Idaho Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlord-Tenant Laws in Idaho

Are you looking to learn about landlord-tenant law in Idaho?

The Idaho rental laws have been put in place to protect the interests of both tenants and landlords. These regulations spell out the responsibilities of renters and property managers alike.

As a landlord, it’s important to understand these state statutes. Making sense of these rules is essential for resolving disputes. Quite often, these rental conflicts result from an incomplete understanding of legal rights and responsibilities.

Here are the legal principles of landlord-tenant relationships under Idaho law:

Landlord’s Entry

There aren’t any specific rules in Idaho that govern the landlord’s entrance into the rental property. A landlord may enter the property whenever there is a need to do so.

However, Idaho does require landlords to figure out an entry system with their tenants. The system should be detailed in the Idaho rental agreement, which means defining what constitutes proper reasons and reasonable notice.

Rent Payments

Idaho doesn’t have any state-level rent control laws. As a result, landlords may freely raise the monthly rent without the need to justify the particular raise amount.

When you raise the rent, you need to notify your tenants 15 days in advance before the month that sees an increased rent payment. There are no statutes that would limit late rent payment fees. However, each fee must be spelled out in the Idaho rental agreement to hold legal strength.

Security Deposits

Security deposit is any amount a tenant gives to you, in addition to the monthly rent payments. These financial safety instruments allow you to protect yourself from expenses related to rental property damages and payment failures.

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The security deposit needs to be returned to the tenant within 21 days after the lease term ends and the renter has moved out. In theory, this period can be cut shorter or extended. Although, this is only a possibility if your tenant has agreed with it beforehand.

When your tenant agrees to an extension of this period, you still have to return the deposit within 30 days. Exceeding these 30 days is not legal conduct anymore.

In Idaho, there’s no limit on security deposits. Your tenant is unable to use the security deposit to pay their monthly rent. These payments are kept strictly separate.

Breaking a Lease: Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities

Many lease agreements have an early termination clause. This clause is the easiest way for tenants to legally break a lease in Idaho. Should there be no such clause in the agreement, the following reasons may be sufficient as well:

  • When the landlord can’t provide habitability in the rental property anymore, the tenant may have the chance to legally terminate their lease.
  • Under Federal law, service members may terminate their lease thirty days before the next payment period when they have to change the station or get deployed and relocated.
  • A tenant is likely to have a proper legal ground for lease termination when their landlord is liable for harassment. For example, continuously ignoring the entry requirements defined in the Idaho lease agreement may constitute harassment.

Local Ordinances

You have to look into potential local ordinances that you have to follow in your particular area. Different towns and counties in Idaho may have numerous laws in place.

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The typical regulations set housing standards to ensure the health and safety of the occupants. Sometimes, there are local ordinances that regulate nuisance and noise to raise the residents’ quality of life.

Fair Housing Principles

The federal Fair Housing Act ensures that everyone in the States has equal opportunities when participating in housing market transactions. As a landlord, you can’t discriminate against the protected classes listed in the Act.

The protected classes include religion, race, familial status, gender, disability, national origin, and color. A particular action is discriminatory whenever a person from the protected class receives a different treatment compared to other applicants.

A typical discriminatory practice is pricing a unit differently based on the applicant’s identity or background. Another kind is the provision of wrong information about the availability of rental units.

Evictions

You need to have a solid reason to file for eviction in Idaho. While each case may come with unique circumstances, most of them fall into one of the following categories:

  • When your tenant violates a lease term, you can serve them with a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate. Should the person fail to curb their behavior, you can move forward with an eviction. This legal process starts after you file an Unlawful Detainer.
  • Does your tenant fail to pay rent? After the grace period (if applicable) or the first of the month, you have to serve them with a 3-Day Notice to Pay. When that notice doesn’t bring any results, you can then proceed with a formal eviction.
  • A 3-Day Unconditional Quit Notice can be served to tenants that seriously damage your home.
  • Illegal activities carried out on the premises of your rental property may result in the filing for a Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer in an expedited manner. For instance, producing or selling drugs on your property means that you won’t have to file for eviction with a notice.

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In a Nutshell: Landlord-Tenant Laws in Idaho

As a landlord in Idaho, you benefit from understanding the state’s landlord-tenant laws. When you know the rights and responsibilities of both sides, you’ll be more efficient in conflict resolution. If you’re a first-time landlord, click here for an overview of the basic landlord responsibilities.

As with any other legal regulations, there are going to be complex situations and gray areas. We recommend speaking to a qualified attorney when you need to make sense of more complicated cases. Contact Five Star for any further inquiries regarding this post or any other property management needs.

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