Renting is a Privilege

The landlord is there to protect property values while preserving “quiet enjoyment” for tenants and neighbors. There will always be more renters, but good rentals are hard to come by. Respect the process and people involved. 

Stay away from these common trouble spots to keep a positive relationship with your landlord:

  • Having an unauthorized pet
  • Having an unauthorized tenant
  • Noise complaints, parties
  • Not paying rent
  • Not maintaining property
  • Breaking city code: not shoveling, mowing, or taking out garbage/recycling

Renters Rights and Responsibilities

As a tenant, you need to know about your rights and responsibilities. While each lease is different from the next, here are common rights and responsibilities required by Montana and Federal laws.

Your rights include:

  1. The right to know the name of the landlord.
  2. The right to possess the rental.
  3. The right to have the landlord maintain the rental.
    a. Property must meet all applicable housing and building codes for the Bozeman area.
    b. Make necessary repairs to keep the rental in a habitable condition. (If the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs, make the repair request in writing, then seek legal counsel.)
    c. Supply running water and reasonable heat.
    d. Install approved carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  4. The right to live in a rental free of unlawful or unreasonable entry by the landlord or to be kept from the rental by the landlord.

Your responsibilities include:

  1. Maintain the rental as outlined in the lease.
  2. Allow the landlord to enter the rental in these circumstances:
    a. Only with good reason.
    b. Only when given 24-hour's notice of entry by the landlord.
  3. Provide the landlord with keys to the locks.
  4. Follow the landlord's reasonable rules.
  5. Not to move out of the rental before the end of the lease term.
  6. Maintain the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  7. Leave the rental once the agreement has ended.

For more information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant please visit housing.mt.gov.

Tenant Violations

If the tenant has violated either the rental agreement or the requirements of the Montana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, the landlord may terminate a rental agreement with 14 days notice to the tenant, except under the following circumstances:

  • The landlord need only give three days notice if the tenant’s viola-tion involves any one of the following:
    •  unpaid rent
    • an unauthorized tenant or pet
    • damage to the rental property
    • the tenant’s arrest for producing or manufacturing drugs on the rental premises
  • The landlord need only give five days notice if it is a repeat violation about which the landlord has previously notified the tenant within the past six months.

Evictions

A lease may not be terminated early unless the tenant has violated the rental agreement or the requirements of the Montana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. A landlord may generally terminate a month-to-month rental agreement by providing 30-day's notice to the tenant.

Legal Counsel

ASMSU partners with full-time lawyers to counsel students with legal matters. If you face legal challenges with your landlord, you may set up an appointment with ASMSU Student Legal Services by going to SUB 221. For $10, you can meet with an attorney who can answer all of your questions.