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Idaho Property Management Laws

Property management laws are important for any property manager or landlord who is expected to be compliant with federal and state law at all times. However, these laws can oftentimes be complex and difficult to interpret, especially since they can differ from one state to another. Property management companies and landlords who operate properties across multiple states can, therefore, struggle to adjust their operations in a manner that is in line with state-specific laws and regulations.

The following guide has been prepared with the property managers and landlords in mind and aims to give an overview of Idaho's property management laws. Each section refers back to the original statute in Idaho's legislature and other helpful resources that can give property managers and landlords insight into licensing laws as well as the different rights and responsibilities they carry.

Key Points

  • 1 Property managers in the state of Idaho are not required to hold a real estate broker license unless the lease contains language pertaining to a sale of the property.
  • 2 Idaho’s legislation does not impose a limit on the fees, deposits and rent a landlord can charge.
  • 3 In Idaho, oral leases are allowed for any tenancy under one year.
  • 4 For annual or month-to-month leases, both the landlord and the tenant have the right to terminate the lease with one month’s notice. Week-to-week leases are not regulated with a statute, and prior agreement needs to be set out between both parties.

Note: This guide is intended to be used as an educational resource. The contents within do not constitute legal advice. To obtain information regarding property management laws in your state, consult a local attorney. This guide is based only on property management laws at the state level. Local county and city laws may exist that are not discussed in this guide. Consult a local attorney to obtain information that pertains to your specific location and situation.

Property Management Laws Overview in Idaho

Code Description
54-2001 Licensing Laws
55-208 Rental Application Laws
6-321 Security Deposit Laws
6-303(2) Lease and Termination Laws
6-311 Rent and Late Fee Laws
55-2007 Disclosure Laws
55-301 – 55-308 Landlord Responsibility Laws
6-320 Property Maintenance and Repair Laws

Property Management Licensing Laws

Property Management Licensing Laws are important for anyone who owns or manages a property. Since 1981, Idaho has not required property management companies to possess a real estate license to manage a property. The only exception to this is if the property is planned for sale, in which case a real estate license is required. 

Who can obtain a real estate license in Idaho?

  1. The person must be at least 18 years old.
  2. The person must have at least a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) credential.
  3. Applicants convicted of a felony or applicants who have had their licenses revoked must obtain an exemption in order to be licensed. 
  4. There is no reciprocal licensing. Any person who possesses a license in a different state needs to apply for a license in Idaho; however, a waiver for the section that applies to Idaho’s laws will be granted. 

Rental Application Laws

Are landlords/property managers permitted to collect application fees from potential tenants?

Idaho law does not regulate the type and amount of fees a landlord or a property manager can charge. 

What is the law when it comes to requesting criminal records or credit checks from prospective tenants?

Landlords and property managers have the right to check the criminal history of an applicant; however, it is not a legal requirement. Before running credit checks, the landlord needs to obtain written permission from the prospective tenant to perform credit checks. If a tenant’s application is refused due to poor credit, the landlord is obligated to inform the tenant of the reason their application was unsuccessful, the name and address of the credit reporting body which provided the poor credit account and the right of the tenant to obtain this report by requesting it from the reporting body no later than 60 days after their application has been refused (Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual p.2). 

Do discrimination laws apply to tenant screening?

The Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601) is a federal statute which stipulates that it is against the law to refuse tenancy based on race, age, sex or any form of disability. If tenants suspect they have been discriminated against during their rental application, they have the right to file a complaint with the Idaho Commission on Human Rights.

What is required from the landlord before a move-in?

There is no statute dictating specific terms; however, the Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual (p. 10) states that the landlord and the tenant should inspect the premises together and videotape any wear and damaged or broken items. If, during the inspection, they uncover a serious defect, the landlord is responsible to fix that before the tenant moves in.

Security Deposit Laws

Are additional move-in fees allowed?

The Idaho law does not explicitly prohibit the application of additional move-in fees; however, under 55-2007, the Idaho code does not allow additional provisions in the rental agreement which will permit the landlord the charge an “entrance fee” or an “exit fee.”

