The growing list of community associations, community management companies, law firms, and trade organizations.
SB 300 was drafted by a homeowner who bought a house in Red Lodge to use as a rental property through VRBO. Every single member of their association voted in favor of an amendment to clarify the covenants on the property, resulting in a complete ban on short term rentals. The attorney for the family drafted the bill language and has been leading the efforts for its passage.
This bill is being positioned by proponents as protecting property rights. However, the result of the bill would be that the only property rights protected would be of homeowners who don't want to follow new rules.
The broad and sweeping language in SB300 fundamentally changes the way rules apply to residents in homeowners associations and condominiums. The only rules that would apply are the rules that exist when a resident purchases their home. This includes ANY rule; small or large. Changes to HOA covenants reflect the HOA homeowners desire to maintain property values by addressing current issues in the community. Here are a few concerning examples:
SB300 is Unconstitutional. It violates the Montana Constitution Section 31: No ex post facto law nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, making any irrevocable grant of special privileges, franchise, or immunities, shall be passed by the legislature. The Montana Supreme Court in numerous rulings has declared that HOA and condominium covenants are a contract between the association and the owners.
SB300 is Patchwork Legislation. The problem with attempting to alter property rights in a hurried and piecemeal fashion is that no thought is given to all the ramifications of the legislation or to the effect on other areas of the law. SB 300 will create confusion for buyers and residents and will make it impossible to apply rules and covenants by association board members. SB300 will compromise the integrity of the community association housing model in Montana. Further and most disturbing, SB 300 will cause chaos, confusion, and lawsuits.