Idaho HOA Laws

Idaho HOA Laws

Last Updated: June 16, 2023 by Corrin Swintosky

In Idaho, many planned communities are managed by a homeowners association (HOA). The laws governing HOAs in Idaho are set forth by various local and state regulations, as well as by each individual HOA’s governing documents.

Who Regulates HOAs in Idaho?

In Idaho, HOAs are regulated by the Idaho Homeowners Association Act found in Chapter 32 Section 55 of the Idaho Code. This act governs the operation, management, and rights of homeowners and neighborhoods to homeowners associations in Idaho.

Otherwise, governing documents regulate an HOA. Although every HOA is different, the governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and other rules and regulations.

HOAs in Idaho may be subject to applicable federal laws such as:

HOAs may be subject to certain state laws such as:

How to Find HOA Regulations in Idaho

HOA documents are not public records in Idaho. The bylaws and other governing documents are kept with the HOA and are only accessible to HOA members by written request.

Business records filed with the Idaho Secretary of State can be found by anyone online by conducting a Business Search on their website. Records include the Articles of Incorporation and other annual reports filed by the HOA.

HOA Powers in Idaho

In Idaho, HOAs have the power to:

  • Impose reasonable fines
  • Levy assessments for common areas
  • Maintain common areas
  • Foreclose on a home for unpaid liens

Additionally, HOA governing documents can grant further powers such as restrictions on membership, exterior paint colors, fencing, and parking requirements.

Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in Idaho?

HOAs can impose fines on a homeowner in Idaho for violation of its rules and late payments on assessments. Fine amounts depend on what is listed in the HOA’s governing documents.

HOAs cannot impose fines for violations without a majority vote from the HOA members. A notice must be provided to the homeowner 30 days before the meeting to impose a fine. If the homeowner addresses and attempts to resolve the violation before the meeting, no fine may be imposed.

HOAs can also claim a lien on the homeowner’s property for unpaid assessments. The HOA is required to file a claim in the county where the HOA property is located.

The HOA must serve the homeowner five days after the lien has been recorded. The notice needs to address the type of assessments and the full amount due.

An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit) any of the following:

  • Installing solar panels or solar energy collectors
  • Displaying political signs
  • Displaying the American flag so long as it is consistent with federal law, the State of Idaho flag, POW/MIA flag, or any military branch flag
  • Rentals to the property, land, or structures of the HOA
  • Installing satellite dishes and antennas

An HOA’s governing documents may include reasonable rules and regulations regarding the placement and manner of display of any of the items listed above.

Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in Idaho?

In Idaho, HOAs can take a homeowner’s house for delinquent payments on common assessments. HOAs have the power to place a lien on a property when the owner neglects to pay their dues. If a lien goes unresolved, the HOA can foreclose on the house.

There is no state provision on if an HOA can evict homeowners or tenants. However, if an HOA directly leases a residence to a tenant, they may be able to evict the tenant.

Evicting a tenant may be permissible if the lease was not properly authorized by the HOA. Otherwise, the HOA may have other powers or restrictions about rental properties in its governing documents.

Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in Idaho?

Idaho does not have a state code that governs HOAs entering a homeowner’s property. Clauses of if, when, and how an HOA can enter a homeowner’s house will be listed in its governing documents.

Typically, an HOA may be able to enter a homeowner’s property in case of emergency, maintenance, or violation of any rules or regulations.

Except in the case of an emergency, reasonable notice should be provided to the homeowner before the HOA is to enter the property. A reasonable timeline can range depending on the reason for entry between three days and a couple of weeks.

Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in Idaho?

The venue for filing a Complaint against an HOA in [state] depends on the complaint.

For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state or federal court within one year of the violation date.

If a homeowner feels they are a victim of housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the U.S. Department of Urban Housing, or file a private lawsuit in Idaho state or federal court.

Otherwise, a homeowner with any other complaints can bring a claim in state court in the appropriate county.

Joining and Leaving an HOA in Idaho

In Idaho, there is no state code that regulates joining and leaving an HOA. These clauses are laid out in the HOA’s governing documents. Documents explaining the HOA’s membership rules and regulations should be presented at the closing for a new owner’s home purchase.

Typically, there are two types of HOAs that regulate joining and leaving clauses:

  • Mandatory HOAs. When a person buys a home, they automatically become a member required to abide by any HOA rules listed in the governing documents. This usually includes that a homeowner is not able to leave the HOA freely.
  • Voluntary HOAs. When a person buys a home, membership is a choice for each homeowner. If they choose to become a member, they may leave at any time by stopping their payments with the HOA.

To leave a mandatory HOA, a homeowner can sell their house or try to petition the court to have their home removed. However, there is no guarantee the petition will be granted.

How to Dissolve an HOA in Idaho

The process for dissolution of an HOA in Idaho may be set forth in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, dissolution is approved if met by all three conditions:

  • The board
  • HOA members by ⅔ or majority vote
  • Each person whose approval is required by the governing documents for dissolution must approve the plan in writing

HOAs are required to give notice to all members entitled to vote regarding the meeting and topic of dissolution that will require a vote. A copy of the summary or plan for dissolution should be included in the notice.

The plan of dissolution will outline all assets and debts that need to be distributed. After dissolution has been approved, the HOA must file an Articles of Dissolution with the Idaho Secretary of State. The HOA is considered dissolved upon filing.