Grab our free sample or generate an official Montana lease agreement for residential use. Read further about required disclosures in Montana, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Montana landlord tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.
Lease Agreement Sample
Click here to view/download the direct PDF file.
Residential lease agreements in Montana should include the following universally required Montana-specific disclosures: (1) mold disclosure, (2) an area for the landlord’s and agent’s/property manager’s names & addresses and (3) move-in checklists. For units built prior to 1978, you’ll also need to include a disclosure about lead-based paint.
Quick Facts for Montana
Max Security Deposit
Who Needs to Sign
Landlord, all tenants, and all co-signers or guarantors
Mold Disclosure, Landlord and Agent Address, Move-In Checklist, Dangers of Radon Gas, & Lead-Based Paint
Legal Early Termination
Beyond written mutual consent, a tenant can break their lease without penalty in Montana if they’re starting active military duty, the unit is considered uninhabitable, or the landlord violates their privacy rights. In these cases, the landlord must make reasonable effort to re-rent the unit. A landlord may break a lease in Montana for a number of reasons, including not paying rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. Before breaking a lease, the landlord must first serve the tenant written notice.
Addendums to Consider
Pets, Utility Allocation, Mold, Criminal Activity, & Marijuana Use (marijuana is legal for medical use in Montana)
What’s in a Montana Residential Lease Agreement
To start, let’s make sure we’re on the same page:
A residential lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant for the use of property for a fixed period in exchange for regular payments. By contrast, a rental agreement has no fixed period, and as a result, is usually month-to-month (read more). Residential lease agreements are governed by Montana landlord-tenant law.
Let’s now go through what you need to include in a residential lease agreement template in Montana. This includes:
- Basic/universal elements – these are applicable to ALL states, not just Montana.
- Montana-specific required disclosures – there are 3, plus 1 conditional federal disclosure.
- Applicable law – the legal stuff beyond lease agreements.
Basic Elements of Residential Lease Agreements in Montana
A lease introduction clearly states the full names of the tenant(s) and landlord(s), the date of the agreement and a detailed description of the rental property. It is critical to be as specific as possible when creating a lease introduction. The necessary components of a lease introduction are listed here:
- Names of the tenant and landlord: This is a small, yet crucial, piece of a residential lease agreement. The residential lease should include the full legal names of all adults living in the rental property. These names should be written or typed clearly. Shortened versions of names, abbreviations or nicknames should not be used. This ensures that involved parties are held accountable in the event of legal action.
- Date of the agreement: The date of the lease should be fully written, indicating the month, day and year. Dashes, slashes or abbreviations should be avoided to maintain clarity.
- Terms & Limits of Occupancy: This section defines the beginning and end date of the lease agreement, including provisions for any extensions. After any fixed periods, the contract can be week-to-week, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, or from year-to-year. The periods at which the rent is to be paid determine the tenancy.
- Address and description of the rental property: Here, the explicit address of the property should be stated. The landlord’s address should also be stated. This portion of the lease introduction makes it clear to both parties which features of the property are included in the lease. It should list all fixed and non-fixed features that are a part of the property. This may encompass:
- Interior boundaries
- Specific rooms
- Light fixtures
- Ceiling fans
- Air conditioning units
- Yard or other outdoor space
- Parking area
- Shed/additional storage
- Exterior fixtures
- Children’s play structure
- Furnishings, such as tables, chairs, beds, patio furniture or other items
- Rent, Utilities & Security Deposits: The amount of the first month’s rent, security deposit, and the total amount of funds required need to be clearly outlined on the lease agreement. The method by which the funds are to be paid should also be included.
This is a lease (the “Lease”) […] between (Name of owner of the property) (“Landlord”) and (Name of person(s) to whom the property is leased) (“Tenant”), made this day of (Date).
TERM. The lease will be for a term of (Number of months) beginning on (Start date) and ending on (End date).
PREMISES. The premises is a (Type of dwelling i.e. house, apartment, etc.) located at (Address of rental property). The following features are included on the property (List of amenities).
