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!
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