Idaho Rental Laws

Written on March 12, 2015 by , updated on August 30, 2018

flag-of-idahoThis article summarizes some key Idaho landlord-tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county. You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by the state bar association. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute, but the
    name of the financial institution where deposit will be held in escrow should be stated in the lease. (AG’s Guidelines (page 6) (pdf))
  • Pet Deposits: No statute
  • Non-Refundable Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: When the lease ends, the landlord has 21 days to return the deposit. The 21-day period can be shortened or extended by an agreement between the tenant and landlord, but it may not be longer than 30 days. (§§ 6-321 and AG’s Guidelines (page 27) (pdf))
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit: Any deductions that are necessary to cover the contingencies specified in the lease, excluding normal wear and tear. (§§ 6-321)
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes, any refunds that are less than the full amount deposited by the tenant shall be accompanied by a signed statement itemizing the amounts retained by the landlord, the purpose for the amounts retained, and a detailed list of expenditures made from the deposit. (§§ 6-321)
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No statute
  • Failure to Comply: Idaho law provides a four-step process that a tenant can follow to obtain a deposit from a landlord who fails to return the tenant’s deposit or provide an itemized list of deductions within 21 days after the lease ends. See the AG’s Guidelines (page 27) (pdf) for more details.

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: As stated in the lease. (AG’s Guidelines (page 6) (pdf))
  • Rent Increase Notice: Fifteen-day notice required before the end of the month in which the increase will take effect. (§§ 55-307(1))
  • Rent Grace Period: No staute
  • Late Fees: No statute, but any late fee policy should be specified in the lease. (AG’s Guidelines (page 6) (pdf))
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute
  • Returned Check Fees: Landlord may sue in small claims court to recover the amount of the check, plus either $100 or three times the check amount, whichever is greater. See statute for other requirements. (§§ 1-2301(A))
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No statute, but the AG’s Guidelines (page 13) (pdf) describes the process available to tenants to give notice and then sue to force the landlord to comply.
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No statute, but the AG’s Guidelines (page 13) (pdf) describes the process available to tenants to give notice and then sue to force the landlord to comply. The only exception relates to the installation of smoke detectors. A tenant, after providing three-day written notice to the landlord, may install the necessary smoke detectors and deduct the cost from the tenant’s next month’s rent. (§§ 6-320(a)(6))
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: In eviction cases, except in cases where triple damages are awarded, the prevailing party is entitled to an award of attorney fees. In cases requiring three-day notice, the notice must advise the tenant that attorney fees shall be awarded to the prevailing party. (§§ 6-324)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No statute, but case law in Industrial Leasing Corporation v. Thomason, 532 P.2d 916 (Idaho 1974) established a landlord’s duty to make reasonable efforts to rerent. The landlord must rerent the property as soon as possible at a reasonable price to limit any monetary losses. (AG’s Guidelines (page 22) (pdf))
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute, but the lease should explain the landlord’s rights when a tenant may have abandoned the property. (AG’s Guidelines (page 11) (pdf))

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: Notice not required as the lease simply ends. (AG’s Guidelines (pages 23 and 25) (pdf))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month: A tenancy at will may be terminated by either tenant or landlord with one month’s written notice. (§§ 55-208)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: One month’s written notice required. (AG’s Guidelines (page 31) (pdf))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: No statute, but the lease should specify the process the tenant must follow to give proper notice of intent to vacate or terminate the lease. (AG’s Guidelines (page 6) (pdf))
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: If a landlord has reasonable grounds to believe any person is or has been engaged in the unlawful delivery, production or use of a controlled substance on the leased premises, the landlord can institute eviction proceedings immediately. (AG’s Guidelines (page 15) (pdf))
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute, but lease should define the terms that allow the tenant to attend the landlord’s move-out inspection. (AG’s Guidelines (page 7) (pdf))
  • Notice of Termination of Week-to-Week Leases for Nonpayment: Three-day written notice required. (§§ 6-303(2))
  • Notice of Termination of All Other Leases for Nonpayment: Three-day written notice required. (§§ 6-303(2))
  • Termination for Lease Violation: Three-day written notice required. (§§ 6-303(3))
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute, but lease should specify when and how the landlord may enter the property. (AG’s Guidelines (page 7 and 11) (pdf))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute, but the lease should specify the landlord’s right to enter the tenant’s property to inspect for damage and make necessary repairs. (AG’s Guidelines (page 11) (pdf))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute, but the lease
    should specify the landlord’s right to enter the tenant’s property to show the property to prospective purchasers or tenants at convenient times. (AG’s Guidelines (page 11) (pdf))
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute, but the lease
    should specify the landlord’s right to enter the tenant’s property in case of emergency involving life or property.
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Three-day notice, if the lease gives landlord right of reentry. (§§ 55-210)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (AG’s Guidelines (page 32) (pdf))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (AG’s Guidelines (page 16) (pdf))

