The Montana Landlords Association (MLA) was formally incorporated in Helena as a statewide, non-profit organization on January 15, 1976, dedicated to the protection of its members mutual interest in Landlords' rights by providing educational, legislative and such other assistance as may be required by its membership.

Establishment of the Association allowed then existing regional residential Landlord interest groups located in Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, Helena, and the Flathead Valley and composed of single family, apartment and mobile home court owners to combine their local efforts into a unified and powerful statewide voice.

Working together in meetings held over the following two years with stakeholders representing Tenant interests and in close conjunction with Missoula Attorney Klaus Sitte, legislation was drafted, promoted and adopted by lawmakers which became the "Montana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1977" (MCA 70.24) and the "Tenant Security Deposit Act of 1978" (MCA 70.25), the laws which currently govern the Landlord/Tenant relationship in Montana.

The Montana Landlords Association itself, in accordance with its By-Laws, is a fully democratic organization represented by an Executive Board of State Officers consisting of a President, Western and Eastern Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer who serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors who govern the organization. The MLA is composed of regional Chapters located across the state and each elected Chapter President and Vice-President is designated as a member of the Board of Directors. The MLA employs a state legislative lobbyist and holds its Annual Meeting in Helena each spring.

The adoption of MCA 70.24 and MCA 70.25, together with applicable Federal Laws, create a need that the MLA has been responding to for more than a quarter century, informing especially its Regular Members who are not Landlords by profession.

Consider this analogy:

The Landlord/Tenant relationship is governed by a somewhat complex and always specific set of state and federal rules; much like the operation of a wide variety of motor vehicles upon the public roadways is governed.

But who would advise new and inexperienced drivers to simply take the car and start driving?

Suggest they not worry about passing the drivers licensing exam based on the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the road?

Recommend they just head out and drive?

Tell them to use their common sense and to remember that as a passenger, they are already familiar with what other drivers do in specific situations?

The new, inexperienced or uneducated Landlord, who thinks they can conduct an effective and legal Landlord/Tenant relationship based on their past experience as a Tenant or having observed from a distance other Landlords and what they do, is no better prepared than the uneducated driver. While the driver will likely hit something and dent some metal, unprepared Landlords stand a greater risk of getting hit in the pocket book!