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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Mobile home tenants win state Supreme Court case over lease termination

A trailer home.
Mark-W-R/Getty Images/iStockphoto
A trailer home.

Montana’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of mobile home park tenants, saying landlords cannot terminate their leases without cause.

The case grouped two suits where mobile homeowners sued their landlords for ending leases and providing them with only 30 days to vacate the lot. Many mobile home owners rent the land underneath their homes.

In a 6 to 2 vote, Montana’s Supreme Court ruled landlords must provide due cause for canceling a tenant’s lease.

Democratic Representative Johnathan Karlen brought legislation during the 2023 session to create a bill of rights for mobile homeowners.

"Unlike someone living in an apartment who can pack up their stuff in a U-haul and move, people living in mobile home parks, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to move the home, if it can be moved at all."

Karlen’s bill passed with bipartisan support but was vetoed by the governor this summer.

About 10% of the housing inventory in Montana is mobile or manufactured homes.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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