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Name and Addresses: No statute, but should be stated in the lease.(AG’s Guidelines (page 6) (pdf))
  • Copy of the Lease: No statute
  • Domestic Violence Situations: No statute. Idaho Legal Aid Services offers a Domestic Violence Legal Advice Hotline.
  • Landlord’s Duties: Landlords must maintain the premises to protect a tenant’s safety and health. In that regard, landlords must comply
    with city and county ordinances and state laws regarding housing conditions. See the AG’s Guidelines (page 12) (pdf) for examples of housing conditions that constitute violations of the landlord’s duties.
  • Tenant’s Duties: (AG’s Guidelines (page 14) (pdf))
    • Compliance: Obey the landlord’s property regulations and use the
      property for only lawful purposes;
    • Cleanliness: Keep the property clean and sanitary;
    • Trash: Properly dispose of garbage;
    • Appliances and plumbing: Use appliances, electrical fixtures and plumbing facilities properly;
    • Damage: Prevent family and friends from damaging the property;
    • Safety: Prevent injury to others due to actions performed on the tenant’s property.
  • Retaliation: Landlords may not evict a tenant because the tenant requests that repairs be made or because the tenant joins a tenants’ association. (AG’s Guidelines (page 29) (pdf))
  • Lead Disclosure:  Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

Court Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
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50 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Brenda Bell

    I rented out my townhome a year ago, it was a 12 month written lease with the date of July 31, 2017 noted as the end of lease date. On June 1, 2017 I met with the tenants to advise we would not be extending the lease or renegotiating the lease and the tenants needed to vacate the property by July 31, 2017 as per the signed lease. I also, provided this in writing. The tenants are having trouble finding another place to live. My question now, what are my rights as the property owner/landlord as of midnight on July 31, 2017. It is my plan to move into the property on August 1st. If they have not left the property as of August 1st, can I move their possessions and have the locks changed so I can move in?

    • WRK

      I realize this is late, but for future questions like this- No, you can *not* change the locks and move their belongings out. If the tenant does not vacate by the last day specified by their lease or by another written agreement, you must serve a legal eviction notice. If they do not vacate by the deadline after being given notice (this will be a few days into the following month after they were supposed to vacate), then you can begin eviction procedures via court. If you are granted an eviction, then the residents have to be properly served again and are given a certain period of time to vacate on their own. If they do not, there is a legal procedure for you to follow where you can then have the sheriff remove them.

  • Debbie collette

    Tenant has not paid rent in 3 months. Is also wanted by yhe law.has not been home in approx 2 weeks. How do we proceed with. An eviction and removal personal property

  • Jerry W

    We have a legal issue with our former residence. The house was located in Clarkston, WA but the property management firm was located in Lewiston, ID. Which state laws will apply to our rights? Thank you.

  • Gary C

    We allowed our adult daughter and family to live with us rent-free for 3 months so they could find a place and save for first/last, etc. (No written agreement.) After that they paid some for food/util, but haven’t paid anything for nearly a year. We have decided it’s been long enough. She said she saw on Judge Judy (not Idaho jurisdiction!) that they are considered a tenant and that if we want them out we will have to evict them. Is that true? If so, since they haven’t paid rent can we use the 3-day process even if we told them they didn’t need to pay rent at one time?

    • Miller

      Yes, you have to evict them. Meaning you have to serve them a 30 days notice and you can’t lock them out and if you did, they can legally kick your front door in and there is nothing you can do about it. I just went through this and this is what I learned the hard way. The 30 days HAS TO BE legally served….using the court process.

