This state is the latest to preempt rent control.
Montana has become the latest state to preempt rent control after Governor Schweitzer signed SB 105 into law on May 1, 2023. This legislation prohibits local governments from exercising “any power to control the amount of rent charged for private residential or commercial property.” This does not apply to “property in which the local government unit has a property interest or in which the local government unit has an interest through a housing authority.”
This act makes Montana the 33rd state to preempt a local jurisdiction’s rent control authority and comes on the heels of similar prohibitions in Florida on March 29, 2023, and Ohio on June 1, 2022. These laws are a positive development for the rental housing industry being squeezed by restrictive government regulations, rising insurance costs and continued market disruptions over the past few years.
However, the trend is reversed in other states; within the past few years, California, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York have all seen local jurisdictions enact rent regulations or further limit a property owner’s ability to set their own rates. Countless other jurisdictions have seen such proposals at the state and local levels. The National Apartment Association (NAA) is currently tracking 83 state bills that would regulate rents and 523 social media posts from policymakers in the over the past 3 months.