Co-tenants and the Elderly Homeowner/Renter Credit

April 10, 2019

We’ve been asked if individuals renting an apartment or a house as co-tenants are considered a single household or two households for the Elderly Homeowner/Renter Credit. The department recognizes the need for guidance for such arrangements.

The department will not approve the existence of two separate households when family members share a dwelling, regardless of how they share expenses or if they have separate contracts.

15-30-2115, MCA describes family members and includes:

  • Ascendants
  • Descendants
  • Aunts
  • Uncles
  • Nieces
  • Nephews
  • Step-mothers
  • Step-fathers
  • In-laws
  • Former spouses

Statute already excludes tenants or roomers when they have separate contracts.

When two or more tenants do not have separate contracts, we will approve separate households if the unrelated tenants can show:

  • They each appear on the lease or rental agreement;
  • They have equal responsibility with regards to essential utilities: water, power, heat (cost of non-essential utilities such as phone or cable may be borne by one of the tenants);
  • They do not share any other essential expenses such as medical, education, travel; and
  • They do not own interest in the same business venture except for investments in traded securities.

Learn more about the Montana Elderly Homeowner/Renter Credit.

Five elderly women sitting on a park bench outside of a building.