Residents and landlords rarely set out to break their leases. They sign rental agreements with the intention to honor their responsibilities. But life is dynamic, and several events can make this impossible.
Things like a career change, family relocation or finding another home can lead to a lease being broken. These are hardly legal grounds to break a lease, but they’re the most common scenarios a landlord must deal with.
Consequences can be heavy for a resident when they commit a breach in contract. This article will focus on Idaho rental laws when it comes to breaking a lease.
As a landlord, it’s a good idea to inform yourself on this topic in case it occurs, or you ever want to break your lease without breaking the law.
Breaking a Lease in Idaho: A Guide
As is often repeated, breaking a lease is a tough process. There are unwanted consequences accompanying such action. For tenants, it can result in a loss of their security deposit or extra fees for breaching the contract. For landlords, finding a replacement tenant can be stressful.
Idaho Landlord Rights & Responsibilities
Even if there are reasonable grounds for eviction, landlords are not allowed to:
- Shut down a resident’s utilities by disrupting essential services such as electricity and water
- Change the locks to force residents to move out right away
- Take down doors to inconvenience a resident
Under Idaho rental laws, there’s no statute regarding sending a notice period for the termination of a week-to-week lease.
The landlord is still expected to adhere to a specific process outlined in the lease, however. This is to provide proper notice to the resident.
For a month-to-month lease, a 30-day written notice is sufficient from the landlord or resident.
Fixed-end date leases are exempt from notices and shall expire on the date specified in the leasing agreement.
Idaho Residents Rights and Responsibilities
Idaho landlord-resident law requires landlords to stick to the leasing laws when terminating the tenancy. If residents are unable to pay, landlords need to give them a 3-day notice to pay rent.
Residents who commit a violation of the lease must be given a 3-day notice to comply or vacate. Otherwise, should the resident stay in the property, the Idaho landlord can file for a Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer.
When Breaking a Lease Agreement is Legally Justified in Idaho
1. When living conditions are poor
Idaho rental laws stipulate that a landlord must provide a habitable rental to their resident. It must adhere to safety standards, health, and safety codes. If the landlord has not stepped up to his responsibilities, a resident is allowed to break the lease after following the proper procedures to allow a landlord to rectify the situation.
These are examples of uninhabitable living conditions:
- Deteriorating structure
- Exposed wiring
- Malfunctioning or non-operational heating units
- Defective plumbing
- Missing garbage receptacles
- Leaking walls/roof
- Dismantled or missing smoke detectors
- Pest infestations
2. When a resident feels harassed
The specific amount of notice needed for ending a lease is specified in the rental agreement. However, if the resident feels their privacy is being violated or they are being harassed, they are free to break the lease early after following the proper steps.
3. When there’s an early termination clause
Some agreements contain conditions allowing for an early property lease termination.
For example, Five Star’s lease break form says that if a resident breaks their lease, they will need to pay a fee equal to one month’s rent to relieve them of their obligations. Additionally, they will be responsible for the cost of rent and utilities until a replacement resident is found.
4. When a resident begins military duty
If a resident is an active Service Member, they can break the lease as long as they provide proof, such as written notice, outlining their order deployment. They must also show that the lease was signed prior to actively joining military duty. Additionally, they must also satisfy the condition to stay on active duty for the next 90 days.
Landlord’s Duty to Find a New Resident in Idaho
In Idaho, a landlord is required to mitigate damages and actively search for a new resident to re-rent his rental property. However, some landlords will choose to deduct from the resident’s security deposit for the marketing and advertising fees.
We have an early termination form ready in the case that a resident suddenly needs to end an agreement. Our leasing policy stipulates that if your resident terminates their lease early, they will need to pay for the rent and utilities until we have found you a new resident.
Note: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in Idaho. Laws are changed frequently, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading.