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Read further to learn more about the residential lease termination process in Idaho and how many days notice are required in which situations.
What is a Lease Termination Notice?
A residential lease termination notice is delivered to a tenant when a landlord requests to end the lease agreement. The ultimate goal of this notice is to have the tenant move out of the property within the specific time frame indicated by Idaho law.
Sometimes, in the state of Idaho, there’s a need to terminate the lease early, and while some standard leases do have termination clauses, with a month-to-month lease, a lease termination notice is all that’s needed. In Idaho and many other states, a month-to-month lease can be advantageous for both owners and renters because they have a lot more wiggle room than standard lease agreements. This is due to the fact that there’s no preset lease term; the lease effectively ends monthly, and it renews itself at the start of the following month.
Idaho has very specific laws in place for ending a month-to-month agreement; in fact, § 55-208 specifically states that the owner of the property or his tenant must provide at least 30 days of notice before leaving the unit vacant. This period allows for the tenant to have some forewarning when a landlord wishes to use the unit in another way, and it also allows the landlord to start the tenant-finding process when a renter intends to leave. As a general rule, it’s a fairly common practice for renters and landlords to send a notice via certified mail so that the intent is clearly laid out.
How to Write a Lease Termination Notice in Idaho
With state law firmly establishing best practices for this kind of termination, it’s crucial that any of the two parties follow the appropriate steps in order to terminate a lease legally. Despite the utility of this kind of notice, it’s imperative that all of the appropriate information is included so that there’s no question of its legality. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to find the required information in the original month-to-month lease agreement, so having a copy of this at-the-ready will significantly make things easier. Clarity is a prerequisite of one of these documents, so when one is being written, ensure that these sections are included:
The Tenant or Landlord Information
When writing most legal documents, it’s a good idea to include the pertinent information for both parties that are involved with the lease. If the document is being submitted to a tenant by a landlord, then the full info for the owner or the management company should be included. In addition to this, the tenant information, as it appears on the original lease, must be included as well.
For tenants, the process is similar – the information for the sender must be the same as was included in the original lease. For those tenants that have roommates on their month-to-month lease, these should be mentioned as well at the beginning of the document.
For both parties, the precise date that the lease is ending must be recorded. As previously mentioned, both the landlord and the renter will need to provide a month’s worth of prior notice before leaving the unit vacant.
For clarity, the address of the property in question should be included. Be sure to detail things like the unit number, any relevant side streets, the county, and the zip code of the property.
Once again, for a complete picture, it’s a good idea to include some supplemental information that can help make the process easier. Here are a few things to consider:
- The new address: For tenants that are opting to move out, a forwarding address for the security deposit may be needed by the manager or landlord. Landlords are required by Idaho state law to return the original security deposit within 21 days, so providing this information is crucial. Sometimes, as a result of damage to the property, part or all of the security deposit may be used for repairs. In this situation, the landlord will clearly need to state how the security deposit is being allocated.
- Info from the original lease: Sometimes, the original lease can have valuable information that can help make the termination process more clearly defined. In these cases, including a copy of the original lease so that information on the move-out process and other essential aspects can clearly be noted.
- Information for tenants needing extra time: While 30 days is the state-mandated amount of time provided, sometimes, a tenant may need a slightly more extended period to move out. For this reason, some owners may provide a grace period to allow for the tenants to move out after a longer period has elapsed.
Finally, the signatures and printed names of the lessee and lessor will need to be included as well as the date when the termination letter was signed. In most cases, the 30-day period will begin when the notice is received.
Terminating a Standard Lease
When the lease isn’t a month-to-month agreement, there are some risks that will need to be understood. It’s important to note that a six-month, one-year, or two-year lease is a binding contract between the lessor and lessee, so there can be some specific issues when either party opts to end the arrangement early. These include:
- The potential for civil lawsuits: Since a lease is a legal document, the landlord or renter can sue the other party for breach of contract. Some situations can make the other parties exempt from legal repercussions, but these are fairly limited. Here are a few ways a lease can be legally broken:
- If the lessee is beginning military service.
- If the landlord fails to provide a safe and habitable housing environment.
- If the landlord violates the privacy of the renter. In Idaho, landlords can’t just enter a unit – they must give written notice.
- Credit issues: As a result of breaking a lease, the credit record of the lessee can be adversely affected.
- Making it difficult to rent in the future: For the tenant, ending a lease can be a bit of a black mark on the rental record.
- Having to pay back the remaining rental value: Some leases specifically require that the renter pay back the entirety of the rental value of the unit. This means that they must pay back all rent leading up to the original end of the lease.