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Renting Out Your House in Helena | Initial Legal Concerns & Costs

Renting Out Your House in Helena: Initial Legal Concerns & Costs

So, you have decided to make some extra money by renting out your home in Helena.  Before making the leap, there are a few things you need to consider.

Did you know that most states have Landlord/Tenant laws that can affect what you can and cannot do within the rental relationship? How about local health codes and/or city or county licensing requirements for rental properties? Do you have to have carbon monoxide detectors or how many smoke detectors are required? When is rent due and what is the legal late fee? And then there is the question of security deposits. Whose money is it and when does it need to be returned? How do you make a claim to be reimbursed for expenses incurred by the tenant?


As you can see there is quite a bit to know about being a Helena Landlord. There are many ways to put yourself and your investment property at risk. Not following guidelines, rules, ordinances and laws pertaining to rental properties can be costly. Before renting out your home, make sure you are familiar with these items. Talk with your insurance provider to make sure you have an investment property or landlord policy. Typically, a homeowner’s policy will not cover loss, damage or injury once you are no longer the primary resident in the home. Plan on spending three to seven hours to become familiar with the various legal and insurance considerations before renting out your home.

Applications & Leasing

Next you will need to have a way that the prospective renters can apply to rent your property. Use caution to ensure that you are not inadvertently violating renter’s rights by asking questions that may be unlawful as a landlord to ask. Create a plan to evaluate rental applications to ensure fairness and consistency.  This includes background checks, credit checks, rental history, references etc.

Leases can be purchased online or at an office supply store for low prices ($30-$40). However, many times these leases are not compliant to your local laws, and expose you as a Landlord to undue risk and liability.  It is a good idea to have your lease reviewed by legal counsel to ensure the lease protects your rights as well as is compliant with your state’s laws.   Plan to spend two to three hours finding a lease.  Be willing to pay the cost for an attorney to review your lease to ensure that it complies with regulations.


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