Montana Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 23, 2021 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 following disclosures are required for all 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.

Any individual authorized to manage the rental property, including the landlord and owner must disclose their name and address so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. Generally, this information is provided in the rental agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy. This information shall be kept current and in writing.

Move-In Checklist

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

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, 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 following language must be included: 

“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, 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 following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Montana law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

  • Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Montana law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
  • Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. Montana does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease. A $30 fee may be charged for a return check.
  • Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate