Montana Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: July 13, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

The Montana residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legally binding contract between a residential property owner (landlord/lessor) and a tenant (lessee). The document allows the negotiated terms and conditions to be made in regard to the monthly rent payment, security deposit, term, utilities, and other agreed-upon items.

Montana Lease Agreement Disclosures

The below disclosures are required for all or some residential lease agreements in Montana.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord Name/Address All Units
Move-In Checklist All Units Charging Security Deposits
Mold All Units with Knowledge of Mold
Meth All Units with Knowledge of Meth
Lead Paint All Units Prior to 1978
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Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Montana.

Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease. The landlord must provide this disclosure at or before the commencement of the tenancy. Additionally, this information shall be kept current and in writing. 

Move-In Checklist

Applicable to all rental units that charge a security deposit in Montana.

Montana landlords that intend to charge a security deposit are required to provide an inventory of the rental unit’s condition in the form of a move-in checklist. This checklist does not necessarily have to be attached to the rental agreement, but it does need to be inspected and agreed to by the prospective tenant before taking occupancy.

The checklist should contain a detailed statement of the current condition of the rental unit. If the rental unit has never been occupied, it shall require the signature of the landlord (or landlord’s agent).

Download: Montana Move-In Checklist Disclosure Form (PDF)

Mold Disclosure

Applicable to any units with known mold that may pose a health threat in Montana.

In Montana, landlords must provide a mold disclosure as part of the rental agreement when there is a known presence of toxic mold. This disclosure must be provided alongside or on the rental agreement itself, and shall be provided to the tenant prior or upon entering the lease.  The language below must be included in the disclosure:

“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.”

The tenant shall acknowledge the receipt of the abovementioned mold disclosure by signing a copy of the disclosure statement.

Download: Montana Mold Disclosure Form (PDF)

Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure

Applicable to any property where the landlord has knowledge of methamphetamine production that has not been remediated by a certified contractor in Montana.

In Montana, disclosure of any knowledge relating to methamphetamine (manufacturing or contamination due to smoke from the use of methamphetamine) that has occurred in the dwelling or on the rental must be disclosed in the rental agreement. The disclosure must made known to the tenant if the property has not been professionally remediated to safe levels of contamination. It is recommended even if contamination has been remediated.

If contamination does occur, the landlord is required to pursue decontamination prior to the commencement of the lease term to ensure the safety of the tenant.

Download: Montana Methamphetamine Disclosure Form (PDF)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Montana to:

Download: Montana Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Montana law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

Optional Disclosure How the Disclosure is Helpful
Asbestos This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.
Late/Returned Check Fees Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Montana there are no restrictions on late fees and a $30 limit on returned checks.
Medical Marijuana Use Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.
Non-Refundable Fees A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.
Shared Utilities Arrangements For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
Smoking Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.

If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)

It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.