If you rent a place to live in Montana, this article can help you:
- Learn what Montana law says is a valid notice to vacate
- Download a free form that you can send to your landlord to tell them if the notice they sent you wasn’t valid.
This article only covers Montana law. If you rent somewhere else, you’ll want to find legal help in your state. There are different laws if you own your mobile home and only rent the lot or if you get a federal rent subsidy like Section 8 or Housing Choice Voucher. If that’s the case for you, check out our section on mobile homes or our other section on Section 8 Housing. If you’ve been served with eviction court papers, this article isn’t right for you and you should go to 5 Steps to Take When Served with Eviction Court Papers in Montana.
If your landlord is asking you to move out, they must first give you a written notice. The notice will tell you that they’re terminating your rental agreement in so many days. Sometimes the notice is called a notice to vacate or a notice of termination. The notice is usually a letter from the landlord.
For a notice to be valid it must:
- Be in writing, handwritten is OK. Text messages or emails are also OK. Using a fill-in-the-blank form notice is OK.
- Say how many days you have to move out. The number of days depends upon the reason for termination. We have more information about how many days the landlord must give you in our Learn More section below.
- Give you the opportunity to fix the problem, if the law requires the landlord to give you that opportunity. We have more information about this in the Learn More section below.
- Be delivered to you. The notice can be delivered to you by any method as long as you actually receive it. The notice can be posted on your door (if you actually see it), given to you by hand, or mailed to you. It does not have to be served to you by a process server or law enforcement officer. It does not have to mailed to you by certified mail.
You can find the law that says what a valid notice is at Montana Code Annotated (M.C.A.) § 70-24-108. The § is a symbol that means section. 70 is the Title number. 24 is the Chapter number.
If you have received a notice to vacate from your landlord and you don’t think it’s valid, you can skip to the bottom of this article to download our free form letter to tell your landlord that the notice they gave you isn’t proper under the law.
If you still have questions, keep reading to learn more.