Idaho Landlord Tenant Law

Looking for clear and concise information on Idaho landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Idaho landlord tenant statutes.

ID Landlord Tenant Law:

  • Idaho Statutes Title 55 - Property in General
  • Idaho Statutes Title 6, Chapter 3 - Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer
  • Idaho Statutes Title 6, Chapter 3, Section 321 - Security Deposits

Tenant Application

Application Fees

The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.

Background and Credit Check

Before running background or credit checks on tenant applicants, landlords must first obtain the applicant's written permission. [Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)]

For landlords to run background and credit checks, the tenant application form needs to ask for the applicant's:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • social security number or ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number)
  • current address
  • signed consent (e.g. "I authorize the use of the information and contacts provided to complete a credit, reference, and/or background check.")

If the landlord rejects a tenant applicant due to his or her credit report, the landlord must provide the applicant with the following information:

  • Why the tenant's application was rejected
  • Name and address of credit reporting agency
  • The tenant applicant can obtain a free copy of his or her credit report from the credit reporting agency within 60 days

Avoiding Discrimination

The federal Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from rejecting prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, *familial status or physical/mental disability. *Familial status means landlords cannot reject someone for having one or more children under 18. Familial status also includes pregnant women and people planning to have (or adapt) children under 18.

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement (also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement) can be written or verbal. Idaho landlord tenant law allows verbal agreements if the rental duration is one year or less.

The landlord and tenant can choose between a month to month tenancy or fixed term lease. For a month to month tenancy, the landlord or tenant can change its terms and conditions at the end of every month.

For a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant CANNOT change the lease terms and conditions during its duration... unless there is written consent from both parties. A fixed term lease cannot be extended unless both parties agrees to it. In this case, a new lease must be signed.

In addition to the lease agreement, the landlord should also give the tenant a checklist detailing the rental unit's condition after the tenant has inspected the property during move in.

Required for Tenancy Agreement

Idaho landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:

  • Name and address of person authorized to manage the property
  • Name and address or property owner or owner's agent (person authorized to act on behalf of owner)
  • Disclosure and information of lead-based paint in the property (for housing built before 1978)

Recommended for Tenancy Agreement

  • Name and address of tenant(s)
  • Number of people (occupants) staying on the property
  • Type of tenancy: month to month tenancy or fixed term lease
  • How much is the rent
  • When, how and where the rent is to be paid
  • When is rent is considered late and the penalties for late rent payment
  • How much is the security deposit and pet deposit (if any)
  • Who holds the deposit(s) and where will it be held
  • What utilities and services are provided and who pays for them
  • What are the landlord's and tenant's duties for property maintenance
  • Can the tenant sublet the property or assign the lease
  • When to inform the landlord if tenant will be away for a long time
  • Prohibited activities and items
  • Address and purpose of rental unit
  • When the tenancy begins and ends
  • How can the tenant terminate the tenancy
  • How is the move out inspection carried out
  • When can the landlord access the property

Disallowed for Tenancy Agreement

According to Idaho landlord tenant law, your lease agreement CANNOT:

  • limit or restrict the tenant's rights or remedies under the Idaho Landlord and Tenant Act
  • limit or restrict the tenant's right to appear in court and defend against the landlord's allegations
  • limit the landlord liability when they have failed in their duties
  • allow the security deposit to cover damages that are not caused by the tenant or tenant's guests
  • allow the landlord to access the property without a valid reason - See Property Access below
  • make the tenant pay for the landlord's attorney fees (unless ordered by the courts)
  • allow the landlord to seize the tenant's personal belongings if the tenant fails to pay rent

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Security Deposit

As long as the tenant is agreeable, Idaho landlord tenant law doesn't limit the maximum amount of security deposit the landlord can ask for (as long as the tenant is agreeable). This amount has to be stated in the written rental agreement.

Holding Security Deposit

Idaho landlord tenant law allows the landlord to choose their own method of holding the security deposit and the deposit doesn't have to held in an account that generates interest.

