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					      Renter s
      Renter’s Rights

Brought to you by the Off Campus Renter Center
           and ASUM Legal Services
       ABC s
       ABC’s of the Lease
• Rental Agreement
• Security Deposit
• Condition of the
  Premise Report
• Eviction
          Rental Agreement
•   Legally binding contract
•   Rights & responsibilities of both parties
•   W itt from landlord perspective
    Written f    l dl d            ti
•   READ IT THOROUGHLY!
•   Month-to-month v. fixed lease
•   Notice of termination
Security Deposit
                 g    g
    • Not a bargaining chip p
    • Covers damage & unpaid rent
                g
    • No damage—returned within 10
      days
    • Damage—return remainder of
      d      it ith itt list f
      deposit with written li t of
      deductions within 30 days or
      right to keep money is forfeited
        g t     eep o ey s o e ted
    • Landlord has the burden of
      proving you actually caused the
      damage
Condition of Premise Report
• Documentation of condition
  of premises when tenancy
  commences
• Separate document
                g
• Tenant has right to amend
• Fill out completely
   a e pictures
• Take p ctu es
• Request copy of damages
  caused by previous tenant
             yp
Eviction
 • Landlord must file an
   action for possession
 • Tenant can counterclaim
   to stay
 • No constructive eviction
 • E.g., Reasons:
            y            (    y
   – Non-payment of rent (3 days
     to remedy)
   – Unauthorized roommate/pet
     (3 days to remedy)
         Potential Problems
•   Written Notice
•   Repairs
•   P t
    Pets
•   Breaking the Lease
•   Roommates
•   Subletting
•   Landlord Access
           Written Notice
• Communicate with landlord in writing
• Be sure to make maintenance requests or
  complaints in writing
• Certified mail
• Start a rental file & include:
  – Rental agreement
  – Condition report
  – Grievance or protest letters
  – All landlord communication
    Maintenance & Repairs
• Landlord has
  “reasonable” time to
  fix after given notice
• Statutorily 3 days
                   g
• In time of emergency, y,
  3 days may be
  unreasonable
   – e.g., broken heater in
     middle of winter—then
     24 hrs
Maintenance & Repairs, Cont.

• Repair & deduct
  – Landlord fails to fix within reasonable time
    following notice
  – Reasonable replacement
                             month s
  – Cost cannot exceed 1 month’s rent
  – Landlord can’t retaliate through eviction
                        Mold
• Only a few types dangerous
  Easy t clean, if i
• E      to l            d
                   ignored can
  cause serious damage
• Grows in dark, moist
  environments
• Check for mold when filling out
      diti       t
  condition report
• County Health Department—
  mold test kits
• Toxic mold—can cause death,
  talk to ASUM or Renter Center
  immediately
Pets
   No Pets”
• “No Pets means no dogs,
  cats, fish, snakes…any kind
  of animal
• 1st time—3 days to remedy;
  then eviction
• 2nd time—eviction without
  notice
• Pet deposit v. pet rent
        Breaking the Lease
• You can leave at any time, but there will be
  damages
  – Unless landlord fails to provide habitable premises
• Either party can terminate w/30 days notice.
                         q
• Read lease—could require continued p y   payment
  of rent until premises re-let or penalty fees
• Actions that can break a lease
  – Unauthorized pet/roommate
  – Nonpayment of rent
  – Violating lease terms
            Roommates
• Roommate Rental Agreement
• You are responsible for any damages
  caused by roommates
• “joint severability clause”
• Roommates’ actions can cause your
  eviction
              Subletting
• Most likely prohibited by lease
• Your name is still on the lease, so you are
                       damage,
  responsible for any damage unpaid rentrent,
  unpaid utilities
  Subletting Agreement
• S bl tti A            t
                   Landlord Access
                                             • Landlord must give 24
                                               hrs notice before
                                               entering
                                             • Must enter at a
                                                        bl i
                                               reasonable time
                                             • You cannot withhold
                                               access from landlord
                                             • Can enter without
                                               notice in emergency
                                             • Notify landlord if you
     Will Ferrell & Landlord Pearl
                                               are going to be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Ge_j5mBmY
http://www youtube com/watch?v=22Ge j5mBmY
                                               absent for more than
                                               7 days
            Other Services
•   LIEAP
•   Missoula Building Inspection Division
•   Mi    l County H lth D
    Missoula C                    t
                   t Health Department  t
•   MontPIRG
•   ASUM
               LIEAP
• State of Montana + Northwestern Energy
• Supplement energy bills in winter
  Assistance awarded b
• A i t                    d        d
                  d d based on need &
  income
• Weatherization assistance program
• 1801 S. Higgins, Missoula
            gg ,
• http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/programsservice
  s/energyassistance/index.shtml
  s/energyassistance/index shtml
 Missoula Building Inspection
           Division
           Di i i
• Older units may have safety concerns
• e.g., inadequate egress windows, improperly
  installed water heater, faulty electrical wiring
                         ,     y                 g
• Complaint-driven inspection program
• Notify City to request building inspection
• Notify landlord of the problem
                Street
• 435 Ryman Street, Missoula
• (406) 552-6040
Missoula County Health Dept.

• Mold test kits
• Information on
    What t l k f
  – Wh t to look for,
  – how to clean up mold, &
                        from spreading
  – how to prevent mold f
• 301 W. Alder, Missoula
                MontPIRG




• Guide to Montana Landlord-Tenant Act
  – Available for a few dollars
  – Information also on their website
• www.montpirg.org
                  ASUM
• Student assistance programs
  – Legal assistance
  – Child care
  – Transportation
  No dditi   l    t for   i
• N additional cost f services
• UC 105, ASUM offices
                 $300
• Fill out the short quiz and you will be
  entered to win a $300 voucher toward a
  security deposit!
              • Thank you!