Renter's Rights in a Lease Agreement in Idaho

By Amelia Jenkins

Idaho residents who rent their homes from a private owner or property management company have several obligations toward their home such as paying the rent on time and keeping the property clean. However, renters also have legal rights, such as the right to privacy and the right to a livable home, that are protected under Idaho state law.

Lease Agreements

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the landlord and the tenant. The lease defines the amount of rent and upfront fees such as security deposits the tenant will pay and any rules the tenant must adhere to while living in the property. The lease should also include information on late payment fees or other penalties that the tenant may face. A lease can be either long term, lasting from six months to one year or more, or on a month-to-month basis.

Landlord Obligations

The landlord must maintain the property in accordance with any local or state regulations, including keeping the roof and walls in good shape, keeping the plumbing in working order, spraying for pests and ensuring the heating system works correctly. The landlord must also adhere to the lease agreement. For example, the landlord cannot increase the rent or charge a late fee above what was listed in the original agreement.

Landlord Rights

The landlord has the right to collect the rent on the due date specified in the lease and can charge a late fee if the tenant exceeds the due date. According to the Idaho Office of the Attorney General, tenants cannot withhold rent payments for any reason, including the landlord's failure to make repairs. If the tenant fails to pay the rent and does not respond to payment notices, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant.

Tenant Obligations

The tenant must keep the property in a clean and livable condition. He must also pay the full rent on time every month according to the amount listed in the lease agreement. If the lease states any special circumstances, such as a no pet policy or a no smoking policy, the tenant must also adhere to these at all times. If the rental is a house, the tenant may be responsible for maintaining the lawn and outdoor areas as well, per the lease agreement.

Tenant Rights

Under Idaho law, no landlord can discriminate against a tenant based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Once the tenant signs the lease agreement, the tenant has the right to privacy inside the rental property. According to the Idaho Office of the Attorney General, the landlord cannot enter the property without prior notice unless otherwise stated in the lease. The tenant has the right to take the landlord to court if he fails to maintain the property. The tenant also has the right to terminate the lease agreement if he can prove the landlord violated any statement made in the agreement.