial status, as well as references from previous tenancies.
Then, the landlord carefully reviews the tenant’s application, and if everything is in order, they start the lease agreement drafting process.
By the end of this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the Montana lease agreement drafting process.
So let’s start!
Montana Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
If you are drafting the lease agreement for the property located in Montana, make sure to include the mandatory disclosures listed below to prevent any legal liabilities:
Lead-based paint disclosure. This disclosure must be included for every leased property built before 1978, as required by federal law. It informs the tenant of any lead-based paint hazards at the leased property.
Mold disclosure. Every lease agreement in Montana must include a statement about the mold. The text of the statement is available in the Montana statute, § 70-16-703. It gives the tenant guidelines for mold prevention and health indicators.
Property condition disclosure. If the landlord requires the security deposit, they must provide a statement about the leased property's condition before the tenancy starts. It will include a description of all damages to the property that were present before the tenant moved in. (§ 70-25-206)
Manager and owner disclosure. The landlord must disclose the name and address of the property manager and owner or the person authorized to represent them. This disclosure must be included for the purpose of receiving the notices and demands from the tenant. (§ 70-24-301)
Methamphetamine disclosure. If the landlord knows that the leased property has been used as a methamphetamine lab or that the property is contaminated with methamphetamine smoke, they must disclose this fact to the tenant. This disclosure can be omitted if the leased property has been decontaminated according to Montana laws. (§ 75-10-1305(3))
Montana Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
The landlord and tenant can enhance protection for their rights and reduce liabilities by incorporating these disclosures into the lease agreement:
Non-refundable fee disclosure. If the landlord wants to charge any non-refundable fees to the tenant, they must disclose this in the lease agreement. The tenant can claim back any non-refundable fee not properly disclosed.
Asbestos disclosure. For any property built before 1981 or where there is a known presence of asbestos in the construction, the landlord shall inform the tenant about the asbestos hazard. It also includes guidelines on using the leased property without disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
The landlord who doesn’t address the mandatory safety and health hazards and includes the mandatory clauses in the lease agreement can face legal consequences and pay penalties.
Moreover, the landlord can be fined up to $19,507 if they fail to include the lead-based paint disclosure in their lease agreement. (24 CFR § 30.65)
Montana Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
There is no set limit for the security deposit in Montana. That means that the landlord can charge any reasonable amount. The security deposit must be kept on a separate account during the lease term.
Security Deposit Return
The landlord needs to return the security deposit within 10 days if the tenant paid all the due rent and didn't do any damage to the property.
If some deductions need to be made, the landlord must send an itemized list, as well as the remaining security deposit, within 30 days.
When is Rent Due in Montana? (Grace Period)
In practice, the landlord and the tenant would provide the due date for the rent payment and insert it in the lease agreement.
State laws don’t provide a grace period for the rent payment in Montana. So, once the due date has passed, the landlord can start the eviction process or charge late fees.
Montana Rent Late Fees
No Montana law provides a maximum limit for the late fee. However, the landlord must include any late fee in the lease agreement.
Montana NSF Checks
The landlord is entitled to compensation for a rent payment check that is returned for non-sufficient funds. The compensation includes the value of the check plus a service charge of no more than $30. (§ 27-1-717)
The landlord can also waive their right to the service charge.
Montana Landlord’s Right to Enter
The landlord can access the leased unit to make the necessary repairs, inspect the unit, supply the necessary services, or exhibit the leased unit to prospective buyers or tenants. In each of these cases, the tenant must consent to the visit.
Except in the case of an emergency, the landlord must issue at least a 24-hour notice to the tenant before accessing the leased unit.
The tenant cannot change, remove, or add locks to the leased unit without the consent of the landlord. If the tenant changes the lock, they must provide the landlord with the key to the new lock.
Montana Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, the Montana lease agreement is a legally binding document.
If the landlord doesn’t sign the lease agreement but accepts the rent and allows the tenant to move into the property, it will have the same effect as if the landlord signed it.
On the contrary, if the tenant doesn’t sign the lease agreement but pays the rent and moves into the property, the effect is the same as if they had signed the lease agreement.
In both cases mentioned above, the validity of the lease agreement is limited to one year.
The Montana lease agreement should have the following structure:
Names and addresses of the parties
Information about the leased unit
Duration of the lease
Rent amount, due date, and late fees
Security deposit amount
Mandatory clauses provided by the federal and state law
Rights and duties of the landlord and the tenant
Rules about the lease agreement termination
Date and place of signing the lease agreement
Signatures of the landlord and the tenant
You can download one of the many templates available on our website.
Depending on the duration or type of your lease, you can choose between the:
Commercial or residential lease agreement
Long term lease or month-to-month rental agreement
Room rental or sublease agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After completing the lease agreement, you should inspect the leased property. By inspecting it, you will make sure there are no repairs or cleaning needed before the move-in. If everything is in order, the landlord and the tenant should both sign the move-in form.