In Idaho, the landlord-tenant relationship is established after a tenant pays rent in exchange for occupying a rental property. In such a case, Idaho law (Idaho Code §§ 55-301 – §§ 55-308) grants both parties to the lease certain rights and obligations.

As a landlord in Idaho, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the code in order to dispense your responsibilities in the manner required. This is why we at Keyrenter Boise have put together the following is a basic overview of the Idaho landlord-tenant laws.

Required Landlord Disclosures

Federal and state laws require landlords to make certain information known to their prospective tenants.

In Idaho, landlords are required by federal law to make one disclosure regarding lead-based paint. So, if your rental property was built prior to 1978, you must provide your tenant with information regarding the use of any lead-based paint.

disclosures

Idaho Tenant Rights & Responsibilities

Tenants in Idaho have the following rights under the Idaho landlord-tenant act. The right to:

  • Live in a habitable rental unit that conforms to all applicable safety, health, and structural codes.
  • Live in peace and quiet as per the Implied Warranty of Habitability.
  • Have requested repairs done within a period of 3 days.
  • Withhold rent or “repair and deduct” if the repair issue involves a smoke detector.
  • Form or join a tenants’ union to exercise their rights as tenants.
  • Be treated fairly and respectfully under the Idaho Fair Housing Act.
  • Be provided with all facilities and amenities promised in the lease agreement.
  • Terminate the lease agreement without penalty in certain circumstances. For instance, when starting active military duty.
  • To have the security deposit returned to them within a period of 30 days.
  • Live in a safe and sanitary home.
  • Remain in the residence until the proper eviction process has been followed to remove them.

The following are some of the responsibilities that the Idaho Landlord-Tenant Act places on tenants.

  • Ensure their rented premises are safe and habitable.
  • Reasonably use the provided fixtures, appliances, and facilities.
  • Ensure all fixtures are clean and sanitary.
  • Care for their rented premises and notify the landlord when maintenance issues crop up.
  • Take care of all the damage that they cause to the rented unit.
  • Not to cause disturbance to other tenants or neighbors.
  • Allow reasonable entry to the landlord looking to carry out a responsibility mentioned on the lease.

Idaho Landlord Rights & Responsibilities

Idaho gives landlords the following basic rights. A right to:

  • Screen all interested applicants within the boundaries of the Fair Housing Act.
  • Gain some financial cushion against any potential negligent tenant action through a security deposit.
  • Evict a tenant who fails to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.
  • Penalize a tenant who breaks their lease agreement early without a legally justified reason.
  • Charge whatever amount of rent and security deposit as desired.
  • Enter rented premises to carry out an important responsibility.

Tenants also have many responsibilities; they are as follows.

  • Abide by all terms of the lease agreement.
  • Follow the proper eviction process when evicting a tenant for a ‘just cause.’
  • Ensure the tenant enjoys their rented premises in peace and quiet, away from any unnecessary disruptions.
  • Only enter a tenant’s rented unit for legitimate reasons.
  • Handle repairs that have been requested promptly.
  • Ensure the property abides by the appropriate safety, health, and building codes.
  • Provide interested tenants with the required disclosures.

tenants

Overview of the Idaho Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlord Entry

Landlords have a right to enter their tenant’s rented unit. But this doesn’t mean that you can enter your tenant’s rented unit for whatever reason. Georgia law requires that a landlord have a legitimate reason for entry.

Housing Discrimination

Congress passed the Fair Housing Act in 1968 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain protected classes. Protection exists at both the federal and state level. At the federal level, the classes are race, color, religion, sex, nationality, gender, disability, and familial status.

Some states have also passed legislation to amend this piece of important legislation. The state of Idaho includes all the protected classes under federal law but excludes one – familial status. The Idaho Human Rights Commission enforces anti-discrimination laws within the state.

Rent Increases

As there are no rent control laws in Idaho, landlords can charge whatever amount of rent they wish. Additionally, there is no limit as to how much you can increase rent. However, to hike the amount, you’ll need to notify your tenant within 15 days first.

Security Deposits

If you require your tenants to pay a security deposit, you must abide by certain rules. For example, Idaho security deposit rules require landlords to return their tenants’ deposits within 30 days. Also, wrongfully withholding your tenant’s security deposit can attract penalties.

small claims court

Small Claims Courts

Disputes between landlords and tenants aren’t exactly uncommon. One common issue has to do with security deposit deductions as tenants may not agree with the deductions the landlord has made.

A small claims court is designed to handle such issues as long as the amount in contention doesn’t exceed $5,000. The statute of limitation on oral and written contracts is 4 years and 5 years, respectively.

Tenant Evictions

Idaho landlords can evict tenants for certain legitimate reasons. Such reasons include nonpayment of rent, lease violations, and illegal drug activity.

Bottom Line

At Keyrenter Boise, we believe that, as a landlord, you should be equipped with the knowledge to help you with any legal process. But should you need additional help, then please don’t hesitate to contact our professional property management team.

Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice from a qualified attorney. For expert help, KeyRenter Boise can help. We can help you take the stress out of managing your investment property. We service Boise and the surrounding areas.