Explaining How the Eviction Process Works for Landlords in Montana

Evicting a tenant in Montana isn’t terribly difficult or time consuming, but there is a lot of room for error. When you need to remove a tenant from your rental property, consider reaching out to a Bozeman property management company that can help you follow the correct procedures. You’ll need to understand the law in Montana. Landlords are not permitted to simply change the locks or cut off the utilities. There’s a legal process that’s in place, and it’s important that you follow it.

Let’s a take a look at what you’ll need to do when evicting a Montana tenant.

Reasons for Eviction in Montana

There are several common reasons to evict a tenant in Montana. These include:
  • Failure of the tenant to pay rent.
  • Tenants are violating the terms of the lease agreement and refuse to comply.
  • Illegal activity inside the rental property.
  • Property damage beyond wear and tear or intentional destruction of the property.
The most common reason that landlords evict their tenants is for nonpayment of rent. Hopefully, you have screened your tenants carefully and you have a consistent rent collection policy in place. Even if you do, things happen. Good tenants stumble upon financial hardships and find themselves unable to pay. Start by serving an official notice. This has to happen before you can formally and legally evict.

Three Day Notice to Pay Rent

The Three Day Notice is served to the tenant once the rent is officially late and any grace period has come and gone. It’s a good idea to reach out to your tenant and remind them that rent is late when it doesn’t come in. It’s possibly just an oversight, and if your tenant is willing to talk to you about any struggles they’re having to pay on time, you’re more likely to work something out.

Even if you’re in communication with your tenant or working out a payment plan, serve the Three Day Notice. This will protect your timeframe for getting the nonpaying tenant out and a new tenant in.

The notice is a formal request that the tenant catch up with late rent. They have three business days to pay in full. Make sure you try to deliver the notice in person or post it on the door. You can also send it through the mail. It’s important that you keep a copy of the Three Day Notice and that you document how and when it was served.

Filing for Eviction in Court

Usually, tenants will catch up with the rent once a notice is received. If you do not receive the rental payment, your next step is to formally file for eviction in court. This will result in a Summons and Complaint, and you’ll also need to file a Request to Serve at the courthouse. This will ensure that your tenants are served with the Summons and Complaint by the sheriff.

Once served, your tenant has 10 days to provide a response. If your tenants don’t respond at all, you’ll receive a default judgment and you can take the necessary steps to regain possession of the property. If the tenant does file a response, a court hearing will take place within 20 days.

At the hearing, both sides can argue their case. Make sure you have your lease agreement, ledger, and a copy of any communication between you and the tenant.

Hopefully, you will get your property back with a minimum of time and expense. Things can always go wrong during an eviction, which is why expert advice is so important.

If you have any questions about eviction or you’d like some help with professional Bozeman property management, please contact us at Peak Property Management.