Idaho Eviction Process

Last Updated: October 18, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

Timeline. Evicting a tenant in Idaho can take around one week to two months, depending on whether the eviction is for nonpayment of rent, illegal drug activity, to remove squatters, or another type of eviction. If tenants request a continuance, the process can take longer (read more).

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Introduction. Under Idaho’s law, a landlord may pursue an eviction process in District Court if there is legal cause.  In Idaho, the eviction process is also known as a forcible entry or an unlawful detainer suit. Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in Idaho.

Step 1: Notice is Posted

Landlords in Idaho can begin the eviction process for several reasons, including:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice must be served giving the tenant the option to pay rent in order to avoid eviction.
  2. Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, the landlord must give the tenant the opportunity to correct the issue before moving forward with the eviction process.
  3. No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
  4. Waste – If the tenant commits waste on the rental property, landlords must provide a written notice to quit.
  5. Illegal Activity – If a tenant is engaged in illegal activity, landlords must provide written notice before proceeding with the eviction process.
NOTES
  • Retaliatory Evictions. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining to the landlord or to the appropriate local or government agency regarding the property. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for joining, supporting, or organizing a tenant organization or union.
  • Evicting a Squatter. If the individual occupying the property didn’t have the landlord’s permission when initially moving in, doesn’t have a lease/verbal agreement, and has no history of paying rent, then Idaho landlords may follow the forcible detainer process laid out in Idaho statutes (read more).

Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.

Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.

According to Idaho law, rent is considered late the day after it’s due; grace periods (if any) are addressed in the lease/rental agreement.

Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Pay if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant the option to pay the past due amount in full within three days in order to avoid eviction.

If the tenant does not pay the rent due by the end of the notice period and remains on the property, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement

A tenant can be evicted in Idaho if they do not uphold their responsibilities and obligations under the terms of a written lease/rental agreement.

Idaho landlords must provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Comply, giving tenants three days to correct the issue in order to avoid eviction.

Typical lease violations under this category could include damaging the rental property, having too many people residing in the rental unit, having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy, or subleasing the rental unit if the lease/rental agreement prohibits it.

For lease violations that can’t be corrected by the tenant, the landlord only needs to provide a 3-Day Notice to Quit.

Note that illegal activity is not included in this category.

If the tenant fails to correct or otherwise known as “cure” the issue by the deadline/remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease

In the state of Idaho, if tenants “holdover,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord must give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.

Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.

Regardless of the length or type of tenancy, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ written notice prior to beginning eviction proceedings.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Waste

Tenants who commit waste in a rental unit must be given a 3-Day Notice to Quit, giving the tenant three days to move out of the rental unit.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Illegal Activity

Tenants of a rental unit who are involved in illegal drug activity on the premises must be given three days’ written notice before the landlord can proceed with an eviction action.

Illegal drug activity includes:

  • Unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.
  • Production of a controlled substance.
  • Use of a controlled substance.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

As the next step in the eviction process, Idaho landlords must file a complaint in District Court. In the state of Idaho, the filing fee is roughly $166-$221.

The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t part of the case prior to the hearing through any one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Leaving a copy with anyone over the age of 18 who lives at the rental unit and sending a copy via mail; or
  3. Posting a copy on the premises in a conspicuous place and sending a copy via mail.
NOTES

Nonpayment of Rent/Illegal Drug Activity. If the premises is less than five acres of land, tenants who have engaged in illegal activity and are in violation of nonpayment of rent, the court shall schedule a trial within 12 days of the filing of the complaint and summons and complaint and summons must be served to the tenant at least five days prior to the hearing.

Squatters. For eviction actions against squatters, the summons and complaint must be served at least 24 hours before the hearing.

Idaho state law doesn’t indicate how quickly the summons must be served for all other eviction types.

24 hours to five days, depending on the eviction type. Evictions for any reason other than nonpayment of rent, illegal drug activity, and removing squatters may take longer.

Step 3: Court Hearing and Judgment

The type of eviction hearing determines when the hearing will be held.

For nonpayment of rent and illegal drug activity evictions, the hearing must be held within 12 days of the date the complaint was filed.

When the eviction is to remove squatters, the hearing must be held within 72 hours of the date the complaint was filed.

For nonpayment of rent and illegal drug activity evictions, tenants may request a two day continuance.

NOTES

Formal Answer. For all evictions other than nonpayment of rent, removal of squatters, and illegal drug activity, a written answer is required in order for tenants to attend the eviction hearing. The written answer must be filed within 21 days of receiving the summons.

If the tenant fails to file a written answer within 21 days of the date they received the summons, the judicial officer may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord.

Evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent, removal of squatters, or illegal drug activity may be scheduled according to the small claims hearing schedule, which cannot occur until the deadline to file the written answer has passed.

If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, regardless of the eviction type, it will not be continued, and the judge will issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, either through a default judgment or at an eviction hearing, a writ of restitution will be issued and the eviction process will continue.

72 hours to 21 days, (or more) depending on the eviction type.

Step 4: Writ of Restitution Is Issued

The writ of restitution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives the tenant the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff or constable returns to the property to forcibly remove them.

If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the court will issue a writ of restitution, which can be done immediately at the hearing, with the exception of nonpayment of rent evictions.

For nonpayment of rent evictions, the writ of restitution will be issued five days after the date the judgment was issued in favor of the landlord.

A few hours to five days, depending on whether the eviction is for nonpayment of rent or some other type of eviction.

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

Once the writ is delivered to the sheriff or constable, tenants may be forced to move out immediately and may not be given any further grace periods.

Immediately. Once the writ has been delivered to law enforcement officials, tenants do not have additional time to move out and can be forced to leave the rental unit immediately.

Idaho Eviction Process Timeline

Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in Idaho. With that being said, these estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.

  1. Initial Notice Period – Between 3 and 30 days, depending on the notice type and reason for eviction.
  2. Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint – 24 hours to 5 days (or longer), depending on the reason for the eviction.
  3. Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – 72 hours to 21 days (or more), depending on the reason for the eviction and if the tenant requests a continuance.
  4. Issuance of Writ of Restitution – A few hours to five days after the judgment is issued in favor of the landlord, depending on the eviction type.
  5. Return of Possession – Immediately.
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Additional Information

Agricultural Land. If the tenant stays on the premises more than 60 days after the rental agreement has ended and the landlord has failed to deliver a notice to quit, the tenant shall be granted an additional one full year lease and shall not be served an unlawful detainer by the landlord during that additional year.

Floating Homes. If a tenant resides on a floating home and the landlord has cause to evict the tenant, the landlord shall give written notice of termination to the tenant. The notice must provide the place and date of the violation(s), witnesses (if any), and the reason of termination. The possible grounds or reasons for eviction include the following:

  • Nonpayment of rent.
  • The tenant causes a nuisance to other floating homeowners, marina tenants, or marina owner.
  • Repeated violations of regulations and rules of the marina.
  • Violation of the rental agreement.

The notice shall be given by personal service to the tenant, or if the tenant is not available then the landlord must mail the tenant a copy of the written notice with a return receipt requested. Upon delivery of the notice, the tenant has 15 days to comply with the notice of termination.

Flowchart of Idaho Eviction Process

For additional questions about the eviction process in Idaho, please refer to the official legislation, Idaho Statutes §§6-303 to 6-324, §55-208, §1-2303, and the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4, for more information.