In Idaho, if there is an exchange of rent for inhabiting property then a rental agreement exists and this agreement comes with certain rights and responsibilities. According to Idaho law, (Idaho Code §§ 55-301 – §§ 55-308) landlords have rights, including the right to collect rent in a timely manner and the right to be reimbursed for any damages, beyond “wear and tear” to the property.
Under Idaho law, tenants also have rights, which include, living in a habitable dwelling and the right to seek housing in an equitable manner.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Idaho
In Idaho, landlords are obligated to maintain a habitable and safe dwelling and are responsible for making requested repairs within 3 days. If they do not, then Idaho tenants are empowered to take at least one form of alternative action. They may make repairs and deduct the cost from rent. This right to alternative action only applies to smoke detectors though.
Here is a list of essential amenities that landlords are or are not responsible for.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in retaliation for exercising their housing rights.
Tenant Responsibilities in Idaho
Apart from paying rent in a timely manner, Idaho tenants must:
- Keep the unit safe and habitable
- Keep fixtures clean and sanitary
- Make small repairs and maintenance when needed
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
Evictions in Idaho
Landlords in Idaho are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons.
- Nonpayment of rent – If an Idaho tenant fails to pay rent then the landlord can issue a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the tenant still refuses to pay, then the landlord may file a Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer.
- Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. In cases of serious violations, the landlord is not required to give a chance to remedy. Either way, if the tenant does not agree to the terms, then the landlord may file for eviction.
- Illegal acts – Idaho landlords may choose which illegal acts warrant eviction. To that end, Idaho landlords can issue a 24-hour Notice to Vacate if they have documentation of illegal activities on the property.
At-will tenants in good standing are entitled to receive at least 30 days’ notice before being evicted. Tenants with a fixed-term rental agreement are not entitled to any notice.
It is illegal for landlords to evict a tenant as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Idaho
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – None.
- Time Limit for Returns – 30 Days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If an Idaho landlord wrongfully withholds a security deposit, the tenant may take legal action against the landlord.
- Allowable Deductions – Missed rental payments/utility bills and damages the excess normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Idaho
Notice requirements. If an Idaho tenant wishes to terminate a periodic lease, then they must give the following amounts of notice.
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
Early termination. Idaho tenants may legally break a lease early for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Uninhabitable unit
- Landlord harassment
Tenants who break a lease early may still be required to pay out the rest of the lease term. Landlords in Idaho are not obligated to re-rent a unit.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Idaho
- Rent control. Idaho does not currently enforce any kind of rent control so landlords are able to charge whatever they want in rental prices.
- Rental increases. Idaho landlords are not limited in how much they can raise rental prices but they must give tenants at least 15 days’ advance notice before doing so.
- Rent-related fees. The state does not limit how much landlords can charge late fees. Returned check fees are limited to 3 times the value of the check or $100, whichever is greater.
Housing Discrimination in Idaho
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, religion, or disability. These protections do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes run by religious organizations. Idaho state law clarifies that mental impairments, chronic alcoholism, blindness, and AIDS are covered under the “disability” portion of the Fair Housing Act.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. The Idaho Human Rights Commission handles cases related to housing discrimination. The following behaviors may be considered discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected class:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Indicating a preference for one group
- Limiting financing opportunities
- Steering applicants into certain neighborhoods
- Failing to provide reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities
Victims of housing discrimination can file a complaint with the Commission online here. However, the state does not specify what kind of penalties they render.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Idaho
Landlord Right to Entry in Idaho
Idaho law does not mandate minimum notice requirements for landlords. As such, they are assumed to have the default right to enter without permission. Tenants and landlords can work out entry notification policies in the lease agreement. Landlords do not need permission to enter during emergencies.
Small Claims Court in Idaho
Idaho small claims court will hear rent-related cases valued up to $5,000 or less. Eviction cases are not handled in small claims court. Written and oral contracts in the state of Idaho have a 5-year and 4-year limit, respectively.
Mandatory Disclosures in Idaho
Idaho landlords must make two mandatory disclosures.
- Lead-based paint. Landlords who own homes built after 1878 must provide information about the concentrations of lead paint used in the building.
- Authorized agents. Landlords must also provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.
Changing the Locks in Idaho
Idaho law does not prohibit tenants from changing the locks. However, it is not recommended that tenants change the locks without getting the landlord permission first. Landlords are explicitly forbidden from changing the locks as a form of eviction (i.e. “lockouts”).
Additional Resources for Idaho Renters
In addition, check your local county and municipality for additional land-lord tenant regulations. To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.
Landlord and Tenant Manual – This handbook, published by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, details nearly every consideration a landlord or tenant may need to make before, during, and after a lease agreement.
Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities – This concise pamphlet breaks down each party’s responsibilities under Idaho’s current landlord-tenant laws.
Idaho Department of Insurance – Renter’s Insurance is another common topic of dispute among Idaho landlords and tenants. This website can help guide both parties through the process of identifying which types of coverage are appropriate to their situation.