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Law would shorten time landlords must hold tenants' things

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 08 2013 11:57:40 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Lawmakers are considering an amendment to a bill that would shorten the time a landlord has to store a tenant's property after he or she has vacated.

In the current bill, a landlord can throw away a former tenants belongings if left behind at a former rental place for more than five days.

We wanted to know what Bozeman renters thought about the possible changes. Stephen Rowe told NBC Montana he's uneasy with allowing landlords to throw out property sooner.

"I would be very uncomfortable with that, and I would not trust my landlord to make such rash decisions with my belongings," Rowe said.

Another renter we spoke to said the legislature is a little too hard on renters, but that if you communicate with your landlord they're more likely to work with you.

"As long as you have a good relationship with your landlords," Hannah Mains said. "For those who don't have good relationships I think that would be be a tough thing to handle."

We also caught up with property manager Sherrie Featherly, who argues people leave items behind because they don't want them.

"Shortening the time frame we believe will be beneficial for both parties, because most of the time tenants are leaving things behind because they don't want them," Featherly said.

According to the bill, landlords may also charge a reasonable storage and labor charge for property left behind by a former renter.