All About Montana Eviction Laws
The Montana eviction process can be a tricky one, so it is important to know the law well. Landlords will often try to evict tenants for reasons that are not legal or ethical, and without knowing your rights you may find yourself in trouble. This article outlines the many different types of and how to avoid getting evicted.
Fighting an eviction can be confusing and daunting, but it is important to do so if you believe that you are being wrongfully evicted. DoNotPay can help.
Types of Montana Eviction Laws
There are three main types of evictions in the state of Montana. All three types of eviction result in the tenant having to move out, but there are differences based on why you were evicted. The three types of evictions in Montana are:
1. Unlawful Detainer (Eviction for Nonpayment)
If a tenant fails to pay the full amount of rent on time, they will be served with an Unlawful Detainer notice. The tenant has 3 days to pay or move out. If neither happens, then you can legally evict them and take their belongings. If the tenant tries to come back they will be trespassing.
2. Constructive Eviction
Constructive eviction is when the landlord creates an environment that is so intolerable that the tenant has to leave. This could be done by cutting off water or heat, removing essential household items, or any other behavior that makes living in the property unbearable. The main difference between constructive eviction and unlawful detainer is that constructive eviction does not require that the tenant failed to pay rent.
3. Nuisance Eviction
A nuisance eviction is when the tenant creates a problem or disturbance that significantly impacts other tenants or the property owner. This could be noise, damage, or any other behavior that affects the quality of life for other tenants. Nuisance evictions must be done through the court system and the tenant has a right to due process.
What Are My Rights as a Tenant in Montana?
Landlords are required to give notice before they evict a tenant. This notice has to include the reason why you are being evicted and the amount of time that you have to move out. You can be evicted if you fail to pay rent, cause damage, or behave in an illegal manner.
A landlord cannot force you to leave unless they have given you notice. This means that they cannot put your belongings on the street or change the locks without giving you any time to move out.
A tenant in Montana also has the right to due process. This means that you have the right to contest the eviction and have a hearing in front of a judge. If the landlord is trying to evict you for a reason that is not listed above, you may be able to win your case.
The Eviction Process in Montana
Many tenants will often make the mistake of thinking that they can ignore an eviction notice because the property owner has to go through many steps before evicting them. There are several steps in order for a tenant to be formally evicted by a property owner in Montana.
|The Tenant Has Failed to Pay Rent on Time||The property owner gives the tenant written notice stating that rent is due and must be paid within three days. If the tenant fails to pay, then they are given an Unlawful Detainer Notice. If the rent is paid within three days then there is no eviction.|
|A Summons and Complaint Are Served||If the tenant fails to pay their rent or otherwise breaks the lease agreement, then the property owner can file a summons and complaint with the local court. This has to be done within 30 days of receiving an Unlawful Detainer notice. Service for this is either through certified mail or personal service. The tenant will have 7 days to file a written response with the court.|
|A Hearing Is Scheduled||If the tenant does not respond to the summons and complaint, then a default judgment will be issued and the eviction process will continue. If the tenant does file a response, then a hearing will be scheduled. The tenant has the right to legal representation at this hearing. If the tenant wins, then they will have to be given time to move out of the property.|
If the tenant loses at this hearing, then a Writ of Assistance is issued. This gives the sheriff the authority to forcibly remove the tenant and their belongings from the property.
What Happens to My Security Deposit if I'm Evicted?
The security deposit cannot be used to cover the costs of the eviction. However, the landlord can keep the deposit for any damages that were caused to the property. This could include damages from unpaid rent, damage to the property, or any other expenses that were incurred as a result of the tenant's behavior.
What to Do if You Are Facing an Eviction in Montana
Whether you are receiving an eviction notice or heading to court, there are several things that you can do in order to protect yourself from being evicted. Here are the steps you should take if you are facing :
- The first step you should take is to contact a lawyer. Even if the landlord has an attorney, you have the right to legal representation as well.
- If possible, talk with other tenants in the property or people who have faced similar eviction cases. This can give you insight into how the local court system works and what steps to take next.
- If possible, make counter-offers to any requests for late payments or unpaid rent. Sometimes the property owner only wants to evict because they don't want their tenants anymore. The tenant can offer to leave without going through formal channels if the property owner agrees to certain terms.
- Keep a paper trail of all communication with the property owner, from rent payments to any requests for repairs. This will help you build your case in court.
- If you are already in the eviction process, make sure to attend all hearings and have evidence to support your case. This could be receipts of rent payments or pictures of problems you reported to the owner that were never fixed.
Even if you are up against a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, do not lose hope. There are many resources available to tenants in eviction proceedings.
How to Fight an Eviction in Montana Using DoNotPay
DoNotPay is a website that allows you to create an eviction defense case in a matter of minutes. The site asks a series of questions and then gives advice on what steps to take next in your eviction proceedings. It even goes as far as giving you the forms necessary to file with the court system if you need to dispute your eviction.
DoNotPay is here to guide you through it and file your disputes on your behalf. Our Landlord Protection product can help you:
- Get back your security deposits
- Learn about your state's eviction laws and what protections apply in your case
- Resolve disputes regarding repairs with your landlord
- Resolve disputes with roommates by filing demand letters or going through small claims court
- Break your lease early
How to Break a Lease in Montana Using DoNotPay
If you want to break a lease in Montana but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:
- Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
- Select which issue applies to you.
- Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
And that's it! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.
Why Use DoNotPay to Fight an Eviction in Montana?
DoNotPay is a free and easy-to-use site that can help you build your case and submit disputes to the court system.
Our chatbot can walk you through the entire process, and our Landlord Protection product offers additional resources like templates for demand letters and information on state eviction laws.
We're here to help you every step of the way so you don't have to go through this alone.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay is the ultimate eviction defense assistant, but it also offers services to help with the following:
- Canceling Any Service or Subscription
- Disputing Seatbelt Tickets
- Finding Lost Airport Items
- Getting Late Delivery Refunds
- Filing a Complaint Against Any Company
DoNotPay gives you tools to help you with everything from traffic tickets to broken leases. We're here to guide you through it and answer any questions that arise.
If you have a legal issue, DoNotPay can help, so don't wait -- sign up today!