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Montana Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

The agreement you make with your landlord affects what rights you'll have as a tenant. All states regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants to some extent, including limits on security deposits and anti-discrimination laws.

What Is Typically Included in Leases and Rental Agreements?

A lease (sometimes referred to as a rental agreement) is a legal contract between the tenant and landlord, spelling out the obligations of each party, due dates for paying rent, and other terms. Leases vary, but often contain the following items:

  • Names involved in the lease (usually just the landlord and tenant)
  • Address of the property, plus a description
  • How the long the lease runs (month-to-month, one year, etc.)
  • Rental amount and due dates
  • Security deposit amount
  • Pet policy
  • Utilities covered by the landlord (if applicable)

Security Deposits in Montana

A security deposit is money you give to your landlord when you move in. Your landlord can use it to cover any unpaid rent or damages. You may not use your security deposit to cover your last month's rent unless your landlord agrees. According to Montana lease and rental agreement laws, there is no limit on the amount you can be charged for a security deposit.

When Does My Landlord Have To Return My Security Deposit?

Montana landlords cannot withhold money for cleaning charges unless the landlord gives the departing tenant written notice of cleaning which needs to be done, and gives the tenant 24 hours to complete the cleaning. A landlord also cannot withhold money for cleaning or damages unless the landlord gives the tenant, within 30 days after the tenancy is terminated, a written list of any rent due and damage and cleaning charges. With the list, the landlord must return the balance of the security deposit minus any amount for cleaning, damages, or unpaid rent.


Landlords may not discriminate against you because of your:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental impairment
  • Religion
  • Ancestry or national origin
  • Receiving Public Assistance
  • Being a single parent, being pregnant or having children

This means that a landlord cannot refuse to rent to you, charge you extra, or evict you for any of these reasons. If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination, you may wish to contact Montana Fair Housing.

The details of Montana lease and rental agreement laws are listed in the box below. See FindLaw's Landlord Tenant Law section for additional articles and state-specific resources.

Code Section 49-2-305; 70-24-201(2); 70-25-201, et seq.
Deposits No limit on deposit; interest on deposit not required; before any damages are subtracted from deposit, landlord must give tenant an itemized list and provide an opportunity for tenant to clean or fix the problem.
Discrimination No discrimination on basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, affectionate or sexual orientation, familial status, or sex.
Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted? Yes
Terms of Lease Holdover converts to month-to-month tenancy unless tenant pays weekly, then week-to-week.

Note: State lease and rental agreement laws are constantly changing -- contact a Montana landlord-tenant law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Montana Leases and Rental Agreements Laws: Related Resources

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