Posted in Blog  
  on Sep 21, 2015

An Outline of Idaho Landlord Tenant Law

Landlords and tenants have certain rights and responsibilities that each must receive and perform through the duties of a rental agreement. Here is a brief outline of Idaho landlord tenant law and what each party must provide to the other.

What Are the Rights of Tenants?

Tenants are allowed the right to possess and use the rental unit. They are allowed to have a quiet use of the property for their enjoyment. This means there must be control measures in place by landlords to limit the reasonable noise that other tenants make. Landlords must also give tenants a “reasonable” notice before coming onto the property. Tenants also have the right to receive a safe and habitable residence. This means the rental unit must provide weather protection and have waterproofing installed. All household systems, including ventilation, electrical, heating, plumbing, and sanitation, must be maintained. The rental unit must also always comply with state, county, and city housing codes. Landlords are not allowed to take any personal property of a tenant. Tenants also have the right to receive a minimum of 15 days notice if there is an intended increase in rent. Although landlords can raise rent an unlimited number of times, this cannot occur if there is a written rental agreement that governs the landlord-tenant relationship.

What Are the Rights of Landlords?

Landlords have the right to receive the rental payments that are owed to them on time and without the threat of having a payment returned. They also have the right to receive their rental unit at the end of a lease in a condition that is similar to what was initially rented, minus regular wear and tear. Rent must be paid on time by tenants even if there are repairs that are needed. Tenants must also care for the property as if it were their own when it comes to health and safety. Any garbage must be properly disposed of and appliances must be used for their intended purpose. Tenants cannot allow for the willful or negligent destruction of any fixtures, plumbing, or appliances within the home – even if it is their guests who have caused the damage. Landlords may collect a security deposit to protect their property against damage of any amount. Landlords have 21 days to return any portion of the security deposit or have up to 30 days if tenants agree to the extended time.

The Most Common Tenant Violations

In Idaho, the most common tenant violation isn't a failure to pay rent on time. It is leaving the property without proper notice. A lease cannot be broken without good cause and requires at least 30 days' written notice unless the tenant is being deployed to active military duty. If that is not possible, any “reasonable” notice is allowed. Breaking windows and fixtures are also common tenant violations. Damage to carpets, including burns, and making excessive noise round out the top notices for eviction that landlords file.

The Most Common Landlord Violations

Landlords are required to provide a mechanism for garbage disposal. This means there must be a way to remove or store garbage. If this is not provided and rodents or insects develop, then this is considered a landlord violation of Idaho law. Structural deterioration that is not repaired, defects in the operating systems of the house, and unlawful entry are also common.

What Happens With Nonpayment of Rent?

Landlords can issue a 3 day notice to pay or quit if the lease violation involves the non-payment of rent. All other violations fall within a 30 day notice, although illegal drug possession or use may qualify for an immediate eviction notice. A landlord cannot evict tenants under Idaho landlord-tenant law if they pay the past due rent or cure the lease violation listed within 3 days. Tenants do have 20 days to provide a written response if a summons and complaint is filed by a landlord. A summary trial procedure can be requested for the nonpayment of rent that can reduce this time to 5 days in certain circumstances. If the landlord wins the case, then a writ of possession will be issued and tenants must move by the time ordered by the court. This outline of Idaho landlord tenant law answers the most common questions that are asked regarding this relationship. For specific answers to your situation, be sure to consult with Idaho codes which cover this relationship so that you can protect your own rights without violating the rights of the other party.


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