Homeowners associations in Montana are bound by certain laws and regulations. Understand these Montana HOA laws to avoid the risk of legal liability.
The Montana Unit Ownership Act (Condominiums) regulates the creation, operation, authority, and management of condominium associations in the state. But, these condominiums must explicitly elect to follow the Act by recording a declaration in the county recorder’s office where the property is based.
You can find the Montana Unit Ownership Act (Condominiums) under Title 70, Chapter 23 of the Montana Code. It consists of 11 parts, each one divided further into sections, listed below.
In 2019, the state of Montana passed a bill (Senate Bill 300) regulating homeowners association restrictions. According to this bill, HOAs may not compel homeowners to follow “more onerous restrictions” than the ones that already existed prior to their purchase of the real property. The exception is when homeowners provide a written agreement to follow such restrictions at the time they are adopted.
A homeowner can claim the benefit of this bill by requesting their HOA to record the exception. The association should then comply with the member’s request by recording the exception with the recorder of the county and the office of the county clerk where the real property is located. This exception expires, though, when the real property is sold.
The Montana Nonprofit Corporation Act regulates non-profit corporations in relation to corporate procedure, structure, and management. Most homeowners and condominium associations establish themselves as non-profit corporations. Therefore, they are bound by this Act.
You can find the Montana Nonprofit Corporation Act under Title 35, Chapter 2 of the Montana Code. It consists of 13 parts, listed below.
Some homeowners associations might prohibit members from displaying political signs on their property. But, in doing so, these HOAs are going directly against Section 70-1-522 of the Montana Code.
According to the HOA laws of Montana, associations may not prohibit homeowners from displaying political signs on their property or a common area in which the owner possesses an undivided interest. However, associations can impose reasonable regulations such as the size of the signs, the placement of the signs, and the time period during which owners can display the signs.
The Montana Human Rights Act consists of a Chapter specifically dedicated to Illegal Discrimination. This Chapter offers protection against housing discrimination based on familial status, marital status, religion, sex, race, creed, age, national origin, color, or disability (physical or mental). It also contains provisions concerning reasonable accommodations and the need for service animals.
This Act functions similarly to the federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Housing discrimination victims can report any discriminatory acts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Montana Human Rights Bureau. Alternatively, they may also file a lawsuit in state or federal court.