      Its shitty they just dont go on their own. Maybe consider financially helping them get set up outside your house. They are family. It takes a village…In Idaho they have squatters rights on you. It is wrong but its Idaho.

      If you allowed someone to come inside your house and they brought there tooth brush and that toothbrush stayed in your bathroom for seven days? They live in your home.

  • Fred Cruzan

    My tenant is two months behind in rent. I evicted him but he left his personal property in my garage along with four truck loads of garbage. Can I hold his personal property until he pays me what is owed.

  • Anne Drury

    Hello, I rented a house with two oil Toyo heaters and electric baseboard heaters. On the written and signed lease it states that she will maintain and ensure Toyo heaters are working during winter months. Well after she received all if our money and had spent a thousand or more on the move she switches up. She tells me that the Toyo heaters are being replaced with electric baseboard heaters throughout the house. I would never rent a house this size and in this type of cold climate that only had electric baseboard heaters! I also found out that she sold the heaters. We’re cold and I care for my elderly Mother we can’t afford to move, I don’t know what to do. Is this legal?

    • WRK

      The landlord can change the type of heating system anytime they want. They can switch from oil to electric if they choose. You don’t have a say. If there was no heat at all, then you would have a case, but providing heat in a form you don’t like is not something you can pursue and win, even if they listed the oil heaters in the lease.

  • Michael Jones

    It’s there a requirement in Idaho for the landlord to provide window coverings?

  • Gabriela

    So i have a month to month lease its no contract just a month to month rent .I have 2 months living in a mobile home and a week later when i moved in i notice some electric problems like power shutting off and it the only electric stuff that would work is the kitchen lights and the fridge and oven but the rest of the outlets and power didnt work and its cold and dark most of the time and i just couldnt bare this living situation since the landlord hasnt fixed the electric problem ive decided to move out immediately . I also moved out because in one month yhey wanted to charge me $300 of power because they have power under their name and the mobile home is next to their home so i think they might have shared electricity

  • Hawley Troxell

    Great! Thanks for sharing this blog. Keep posting!

  • Vicky

    My landlord posted a 3 day notice to remove one of my vehicles and now yard and remove some weeds.(things got bad because I have an elbow injury and am looking at having surgery soon.) Yes my yard is a mess, I do not dispute this. My question is if notice was posted on Thursday the 24 of May I count the 3 days as :
    1 Friday the 25,
    2.Tuesday May 29
    3. Wednesday 30.
    Because notices of 10 days or shorter don’t count weekends or national holidays. May 28 is Memorial day. Or am I incorrect in my thinking? . Truck gone yard mowed mostly picked up and weeds almost all.pulled by Sunday night just in case. My elbow is hurting bad may have to go into to Ortho Dr Tuesday.

  • Patricia

    Is there a federal law preventing landlords from double dipping?

  • Patricia

    What is the federal law when a landlord takes money from an tenant breaking the lease early
    and paying 3 months rent, but the landlord renting the house the 1st month vacated property.
    my understanding is double dipping is against the law/

  • Patricia

    what is the federal law in Idaho for double dipping?

  • Melissa

    My son moved to Idaho Falls, ID. Rented the only house available. The windows don’t open. Hotter than ever. No egress for fire escape or ventilation, gas heater. Son afraid to say anything since no where else to live. Two children.

  • Darren Dye

    How often, and for how much can my landlord increase my monthly lot rent? It has been raised 55% over the past 28 months with 4 increases during that period.

  • Julie

    I move into my rental 14 years ago and at time of move in I paid first month, last month and a deposit when I give my 30 day notice do I still need to pay for my last month or because I paid at the time of move in do I get that as a paid month.

  • Roland

    Rented a home in twin falls.landlord allowed us to move belongings in the weekend prior to first day on lease. A contractor found mold in the basement. I told landlord I wasn’t comfortable with that and we agreed that she would refund our money. We have moved out and she has only given us ⅓ of our money back. I told her i wouldn’t return the keys untill I got my money and she said if she finds me on them property she would call the police. But we still technically have a lease. What can I do and what are my rights?

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