Tenant Law in Montana
Relationships between landlords and tenants in Billings, Montana can get combative. It's difficult to be a tenant or a landlord. If one or both parties are not aware of their legal rights and obligations, conflicts can arise.
Landlords and tenants have various rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.
Landlord's Rights in Billings, MT
Most obviously, landlords have a right to collect rent from their tenants. When a tenant agrees to pay a landlord a specific amount of money for the right to occupy the landlord's property, a contract is formed. Tenants have to hold up their end of the deal.
Additionally, landlords have a right to be compensated for damage a tenant causes to a rented unit, either intentionally or negligently. Landlords have a right to deduct repair costs from tenants' security deposits, unless the damage was caused by usual wear and tear, for which tenants are not responsible.
Tenant's Rights in Billings, MT
Most essentially, tenants have a right to get what they're paying for: a dwelling fit for human habitation. To this end, landlords have to confirm that the units they rent meet Billings, Montana's minimum standards for habitability. These requirements are typicallyy not difficult to meet. They include basic amenities such as running water, electricity, a working phone line, heating, and protection from the elements.
Moreover, tenants are entitled to common areas which are reasonably safe and clean, and free of physical obstacles. Areas such as lobbies, hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes must comply with the building codes of Billings, Montana. Moreover, any other unreasonable safety hazard, even if it doesn't violate a specific provision of a building code, can create liability for the landlord if it injures a tenant.
Under the laws of Montana, and the United States, discrimination in housing on the basis of race, religion, or gender is strictly prohibited. Moreover, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, landlords must not discriminate against renters on the basis of any physical disability. They also have to permit the renter to make reasonable modifications to their apartment, to make it more accessible. Generally, landlords are only required to allow relatively minor and reversible modifications, and tenants cannot compel them to remodel the building, for example. Also, once the tenant leaves, the landlord can bill the tenant for the costs of restoring the apartment to its original condition.
Lastly, tenants in most states have a right to be free from unfair eviction. Usually, lease agreements last for a set period of time, and both parties are bound by that contract. Landlords cannot arbitrarily evict clients while the lease is still in effect.
Can a Billings, Montana Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?
Landlords and tenants generally want to avoid conflict with one another. Nonetheless, conflicts are sometimes unavoidable. If you end up in a major dispute with a landlord or a tenant, a reliable Billings, Montana landlord/tenant attorney can help.