RENT & UTILITIES. Tenants will pay a monthly rent of (Rent amount) on the (Day) of each month. Tenants are responsible for utilities including (List of utilities).
Indicating these features in the lease introduction provides tenants with a list of items that they have access to throughout the duration of the lease and informs tenants which features are expected to remain on-premises after the lease term is complete. It also protects the landlord’s property upon the termination of the residential lease agreement
For landlords, this information should be used for verification purposes. Make sure to ask for current photo identification, such as a driver’s license, to verify each tenant’s identity. Once that’s verified, you’ll want to do background checks on all tenants 18 or older (see our guide here).
Required Disclosures in Montana
Each state’s landlord-tenant laws have different requirements for what needs to be disclosed in a residential lease agreement. Montana is no different. There are 3 things you NEED to have included.
According to § 70-16-703, language is required in all rental contracts or this form to be attached to acknowledge that the landlord has no prior information about any mold existing on the premises.
MOLD DISCLOSURE.There are many types of mold. Inhabitable properties are not, and cannot be, constructed to exclude mold. Moisture is one of the most significant factors contributing to mold growth. Information about controlling mold growth may be available from your county extension agent or health department. Certain strains of mold may cause damage to property and may adversely affect the health of susceptible persons, including allergic reactions that may include skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation. Certain strains of mold may cause infections, particularly in individuals with suppressed immune systems. Some experts contend that certain strains of mold may cause serious and even life-threatening diseases. However, experts do not agree about the nature and extent of the health problems caused by mold or about the level of mold exposure that may cause health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the link between mold and serious health conditions. The seller, landlord, seller’s agent, buyer’s agent, or property manager cannot and does not represent or warrant the absence of mold. It is the buyer’s or tenant’s obligation to determine whether a mold problem is present. To do so, the buyer or tenant should hire a qualified inspector and make any contract to purchase, rent, or lease contingent upon the results of that inspection. A seller, landlord, seller’s agent, buyer’s agent, or property manager who provides this mold disclosure statement, provides for the disclosure of any prior testing and any subsequent mitigation or treatment for mold, and discloses any knowledge of mold is not liable in any action based on the presence of or propensity for mold in a building that is subject to any contract to purchase, rent, or lease.
If the landlord accepts a security deposit this document must be attached to the lease and the tenant should inspect the property for pre-existing damage (§ 70-25-206).
Check out our tenant welcome letter & move-in checklist to make sure you’re ready for new tenants.
Any person authorized to enter the premises must be stated in the lease in addition to an address for notices by the tenant.
Landlord: Name Address: Full mailing address
Property Manager/Agent: Name Address: Full mailing address
Lead-Based Paint Hazards
This isn’t Montana-specific, but if the unit being rented out was built before 1978, the landlord is required to do the following 3 things:
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint (see latest pamphlet PDFs here).
- Disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint in the unit (i.e. its location, condition, etc.), and include any records or reports about the paint or its hazards. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
- Fill out and attach this disclosure form to the lease.
Pet Addendums in Florida
The landlord must give written permission for a tenant to keep pets on the property. Pets are defined as dogs, cats, birds, fish, or other domestic animals of any kind.
The lease agreement shall specify how many animals the tenant can have and the type of animal.
Tenants are required to pay a pet deposit fee of an amount outlined in the lease, which is non-refundable. If provisions for maintaining a pet is not included in the lease, it shall be added as an addendum to the lease agreement.
The signed pet agreement applies only to the pet specified in the signed contract. The pet addendum may not be substituted or transferred to any other pet. The landlord reserves the right to terminate the pet agreement if the tenant violates the terms of their contract.
Tenants are responsible for keeping their pets under control and not leaving them unattended for an unreasonable amount of time.
Tenants are responsible for their pets and any property damage caused by the pets.
It shall be the tenant’s responsibility to control any flea infestation because of their pets and to pay for the extermination of any and all affected areas.
The landlord is not liable for any injury that occurs from an attack or interaction with an animal, whether it occurs on or off the property. If an attack from an animal occurs and there is no fencing around the property, the landlord is not held liable because of the absence of a fence.
