The following article highlights some of the most important Idaho Tenant Rights:
Idaho Tenant Rights: Housing Discrimination Laws
Any discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, religion, family status or national origin is—according to Idaho tenant rights—illegal. Disabilities—according to Idaho tenant right laws include mental or physical impairments, such as mental retardation, blindness, AIDS or chronic alcoholism.
According to Idaho tenant rights, a landlord is not allowed to take any of the following actions based on the aforementioned protected classifications:
• Deny that a rental unit is only available to some applicants
• Establish restrictive standards for certain tenants
• Run an advertisement that suggests a preference based on certain group characteristics
• Refuse to accommodate the needs of disabled tenants (i.e. denying service animals)
• Adopt inconsistent policies for different tenants
• Terminate leases for discriminatory reasons
If you feel that you are a victim of discrimination, you may file a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Idaho tenant Rights: The Lease Agreement
Lease agreements are important legal documents that both parties (renter and landlord) must read and understand. All questions concerning the rental space and the rental contract should be answered and resolved before either party signs the lease agreement. The lease agreement serves as the sole contract that governs the landlord-tenant relationship for the duration of the tenancy. The written lease agreement must be understand (readable) and include the following terms:
• Contact Information: The addresses, telephone numbers and names of the property owner, landlord, tenant and all associated emergency contacts should be recorded
• Dates: The beginning and ending dates of the lease agreement must be affirmed in the lease agreement.
• Property Information: Idaho tenant right laws state that the address of the rental property and the purpose for how it is used should be labeled in the lease agreement.
• Rent: The amount of rent, when it is normally due and the amount charged for late fees should be placed in the lease agreement
• Security Deposit: The name of the financial institution, the amount of the deposit and where the funds will be held in escrow are required to be affirmed in the lease agreement. Moreover, Idaho tenant rights declare that an explanation of how the landlord will use the security deposit at the end of tenancy must be given
• Utilities and Repairs: The party responsible for each of the utilities and repair of the property must be named in this section of the lease agreement
• Policies: All policies and restrictions should be placed on a tenant’s use of the rental unit, including the number of occupants, whether smoking or pets are permitted, mandatory quiet hours and whether assignment or subletting is allowed.
• Termination: This portion of the lease agreement must go over the process that the tenant must follow to give proper notice of intent to terminate or vacate the lease
• Inspection Following Move Out: Idaho tenant right laws state that the terms that allow the tenant to attend the landlord’s inspection must be declared in the lease agreement
• Entrance: How and when the landlord may enter the rental space must be affirmed in the lease agreement
• Signatures: After acknowledging all of the above matters, both parties must sign and date—according to Idaho tenant rights—the lease agreement.
Idaho Tenant Rights: The Tenant’s Right to Privacy
Idaho tenant right laws state that the tenant possesses a right to privacy in their rental space. If the landlord enters the property without permission, the tenant may contact the police. The lease agreement—according to Idaho tenant rights—must specify the landlord’s right to enter the unit to:
• Respond to emergencies involving property or life and
• Show the property to prospective renters or tenants at times deemed convenient by you, the renter
• Inspect for damages to make necessary repairs
In addition to the above, the lease agreement must explain the landlord’s rights regarding when a tenant is in default in the rent or when tenants may have abandoned the rental property. If the lease fails o include these provisions, and the landlord needs to enter the rental unit, the landlord must notify the tenant why entry is necessary. The landlord—according to Idaho tenant rights—can also agree with the tenant on reasonable manners and times of entry.
Idaho Tenant Rights Laws: Maintaining the Rental Space
Tenants and landlords possess different responsibilities regarding maintaining the rental space. Typically, the lease agreement will outline the specific responsibilities of each party; however, Idaho tenant rights place certain property maintenance duties on both tenants and landlords.
Idaho tenant rights declare that all landlords must maintain the property to protect the tenant’s health and safety. In this regard, a landlord must comply with the county’s and city’s ordinances as well as with state laws concerning housing conditions. The following are examples of rental space conditions that constitute violations:
• Exposed wiring
• Structural deterioration, such as cracked and crumbling walls and broken or missing windows and doors
• Nonfunctioning heating units
• Insect infestations
• No means to store or remove garbage
• Failing to install smoke detectors
Idaho tenant rights give the landlord three days to fix any of the above violations. Failure to remedy these situations permits the tenant to sue the landlord to force compliance. To properly sue the landlord under Idaho tenant rights laws, the landlord must be given a copy of the summons and complaint at least five days before you initiate the formal suit. If done properly, a trial will be held within 12 days of the filing. If you, the tenant, win the case, the judge will require the landlord to comply with the tenant’s notice of violation.
