Idaho Tenant Landlord Act

By Tiffany Garden
Idaho landlord and tenant laws regulate lease agreements.
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The Idaho Landlord and Tenant Act encompasses the laws that control the legal aspects of a lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant. Both parties are expected to fulfill specific obligations and, in the event of a dispute, legal recourse can be pursued. These laws cover many different areas of a landlord and tenant relationship.

Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is defined by the Idaho Landlord and Tenant Act to be an agreement controlling the terms of the home rental. A lease agreement can be written or oral in Idaho and both are considered legally binding. The landlord must, however, provide a written agreement if the lease term is longer than a year. There are two different types of lease agreements. Periodic tenancies are when a tenant rents for an undefined period of time. The lease automatically renews and the lease term is equal to the rent payment period. These are typically month-to-month leases in Idaho. The other type of lease term is a definite term lease, which defines the rental period and when it will terminate.

Tenant Rights

The biggest right the tenant has in an Idaho rental agreement is possession. This right grants legal possession of the property to the tenant. The tenant also has the right to his property in the rental unit. A landlord cannot take or dispose of any property of the tenant, even during an eviction procedure. The tenant also has the right to have a home that is safe to live in. The landlord must take care of all repairs that affect the livability of the rental space, except for damage caused directly by the tenant or his guests.

Landlord Rights

Idaho law does not provide the landlord with the right to enter the property while it is in possession of the tenant but nothing prohibits landlords from providing a lease clause establishing a right to enter the property. The "right of entry" clause usually details the hours that a landlord or his agents may enter the rental unit, the reasons for entering it and the amount of advance notice that must be given before entering. If this is not written into the lease, the tenant does not have to allow access to the rental unit.

The landlord has the right to receive possession of the home after the lease has expired. In the case of hold-over tenants who stay after the lease has expired, a court order is sometimes necessary to invoke the legal right of possession. A landlord is also permitted to collect a security deposit in Idaho. Security deposits must be returned within 21 days after the tenant leaves or up to 30 days if the landlord provides a lease clause indicating the longer time period.

Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act

The Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act is a separate landlord and tenant act in Idaho statutes. This act covers mobile home owners and mobile home park landlords only. Someone renting a mobile home is covered under the original Landlord and Tenant Act.

The Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act provides several provisions regarding the rights and responsibilities of mobile home owners and park owners. This act requires written rental agreements in most cases. Specific park rules are allowed if applied equally to all tenants and 90-day notice must be given for any change in the rules. The 90-day notice is also required if the landlord is not automatically renewing the lease.

This act also limits the reasons for eviction, due to the manpower needed to move a mobile home to another park. The first reason is nonpayment of rent and the second is repeated violation of park or lease rules. In the latter case, the tenant has three days to remedy the problem and 20 days thereafter to move if the problem is not resolved.

Eviction

Eviction is a subject that concerns many landlords and tenants. Idaho's Landlord and Tenant Act provides specific instances when a lease can be terminated and eviction action taken, as well as the legal remedies of landlords and tenants in this situation.

An Idaho landlord has two grounds for terminating a lease before the end of the term. Either the tenant is behind on rent or the tenant has violated a lease clause. The landlord must hand-deliver a three-day notice to the tenant, requesting either back rent or for the violation to be fixed or requesting the tenant to leave. After this three-day notice period, the Idaho landlord is able to pursue eviction in court. The landlord will file the eviction case in civil court, send a process server to deliver the summons to the tenant and attend the hearing within 12 days of filing an eviction. Additional court hearings may be required if the landlord is also seeking to recover back rent with a money judgment.