If the landlord chooses to use an escrow account, the financial institution holding the deposit must be stated in the rental agreement.

Deductions and Returns

Idaho landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
   
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. [Idaho Code § 6-321] *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.

Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of security deposit deductions and refund any remaining deposit within 21 days. If the landlord or tenant wants to shorten or extend this deadline (up to 30 days), they do so in the rental agreement.

The list of security deposit deductions has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing.
   
If the landlord fails to follow Idaho landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant may sue the landlord at a small claims court to recover up to three times the amount of security deposit plus court and attorney fees.

If Property is Sold

Once the property ownership is transferred, the new owner will be responsible for refunding any security deposit or prepaid rent to the tenant (at the end of the tenancy). [Idaho Code § 6-321] Therefore the new owner should make sure that the previous owner transfers all security deposits and prepaid rents along with the property.

The previous owner is no longer responsible for the tenancy once ALL three conditions are met:

  1. The previous owner makes a proper transfer of all security deposits and prepaid rents to the new owner
  2. The previous owner informs the tenant in writing that the property is being sold
  3. The new owner and tenant enters into a new agreement on the condition and contents of the property

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Boise, Idaho ID

Idaho Landlord Tenant Law

Rent

There are no Idaho landlord tenant laws on the time, place and method of rent payment.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the above details and include them in the rental agreement.

If the tenant is making repairs to the property, he or she is not allowed to deduct the repair costs from the rent. The only exception is if the tenant is installing smoke detectors - In this case, the tenant has to give the landlord a three day notice before he or she can install smoke detectors and deduct the costs from the rent. [Idaho Code § 6-320(a)(6)]

Late Rent

There are no Idaho landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments.

If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement. While there are no state laws on late fees, landlords cannot overcharge or impose unfair terms. Otherwise the tenant can refuse to pay and challenge the late fees in court.

Most states consider reasonable late fees to be around 3 to 5% of the rent amount. In addition, landlords should wait until rent payment is at least three days late before charging late fees.

If the tenant's check bounces, the landlord can sue the tenant in small claims court to recover the four times the check amount OR check amount plus $100. [Idaho Code § 1-2301(a)]

Raising Rent

According to the Idaho Landlord Tenant Act, the landlord can choose to raise the rent by any amount.
   
For a month to month tenancy, the landlord has to inform the tenant (in writing) of a rent increase at least 15 days beforehand.
   
For a fixed term tenancy, the landlord isn't allowed to raise the rent until the tenancy expires.

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Property Maintenance

Landlord Duties and Responsibilities

The Idaho Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition:

  • Compliance: Obey all building and housing codes that affect health and safety
  • Repairs: Make all repairs to keep the property safe and habitable
  • Maintenance: Maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen facilities in safe working condition
  • Heating: Supply running water, hot water and heating (as far as conditions allow)
  • Waste Disposal: Provide outlets for waste disposal and arrange for waste removal
  • Smoke Detectors: Maintain and not remove any working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Pest Control: Exterminate all pest and rodent infestation
  • Weather Protection: Waterproof and protect roof and exterior walls against the weather. Ensure doors and windows are not broken

Tenant Duties and Responsibilities

Idaho landlord tenant law also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition:

  • Compliance: Obey all housing codes (and landlord rules) that affect health and safety
  • Cleanliness: Keep the property clean and safe (as far as conditions will allow)
  • Proper Usage: Use all facilities and appliances properly. This includes all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen and common area facilities (e.g. elevators)
  • Property Damage: Avoid property damage due to negligence, misuse or abuse by the tenant, occupants or tenant's guests
  • Waste Disposal: Dispose all waste from the property in a clean and safe manner
  • Smoke Detectors: Maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Neighbors: Avoid disturbing neighbors and also disallow others from disturbing neighbors
  • Mold Control: Inform landlord of persistent mold growths that reappear after cleaning

If Landlord Fails to Maintain Property

If the landlord fails to maintain the property, the tenant can take the following steps:

Step 1: Request the landlord to make repairs

The tenant can give the landlord a written list of violations and give the landlord three days to fix them. The tenant can give this notice to the landlord with any following method:

  • Give the notice to the landlord in person
  • Send the notice by certified mail
  • Leave the notice with an employee at the landlord's workplace

If the landlord fails to make repairs within three days, then the tenant can proceed to sue the landlord.