Although they are not required, the tenant is encouraged to obtain pet liability insurance if it is offered as a rider to their renter’s insurance policy.
After the lease has ended, the pet deposit will be used for cleaning the carpets or other areas damaged as a result of having pets on the premises.
Read our guide on pet policies and our blog post about service animal documentation for more information.
Check out our sample of a pet addendum below.
This Addendum is made on [ DATE ] between [ LANDLORD’S NAME ] (Landlord) and [ TENANT’S NAME ] (Tenant), and is understood to modify the Residential Lease for [ PROPERTY ADDRESS ] originally dated [ DATE ].
The landlord grants permission to the tenant to keep the domesticated pet(s) on the premises during the term of the lease agreement (INCLUDE LEASE START AND END DATE). The landlord may revoke permission at any time if the tenant fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions in the lease or following addendums.
2. SERVICE ANIMALS
Service, Guide, Signal, or Support animals are not “Pets” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as long as the animal is being used by the tenant to support a disability or handicap, or if the tenant is training the animal(s).
If the tenant’s pet actually a Certified Service Animal or in training to be a Certified Service Animal? : _______ Yes _______ No
3. ANIMAL PROFILE
Type of Animal(s): Dog, Cat, Bird, Rabbit, Pig, Reptile, Fish (circle all that apply)
Name of Animal(s): ________________________
Weight of Animal(s): ______________________ (lbs.)
Breed of Animals(s): ______________________
Age of Animal(s): ________________________
Spayed or Neutered?: __________ Yes _______ No
Current on Vaccinations?: _______ Yes _______ No
Valid Animal Licenses?: _________ Yes _______ No
Beyond what’s stated in a residential lease agreement, there are numerous laws that govern a rental arrangement. We’ll go through the most important ones below.
Security Deposits in Montana
The security deposit is a preset amount of money that is considered owned by the tenant that the landlord can use should excess damage happen across the duration of a tenancy. It’s important to note that there is no existing statutory limit on the maximum amount of a security deposit set by a landlord in the state of Montana. Many properties opt to charge either a single month’s or two months’ worth of rent for a security deposit. While there’s no upward limit in Montana, there is a firm limit for returning the fee of 30 days after the move-out if there are deductions and 10 days if there are none. If the landlord exceeds either of these limits, then he or she will be required to pay twice the value of the deposit.
Breaking a Lease in Montana
It’s essential to note that lease agreements that have a fixed term are legally binding contracts, so a tenant will need a valid reason to break one before its duration has expired in order to avoid penalties. For those that opt to end early without a valid reason, then the tenant may be required the remaining rent until the date of the original lease end. This may be decided in court, but Montana law does establish that the landlord must make a reasonable attempt to find a replacement renter. With a new renter, if the rent value is the same, then the original renter is off the hook. If the new renter pays less in rent, then the original renter will still be responsible for the difference.
Eviction Process in Montana
When it comes to the eviction process in this state, Montana has a single document that the landlord can use for multiple circumstances. This is due to the fact that the Notice to Quit form has checkboxes. For example, if a tenant is not paying rent on time, the landlord can file a Notice to Quit but check off the reason being for non-payment of rent. This type of notice bears with it a three-day period to remedy the situation. Another variant that bears a three-day notice period is if the tenant violates the lease by having unauthorized people or pets within the unit. For the majority of checkboxes, the situations are remediable, but some cannot be cured. These include subleasing without authorization, abandonment, illicit drug-related activity within the unit, repeat violations of the lease agreement, and week-to-week or month-to-month tenancies.
Once the notice period for these has expired, the landlord may file a complaint and summons in the city court. He or she will also have to file a Request to Serve document that will be used by the sheriff to serve the tenant the summons. If the tenant is ruled against because he or she hasn’t made an appearance or has just lost the case, then the court will order them to move out. If they don’t move out within the prescribed time, then the landlord may apply for a Writ of Assistance to have the sheriff elicit a forced move-out.