When a dispute arises in a landlord-tenant lease and the dispute somehow materially affects the rights of the parties, such as the failure to pay rent, the landlord may seek to oust the tenant. In Idaho, the landlord cannot use “self-help,” such as changing the locks or turning off the power. Doing so may expose the landlord to liability. Instead, the landlord must follow Idaho’s eviction procedure.
Review the Lease and Determine if Eviction Grounds Exist
The landlord must have valid grounds to evict a tenant. Landlords should review the terms of the lease and ensure that they follow the portions of the lease that relate to evictions. According to FreeAdvice.com, one of the most common reasons to evict a tenant is failure to pay rent. The default rules in Idaho permit a three-day notice to vacate the premises if the lease term is fixed, such as an annual or two-year lease. For month-to-month leases, a 30-day notice is required. The lease may require a longer period for notice.
Prepare the Notice of Eviction and Deliver It
Idaho’s Supreme Court provides a self-help website that provides, among other things, notice forms landlords can use. The notice must be properly filled out. According to the Idaho Supreme Court, the landlord needs to include the names and addresses of the tenants and the landlord, the last date that rent was paid, the monthly rent, the amount past due and the date when it became past due on the notice. The notice must be delivered to the tenant.
Wait For Tenant To Cure Defect
Once a tenant has been served with a notice to vacate, the landlord must allow the tenant a chance to cure the defect. In the case of failure to pay rent, a tenant can avoid an eviction by paying the total amount due before the notice period ends. If a tenant is served with a three-day notice, the tenant must fix the defect by the end of the third day to avoid further proceedings.
File Unlawful Detainer Action
After notice, the landlord must file a formal action in the county court to evict the tenant. The legal proceeding is called an unlawful detainer action. According to RentLaw.com, expedited proceedings are available if the tenant owes past rent or has been using or selling controlled substances on the property. Expedited proceedings can take five to 12 days. Other evictions provide the tenant 20 days to file an answer to the charges and appear in court.
- Rent Law: Idaho Evictions
- Free Advice: Idaho Evictions
- Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. "America's Rental Housing 2020," Page 9. Accessed March 20, 2020.
- Nolo. "State Laws on Landlord's Access to Rental Property." Accessed March 20, 2020.
- Nolo. "How Evictions Work: Rules for Landlords and Property Managers." Accessed March 20, 2020.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Housing Discrimination Under the Fair Housing Act." Accessed March 20, 2020.
Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.