Step 2: Sue the landlord

After the tenant has filed a complaint against the landlord, a trial will be held within 12 days. The landlord must receive a copy of the court summons and complaint at least five days before the trial.

Step 3: Attend the trial

If the tenant wins the trial, the landlord shall have to make repairs. The judge may order the landlord to pay the tenant's court and attorney fees.

If the tenant was injured because the landlord failed to maintain the property, the tenant may also sue the landlord for up to three times the amount of damages PLUS court and attorney fees.

If Landlord Fails to Provide Utilities

If the landlord fails to provide an utility (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation), the tenant should ask the landlord to restore it as soon as possible. If the landlord doesn't do so, the tenant can send him or her a written notice demanding for the immediate restoration of utilities.

Idaho landlord tenant law does allow the landlord or utility company to shut down utilities (for a reasonable time period) to make repairs.

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Property Access

There are no Idaho landlord tenant statutes on when and how the landlord can enter the property.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When does the landlord require the tenant's permission to enter the property?
    Examples: Making repairs, supplying essential services, inspecting for damages, showing property to prospective buyers or tenants
  • How long in advance should the landlord inform the tenant before entering the property?
  • When is the landlord allowed to enter the property without the tenant's permission?
    Examples: Handling emergencies (such as smoke, fire, flooding or explosion), tenant has abandoned the property
  • What are the penalties if the tenant refuses the landlord's valid request to enter the property?
  • What are the penalties if the landlord enters the property without the tenant's permission or without a valid reason?

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Subletting

Idaho landlord tenant law allows the tenant to sublet property UNLESS the rental agreement prohibits it.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • Is the tenant allowed to sublet the property? If yes, is the landlord's written consent required before the tenant can sublet?
  • Is the landlord allowed to screen and reject every prospective subtenant?
  • Can the landlord ask for additional rent and security deposit if the tenant sublets?

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Meridian, Idaho ID

Meridian, Idaho ID

Termination of Tenancy

Number of Days for Notice to Quit

Idaho landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.
   
For a month to month tenancy, you have to give this notice at least 30 days in advance. [Idaho Code § 55-208]

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Eviction

According to Idaho landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:

Tenant did not pay rent

3 days

Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties

3 days

Tenant or related person caused property damage

3 days

Tenant used, produced or delivered illegal drugs on property

Immediate

Idaho landlord tenant law allows the landlord and tenant to change the number of days for giving notice to quit (as long as it's reasonable). This change must be stated in the written rental agreement.

Tenant Did Not Pay Rent

If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy. This notice must state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out.

If the rent is paid within three days, the tenant may stay. After sending this notice, the landlord can proceed to file a complaint against the tenant and a trial will be held within 12 days. The tenant must receive a copy of the court summons and complaint at least five days before the trial.

The tenant can request for the judge's permission to postpone the trial. Unless the tenant is able to place a deposit (e.g. amount of rent owed) with the court clerk, the judge can only postpone the trial by two days.

If the landlord wins the trial, the tenant may be required to pay the landlord's court costs and attorney fees. If the landlord wants to recover any unpaid rent or damages, the landlord must file a separate lawsuit in small claims court or district court.

Tenant or Related Person Caused Property Damage

If the tenant (or tenant's occupant or tenant's guest) caused damage to the property, the landlord can make the tenant pay for damage and evict the tenant.

The landlord has to give the tenant a written notice to fix the damage within three days. If the tenant is unable to do so, the landlord may proceed to evict the tenant and recover costs for the damages.

If the tenant is able to fix the damages within three days, the tenant may stay.

Tenant Violated Tenancy Agreement or Didn't Perform Duties

If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy.

