first and last month’s rent

By sukiepeezle

Is it legal to charge last month’s rent in Montana.  First, last and deposit?

Edited on: Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 10:18 am

One Response to “first and last month’s rent”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)
 

Scott

May 3rd, 2010 3:03 pm

I just researched Montana Security Deposit law… There is no law that regulates the amount a landlord can charge for security deposits.  Here is a snippet of the law:  Montana Title 70 (property) Chapter 25 (Residential Tenant’s Security Deposits)  Source:  Montana Code Annotated data.

70-25-201. Security deposit — deductions authorized therefrom. (1) A landlord renting property covered by this chapter may deduct from the security deposit a sum equal to the damage alleged to have been caused by the tenant, together with a sum equal to the unpaid rent, late charges, utilities, penalties due under lease provisions, and other money owing to the landlord at the time of deduction, including rent owed under 70-24-441(3), and a sum for actual cleaning expenses, including a reasonable charge for the landlord’s labor. 
(2) At the request of either party, the premises may be inspected within 1 week prior to termination of the tenancy. 
(3) Cleaning charges may not be imposed for normal maintenance performed on a cyclical basis by the landlord as noted by the landlord at the time that the tenant occupies the space unless the landlord is forced to perform this maintenance because of negligence of the tenant. Additionally, cleaning charges may not be deducted until written notice has been given to the tenant. The notice must include the cleaning not accomplished by the tenant and the additional and type or types of cleaning that need to be done by the tenant to bring the premises back to its condition at the time of its renting. After the delivery of the notice, the tenant has 24 hours to complete the required cleaning. If notice is mailed by certified mail, service of the notice is considered to have been made 3 days after the date of the mailing. A tenant who fails to notify the landlord of the intent to vacate or who vacates the premises without notice relieves the landlord of the requirement of giving notice and allows the landlord to deduct the cleaning charges from the deposit. 
(4) A person may not deduct or withhold from the security deposit any amount for purposes other than those set forth in this section.

70-25-204. Wrongful withholding of security deposit — action. (1) A person who wrongfully withholds a residential property security deposit or any portion of the deposit is liable in damages to the tenant in a civil action for an amount equal to the sum determined to have been wrongfully withheld or deducted. The attorney fees may be awarded the prevailing party at the discretion of the court. The burden of proof of damages caused by the tenant to the leasehold premises is on the landlord. 
(2) An action may not be maintained by a tenant for any amount wrongfully withheld or deducted prior to: 
(a) the tenant’s receipt from the landlord or the landlord’s agent of a written denial of the sum alleged to be wrongfully detained; 
(b) the expiration of a 30-day period after the termination of a tenancy; 
(c) the expiration of a 30-day period after surrender and acceptance of the leasehold premises; or 
(d) the expiration of a 10-day period after the landlord has indicated there were no damages to the premises, no cleaning was required, no rent was unpaid, and no utilities were unpaid by the tenant.

70-25-206. Landlord to furnish statement of condition of premises at beginning of lease. (1) Any person engaged in the rental of property for residential purposes who requires a security deposit shall furnish to each tenant, in conjunction with execution of a lease or creation of a tenancy, a separate written statement as to the present condition of the premises intended to be let. At the written request of the tenant, a copy of the written list of damage and cleaning charges, if any, provided to the tenant of the immediately preceding leasehold agreement for the premises in question must be provided to the tenant. 
(2) Each written statement of the present condition of a premises intended to be let shall contain at least the following: 
(a) a clear and concise statement of the present condition of the premises known to the landlord or the landlord’s agent or which should have been known upon reasonable inspection; 
(b) if the premises have never previously been let, a statement indicating the fact; and 
(c) the signature of the landlord or the landlord’s agent. 
(3) A person engaged in the rental of property for residential purposes who fails to furnish a tenant, in conjunction with the execution of the lease or creation of the tenancy, with a separate written statement of the present condition of the premises intended to be let and, upon the written request of the tenant, a written list of damage and cleaning charges provided to the tenant of the immediately preceding leasehold agreement is barred from recovering any sum for damage to or cleaning of the leasehold premises unless the person can establish by clear and convincing evidence that the damage occurred during the tenancy in question and was caused by the tenant occupying the leasehold premises or the tenant’s family, licensees, or invitees.


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