Evicting a resident is one of the most challenging tasks a landlord can face. It’s a frustrating process and can drain both your free time and money. That being said, it may be the only option you have. If so, we’ve outlined the Idaho eviction laws for you here so that you can ensure you’re following them all correctly.
Common Reasons for Evicting a Resident
There are many reasons why you may need to evict your resident. The following are the common reasons that many Idaho landlords have for this:
- Non-Payment of Rent: This is unarguably the most common reason why landlords evict their residents.
- Lease Violation: You are within your rights as a landlord to evict a resident for violating any term of the lease. The lease is a contract and therefore obligates all parties to abide by its terms. Breaking a lease is considered a valid reason to evict a resident. An example of a lease violation is keeping a pet when there is a “no pet” policy.
- Property Damage: Although normal wear and tear are to be expected, in some cases, the damage may go beyond holes in the wall and minor scuffs on the baseboards. Examples of excessive property damage include a damaged or missing front door handle, a hole in the middle of a door or wall, or a smashed bathroom mirror or window.
- Disruption: Residents have the right to enjoy their property in peace and quiet. In multifamily units, you may be within your right to evict a resident that causes repeated disturbances to other residents. For example, by throwing large, noisy parties.
- Illegal Purposes: You can also evict a resident for using the rented premises to conduct illegal activities.
- Holdover Resident: A holdover resident is one who refuses to leave the property once their lease is over. You have the right to evict them.
Evicting a resident in Idaho, much like anywhere else in the country, requires that you follow the due process of the law. Making even the smallest of mistakes can be costly.
When to Serve an Eviction Notice: Idaho Laws Regarding Termination With Cause
As a landlord, you must have a legal cause to evict your resident. You can’t just evict your resident because you don’t like them. A legal cause under Idaho law is defined as, among other things, non-payment of rent, lease violation, or excessive property damage.
To begin the eviction process for any of these reasons, you must first terminate the tenancy by giving your resident a notice. The type of notice depends on the type of violation the resident has committed.
For failure to pay rent, you must give your resident a 3-Day Notice To Pay Or Vacate notice. Basically, this notice gives your resident two options: to either pay the due rent or move out of the property. If the resident does not comply with the notice within the stipulated time (3 days), then you have a right to go to court and file for their eviction.
For a lease violation, Idaho landlord-resident laws require you to give your resident a 3-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This notice informs the resident that they have 3 days to either remedy or comply with the lease agreement or to move out. If they don’t take either of the two options, you can go to court and file for their eviction.
There is also the 3-Day Notice to Vacate. You can give it to a resident that causes serious property damage or sublets the unit without your permission. Unlike the other notices, this type of notice doesn’t give your resident any option other than to move out. If they do not move out within the 3 days, again, you can file for their eviction in court.
You won’t need any notice to evict a resident who involves themselves in drug-related matters on your property. You can simply terminate their lease immediately and file for an eviction in court.
How to Evict a Tenant Without Cause
If you don’t have a legal cause to evict your resident, you’ll have to wait until their lease expires. If they are on a month-to-month lease, you’ll need to give your resident a 30 days’ notice. In the notice, make sure to let the resident know that they need to move within the next 30 days.
If they don’t comply after the 30 days, they are then a holdover tenant and you can go to court to have them evicted.
If they are on a fixed lease, you will also have to wait until their lease has expired before requiring them to move. Unless the lease requires it, you won’t need to notify your resident that they need to move out.
Possible Resident Eviction Defenses in Idaho
While you may have a legal cause to evict your resident, they may still choose to fight the eviction. The following are the common defenses that residents give in court to protest an eviction:
- The property wasn’t habitable.
- You overcharged the rent.
- The monthly rent amount being requested was different from the one on the lease agreement.
- You waited too long to file a lawsuit against them.
- You refused to accept their full rent payments.
Attending an Eviction Court Hearing
Once you file an eviction lawsuit, the court will then schedule a trial date and notify the resident of it. The judge will give both of you time to present your evidence as well as any witnesses. If you win the case, the judge will issue a judgment requiring law enforcement to carry out the eviction.
If you lose the case, however, your resident will remain on the property.
Getting a Writ of Restitution
This writ of restitution is a document that gives the U.S. Marshals Service authority to schedule an eviction. If the resident fails to leave on their own, the Marshals will be left with no other option than to physically evict the resident, the time is determined when the judge issues the judgment.
Image Source: Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals via https://www.flickr.com/photos/usmarshals/29008528483
To have a successful eviction, you need to follow the legal eviction process. Attempting to self-evict by turning off the heat or electricity, removing the front door, taking the resident’s belongings, or changing locks are illegal in Idaho. Only a court of law can legally evict a resident.
Disclaimer: This blog is meant to be informational, and is in no way a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney. If you need more help or have questions, please consider a professional property management company, such as Five Star Property Management, for help.