Idaho Habitability Laws

  • Landlord Responsibilities. Provide and maintain working plumbing, electrical, sanitation facilities, HVAC equipment, and smoke detectors (read more).
  • Making Repairs. Tenants must put repair requests in writing and the landlord is given three days to make repairs upon receipt of written notice  (read more).
  • Tenant Options. If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner tenant can file a lawsuit. Tenant, however, cannot withhold rent, and is only allowed repair and deduct for smoke detector installations (read more).
  • Retaliation. If a landlord is reported to a local city or county inspector for housing code violations, it is prohibited for a landlord to retaliate, such as by threatening eviction (read more).

The implied warranty of habitability in Idaho does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are & aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Not specifically addressed
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels No

Mobile home parks and condos have their own separate set of landlord/tenant rules and will not be addressed in this article.

Landlord Responsibilities

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Idaho, as indicated below.

Note: some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Yes
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Yes
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Yes
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. No
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

Making Repairs

For all residential properties, landlords are required to make and pay for any repairs to make the unit livable that are not caused by the tenant.

  • Sending notice – Tenants must put repair requests in writing to the landlord. The landlord has three days to make any necessary repairs after receiving written notice.
  • Landlord access – Tenants are not required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs unless it is written into the lease agreement.

Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made

If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.

  1. Withhold rent – Idaho landlord tenant law does not allow tenant to withhold rent in response to habitability issues.
  2. Repair and deduct – the only case a tenant in Idaho can repair and deduct is for installation and repair of smoke detectors. Tenant has the right to install necessary smoke detectors and deduct the costs from the following month’s rent.
  3. Lawsuit – tenants do have the right to take legal actions to enforce their right if the landlord doesn’t make the necessary repairs three days after receiving written notice

Landlord Retaliation

Landlords may not evict a tenant for requesting that repairs be made or because the tenant joins a tenants’ association.