Idaho Tenant Rights: Tenant’s Responsibilities for Safeguarding the Property
Tenants must protect the rental property to ensure that damage does not occur. Typical tenant responsibilities—according to Idaho tenant right laws—include:
• Properly dispose of garbage
• Keep the property sanitary and clean
• Obey the landlord’s property rules and regulations
• Idaho tenant rights declare that all tenants must use to property for only lawful purposes
• Idaho tenant rights declare that all tenants must do their best to prevent injuries to others as a result of actions performed on the rental space
Idaho Tenant Right Laws: Rent Increases
A landlord may increase a tenant’s rent only if proper notice is supplied. If a rental agreement or lease specifies a certain amount of rent for a specified time period, the landlord—according to Idaho tenant rights laws—may not raise the rent during that time frame unless the tenant agrees to pay more.
With month to month leases, a landlord must provide the tenant with written notice of at least 15 days before the end of the tenancy and fifteen days before the increase takes effect. Idaho tenant rights laws requires that the written notice be served to the tenant. While ID tenant rights does not require the delivery of formal legal service, it does mandate that the tenant actually receive the notice. As a result of ID tenant rights, landlords should hand a written notice to the tenant or send it certified mail to inform the renter that rent is going up.
ID Tenant Rights: Breaking a Lease in Idaho
A tenant may end a lease before the end of the term if the lease agreement contains an affirmed termination clause or if the landlord violates the terms of the agreement. Moreover, ID tenant rights state that the lease can be terminated if the landlord agrees to release the tenant out of the contract. In all other instances—according to ID tenant rights--the term of the lease remains binding.
If the lease is of the month-to-month variety, either party may terminate the lease so long as a month’s advance written notice is provided to the other party. If the tenant breaks the lease against ID tenant right laws, the tenant may be forced to pay the landlord for lost rent and for the costs of re-renting the rental space.
ID Tenant Rights: Moving Out of the Rental Space
Idaho tenant rights state that a tenant must always consult their leases to affirm the amount of notice they must give to their landlord before vacating the rental unit. If the rental agreement does not offer certain a number of days for adequate notice, the lease will expire at the end of the stated period and no formal notice is needed. However, as a common courtesy to the landlord, a tenant should provide the landlord with as much notice as possible. The notice must be in writing and delivered to the landlord or sent certified mail.
ID Tenant Rights: Returning the Security Deposit
Any funds given to the landlord is either declared “rent” or a “deposit.” Rental payments—as stated by ID tenant right laws—are non-refundable. Deposits, on the other hand, are deemed refundable by Idaho tenant right laws. During the tenant’s lease, security deposit funds should be placed in a trust account or special escrow for safekeeping and to avoid intermingling deposits with rental payments.
When the lease formally ends—according to ID tenant rights—the landlord is given 21 days to return the tenant’s entire security deposit. The landlord may provide a partial refund (must be attached with a written statement) if the security deposit was needed to repair damages caused by the tenant. The 21-day period may be extended or shortened if agreed-upon between the landlord and tenant; however, ID tenant rights state that the time period cannot exceed 30 days.
Idaho Tenant Right Laws: Evictions
One of the primary issues of ID tenant right laws deals with how landlords may lawfully remove tenants from rental units when the tenant violates the terms of their rental agreements. Although the eviction procedure is fairly straightforward, each tenant-landlord relationship involves a unique set of circumstances.
A landlord—according to Idaho tenant right laws—may not evict tenants because the tenant requests repairs or because the tenant assumes membership with a tenants’ association.
ID Tenant Right Laws: The Eviction Process
The following eviction procedure is outlined in title 6, chapter 3 of the ID Tenant Right Laws Code:
ID Tenant Right laws: Notice of Eviction:
Tenants must be properly served with a three-day or thirty-day written notice, depending on the following circumstances:
• Proper Service of the Notice of Eviction: Landlords—according to Idaho tenant right laws—are required to deliver the notice of eviction to the tenant in person. That being said, if the tenant vacated the property, the landlord may serve a copy of the eviction notice with a competent person at the residence or mail a copy of the notice to the tenant’s residence. Three-day written notices—according to Idaho tenant rights—may be given to a tenant in the following instances:
o The tenant failed to pay rent. The notice of eviction must include the total amount of rent owed and provide a means for tenant to pay rent within that three day window
o The tenant egregiously violated the lease agreement. The eviction notice—according to Idaho tenant rights—must pinpoint the provisions the tenant violated and also provide advice on how the tenant can remedy the situation within the three-day period
o The tenant engaged in controlled substance use or sales. The tenant—according to ID tenant right laws—is not provided with a three-day right to cease the illegal activity. In this situation, the landlord is required to report the illegal activity.
30-day written notices are given when the tenant is renting for an open-period of time.
Idaho Tenant Right Laws: Unlawful Evictions
A landlord may not engage in any form of self-help to remove a tenant out a rental unit. According to Idaho tenant right laws, it is illegal for a landlord to:
1. Fail to five proper notice;
2. Fail to allow time for the distressed tenant to pay past-due rent or comply with the terms of the lease agreement;
3. Cancel or shut-off the utilities;
4. Change the locks;
5. Confiscate the tenant’s property; or
6. Do anything that goes against lawful eviction proceedings