An interesting new law has been passed here in Montana that helps protect property owners from oppressive homeowners’ associations. As May quickly came and went, so did the 66th Regular Session of the Montana Legislature. Senate Bill 300 or SB 300 was voted on and passed and has now become law. What exactly is SB 300? According to www.laws.leg.mt.gov the short title reads “Generally revised property laws to protect property rights”. Plainly put SB 300 protects property owners from a homeowners’ association (HOA) imposing new covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCRs) on certain uses of the property. Specifically, SB 300 only protects against 3 different types of CCRs that would limit the use of the property. As outlined by the Montana Association of Realtors, the 3 types of limitations are as follows.
- Limits the property use to strictly residential, agricultural, and/or commercial purposes or prohibits an owner from using property for one or all of those purposes.
- Limits an owner’s ability to rent the property for any amount of time or prohibits the owner from doing so completely.
- Prevents an owner from developing their property in a manner that otherwise conforms with federal, state and local law.
This bill only benefits a property owner that owned the property prior to the new CCRs being placed. The property owner must record their exemptions or ask that the HOA do it on their behalf in order to be grandfathered in. If/when the property is transferred to a new owner, the exemptions do not transfer to the new owner. This means, the benefits of SB 300 will only be relevant to the new property owner if the HOA imposes new CCRs that fall into one of the 3 types of limitations listed above after the property has been transferred.
For more information on SB 300 or to read the bill in it’s entirety, please visit the Montana State Legislature website by clicking here.