Similarly if the tenant fails to perform his or her duties (as required by Idaho landlord tenant law) in a significant manner, the landlord can also send the tenant a three day written notice to terminate the tenancy.

*Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety.

This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. If the tenant corrects the problem within three days, the tenant may stay.

Tenant Used, Produced or Delivered Illegal Drugs on Property

If the tenant uses, produces or delivers illegal drugs on the property, the landlord can send the tenant a written eviction notice to terminate the tenancy immediately. In this case, the tenant cannot stay unless if he or she corrects the problem.

Eviction Notice

Also known as "Notice of Termination of Tenancy" or "Notice to Quit", Idaho law requires all eviction notices to contain the following:

  • Reason(s) for termination of tenancy
  • Date and time that tenancy will terminate
  • State that the tenant must move out of the property by the termination date and time
  • State that the landlord may sue to remove the tenant from the property if the tenant doesn't move out by termination date and time

If Idaho landlord tenant law allows the tenant to avoid eviction by correcting the problem(s), the eviction notice must also contain:

  • The corrective action(s) to be taken by for the tenant
  • The date and time by which the correction action(s) must be completed   

The landlord can give the notice to the tenant in person at the rental unit.

If the tenant is absent, the landlord can leave the notice with a competent adult AND mail a copy of the notice to the tenant's residence.

If both the tenant and a competent adult are absent at the property, the landlord must do all of the following:

  1. Post a copy of the notice at a highly visible place on the property
  2. Leave a copy of the notice with a person staying on the property
  3. Mail a copy of the notice to the tenant (at the rental address)

Unlawful Eviction

According to Idaho landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing.

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Abandonment

There are no specific Idaho landlord tenant laws on when the property is considered abandoned by the tenant.

We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:

  • When is the property considered abandoned by the tenant? - Tenant hasn't paid rent for X days, Tenant has been absent from the property for X days (without informing the landlord)
  • After the property is abandoned, does the tenant have to continue paying rent until the landlord finds a new tenant?

Dealing with Abandoned Belongings

If the tenant abandoned the property and left his or her personal belongings behind, the landlord can file a complaint and obtain a court order that allows the landlord to remove the tenant's belongings.

The landlord can also seek permission from the courts to sell the tenant's belongings to pay for its storage and removal AND recover any rent owed.

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Mobile Homes

There are specific rules in Idaho landlord tenant law for mobile home owners renting parking space from mobile home park operators.

Rental Agreement

The rental agreement between the mobile home owner and mobile home park operator must contain the following details:

  • Payment method, time and place
  • Rules and regulations of the park
  • Name and address of park owner and operator
  • Name and address of owner's agent (residing within Idaho)
  • Terms and conditions for security deposit deductions

The rental agreement between the mobile home owner and mobile home park operator CANNOT

  • make the mobile home owner pay entrance or exit fees
  • require the mobile home owner to obtain a permit
  • limit the mobile home owner's rights under the Manufactured Home Residency Act

Security Deposit

The mobile home park operator must hold security deposits in separate accounts. Mobile home owners and park operators must also follow Idaho landlord tenant laws for security deposits - See Security Deposit above.

Termination of Tenancy

The mobile home owner can terminate the tenancy by giving the park operator a written 30 day notice to quit. If the mobile home owner is a member of the armed forces, he or she can terminate the tenancy sooner without penalties.

The park operator can terminate the tenancy by giving the mobile home owner a written 90 day notice to quit. If the mobile home park is going out of business, this written notice must be given 180 days in advance.

Eviction

The park operator can evict the mobile owner for the following reasons:

  • Mobile home owner did not pay rent (or other fees stated in the lease)
  • Mobile home owner violated park rules repeatedly or endangered health and safety

The park operator must give the mobile home owner three days to correct the problem(s). If the mobile home owner fails to do so, he or she will have to vacate the park within 20 days.

↑ Return to Top of Page (Table of Contents)

Resources

Idaho Landlord Tenant Law:

Idaho Landlord Tenant Handbook: Idaho Landlord and Tenant Manual

Like and Share ☺