Check Your Lease for Illegal Clauses

We commonly see leases with illegal clauses. In most contracts an illegal clause isn’t likely to cause problems. Usually, Courts simply ignore or refuse to enforce an illegal clause in a contract. However, having an illegal clause in a Montana residential lease can cost you money. Sometimes an illegal clause can expose you to some liability. More likely, having an …

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Clauses That You Should Include in your Lease

A while back I wrote an article about landlords using illegal clauses in leases. We litigate hundreds of leases every year. Because we litigate so many leases, we also see a lot of leases which lack clauses which would be helpful. Here are some lease clauses that we would like to see more often: Restricting Occupancy To The People Named In The …

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More New Recommended Lease and Notification Language

Because of a recent legislative change at M.C.A. 70-24-430(9) Montana Landlord and/or Property Managers should add the following language to all Montana Residential Leases and Montana Notices which may result in a termination of tenancy. The language is as follows:

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Tenant Abandonment

I think my tenant might have moved. What should I do? My Tenant left some stuff. What should I do? There is an abandoned car on my property. What should I do? I think my tenant might have moved. What should I do? Generally, self-help evictions are prohibited. However, there is an exception: Abandonment statutes allow the landlord, under some …

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Breached Lease

The Montana Supreme Court disapproves of acceleration clauses in leases. The Montana Supreme Court has also questioned whether leases should be allowed to specify penalties for lease breaches. (As in lease clauses like, “If tenant moves out early, tenant owes a $400 early termination fee.”) Because of this, Montana Landlords and Property Managers are no longer putting acceleration clauses in …

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Why You Should Know What “Judgement-Proof” Means

For some reason, non-lawyers rarely know what “judgment-proof” means. On the other hand, most attorneys are all too familiar with the term. The following article explains what “judgment-proof” means and explains why understanding the term is important for landlords and property managers. Simply stated, “Judgment-proof” is the term used to describe a person from whom it costs more to collect …

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How to Make Your Understanding of the Concept of “Judgement-Proof” Work for you as a Landlord or Property Manager

If you find yourself negotiating with an unwanted tenant, try to settle your eviction case by trading some or all of the money owed for a specific move out date enforceable with an available writ of assistance (Writ = Order to the Sheriff to evict the person forcibly). While negotiating, keep in mind the following: the likelihood that you will …

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Preventing Drug Sales in Rental Units

One of the worst problems that a landlord can have is when people start selling illegal drugs from a rental unit. Drug use and sales are a slippery slope for a landlord because a single drug operation attracts chronic criminals and drives away good tenants. This lowers potential rents and makes it easier for other drug users and sellers to …

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Sources of Disaster – Pitfalls to Avoid

We have been helping Montana landlords evicting people for over 10 years now. Last year we were able to assist landlords in evicting from over 200 units. Because of this, we are in a great position to observe several rental management mistakes which result in expensive eviction problems. Here are a few of our least favorites: GET YOUR FRONT MONEY …

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Warning to Montana Landlords: Change Your Leases

A recent Montana Supreme Court case significantly changed the law regarding Montana Residential Leases. Montana Landlords should immediately have their leases reviewed by their attorneys for the following issues: Acceleration Clauses: Acceleration clauses are common in home loans and car loans. Typically, an acceleration clause mandates that if you don’t make a payment, you become obligated to immediately repay the …

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