In the second posting of this multi-part series we will cover some frequently asked questions regarding Montana Landlord-Tenant law.
Q: How long do I have to return a tenants’ security deposit?
A: Generally the security deposit must be returned 30 days subsequent to the termination of tenancy - along with a statement of deductions. If there are no damages, no unpaid rent or other money due to the Landlord and the Tenant can demonstrate that there are no utilities due then the security deposit must be returned within 10 days.
See MCA – 70-25-202
Q: When may a Landlord enter a Tenant’s unit?
A: When they give 24 hours advance notice to make a repair/improvement/alteration, to supply a service, or to show unit to purchaser/mortgagee/tenant/contractor/worker. Landlord is not required to give a 24 hour notice in the event of an emergency, court order or when impracticable.
See MCA – 70-24-312
Q: When must a Landlord provide heat to a unit?
A: A Landlord is required to provide heat between October 1st and May 1st.
See MCA – 70-24-303
Legal Fine Print: This information provided by Montana Property Education is provided for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice.
By Sarnen Steinbarth
State of Montana Real Estate Instructor
Did you know that September is the official safety month of the year?
Here are some tips to stay safe on real estate showings:
1. Carry a digital weapon - a cell phone. Phones can be a life-saver in a bad situation. Stay in communication with someone who knows you are on a showing. If you don't have cell phone service at the property let someone know when to expect you back.
2. ID and pre-qualify prospective clients (buyers, tenants, etc). At a minimum, get a copy of a driver's license. Having basic information on a person is one of the best deterrents to a crime.
3. Trust your intuition - if you feel uncomfortable with the client bring a buddy with you. Having more than one person dramatically increases your level of safety.
4. Be smart at the property. Let the client go into rooms first, stay in an open and well lit part of the property. Leave the front door open. Tell the client you are expecting someone else shortly.
5. Know the basics of self-defense. Whether or not you are comfortable with a physical deterrent ( weapon, pepper spray, etc.) you should be comfortable with some basic self defense techniques. Not comfortable with self-defense moves? Take a class at a local gym or community organization to learn some nifty moves.
In the first posting of this multi-part series we will cover some frequently asked questions regarding Montana Landlord-Tenant law.
Q: When are move-in condition reports required?
A: A written move-in condition report is required if there is a security deposit. If there is no security deposit then a move-in condition report is not required.
See MCA – 70-25-206
Q: Is a landlord required to notify the tenant of any cleaning necessary prior to deducting cleaning expenses from a security deposit?
A: Yes. A landlord must provide the tenant with a notice, which includes the type of cleaning required, and a 24 hour period to perform any necessary cleaning prior to deducting cleaning expenses from a security deposit. This does not apply if the tenant moved out without notice.
See MCA – 70-25-201
Q: When can a new rule be in effect if it substantially modifies a tenant’s bargain of their rental agreement?
A: The new rule would not be in effect until after 30 days notice for month-to-month tenancies, or after the initial term of the agreement for tenancies longer than month-to-month.
See MCA – 70-24-311
Sarnen is owner/founder of Montana Property Education and is a State of Montana approved real estate instructor. He is also a licensed property manager, broker and owner of Blue River Property Management, LLC. in Helena, MT www.blueriverpm.com.
This information provided by Montana Property Education is provided for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice.