Repair and Deduct
Authored By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)
My landlord won't fix what he's supposed to fix. What can I do?
You can use Montana's "repair and deduct" law which allows you to fix the problem or have it fixed, as long as the cost is not more than a month's rent.
What do I need to do to use "repair and deduct"?
- You must give the landlord a written notice of the necessary repair.
- The Landlord must have a reasonable opportunity to make the repair.
- The Landlord must fail to make the repair with in the time specified.
How does "repair and deduct" work for something that's an emergency?
- If the landlord's failure to maintain the premises results in an emergency, and the landlord does not fix it within 3 working days after the written notice and your intention to terminate the rental agreement, you may terminate the rental agreement. For example, if the furnace does not work in winter months, you may terminate the rental agreement, rather than use repair and deduct, if you follow the steps mentioned above.
- In an emergency situation, you can only have the repairs made by a qualified person.
How does "Repair & Deduct" work for repeat situations of the landlord's failure to maintain the premises?
If the same problem occurs within 6 months, you may terminate the rental agreement with 14 days written notice, indicating why and the date you will move out, at least 14 days after the notice.
Remember, "repair and deduct" does not apply if damage was caused by you, your family members, someone who lives with you, or someone you allowed into your home (because they are presumed to be under your control).