How long can a landlord keep a deposit?

The full amount of the deposit needs to be refunded to the tenant within 21 days if there’s no other agreement in place or 30 days after the tenant moves out at the latest. If a landlord determines that they need to keep part of the deposit to cover damages, they need to provide a signed statement listing all the items for which the tenant is being charged (6-321).

Is there a limit to the security deposit amount?

There is no statute limiting the amount a landlord can request as a security deposit.

Does the landlord have to hold the security deposit in a specific way during occupancy?

There is no specific law in the state of Idaho that stipulates how security deposits should be stored. However, there may be local, county or federal laws that need to be followed.

What are the reasons a landlord can withhold part or all of the security deposit?

There is no statute pertaining to the circumstances under which a landlord can withhold part or all of the deposit. However, Statute 6-321 states that landlords cannot withhold the security deposit to cover regular “wear and tear” damages which may result from daily use and not due to negligence and carelessness. The conditions under which a security deposit may be withheld, therefore, need to be stipulated in the rental agreement.

Lease and Termination Laws

What types of lease terms are allowed?

The state of Idaho permits oral leases for any tenancy that lasts less than a year, but it is advisable that landlords and tenants always have a written term to avoid potential issues in the future (Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual p.6). 

In addition, there are fixed-date, month-to-month and week-to-week leases. 

What is the notice period required for terminating a lease?

The notice period for terminating a lease depends on the lease type. For a lease with a fixed end date, no notice is required (Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual, p.23 and p.25). A month-to-month tenancy or a yearly lease with no end date can be terminated by either the landlord or the tenant with one month’s written notice (55-208). 

There is no statute for a week-to-week leases; however, the terms by which the tenant needs to abide should be specified in the lease agreement. 

What happens if a tenant violates a lease?

The landlord is responsible for providing the tenant with a written copy of an eviction notice, either in person or by leaving a copy with another person of a suitable age (6-304). If there is nobody to receive the copy, the landlord should leave the notice in a prominent location somewhere on the property and send a copy to alternative personal or business addresses they may have of the tenant. 

Is a landlord allowed to recover attorney fees from court proceedings?

Idaho law stipulates that court and attorney fees shall be covered by the prevailing party, except in cases where triple damages have been awarded. If the fees are a result of a case involving a three-day notice period, the landlord needs to stipulate in the notice that the prevailing party will be responsible for covering attorney fees (6-324).

Is there a fee for an early termination?

There is no statute that regulates early termination fees, but the lease agreement needs to stipulate the landlord’s rights in such a scenario (55-2007). The Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual (p.23) states that if a tenant leaves the premises before the end of the lease term, the landlord has the right to withhold the security deposit to cover any expenses for re-renting the property. 

Rent and Late Fees Laws

When can a landlord increase rent?

The landlord has the right to increase rent at any point provided that they have given at least 15 days’ notice (55-307) before the expiry of the month in which the change will take effect. 

Can a landlord charge late fees in a case of non-payment?

Under Statute 6-311, if a tenant fails to provide timely payment for their tenancy, the landlord has the right to demand immediate repossession of the property and refuse any continuance. The tenant, thereafter, has two days to pay their rent to avoid court action or eviction. 

Is there a state-mandated grace period that landlords must give tenants before charging a late fee?

There is no statute available, so the terms in the lease agreement would apply.

Is there a limit on how much of a late fee the landlord can charge tenants?

There is no statute stipulating the amount and the conditions under which a landlord can charge a late fee; however, a late fee policy should be specified in the lease agreement.

Disclosure Laws

What types of disclosures are landlords required to supply regarding ownership of the property?

The landlords should disclose information about any shared meters and agree on how this will be managed among the involved parties moving forward (Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual p.9).

Provided that the tenant has submitted a written request, the landlord is responsible for disclosing the contact details of the owner or manager of the community, description of the utilities and services included in the rent, utilities and services available within the community as well as the date and amount of the most recent rent increase (55-2007).

Can the owner or landlord designate an agent to serve and receive disclosures on their behalf?

The landlord can designate a manager or an agent to act on their behalf (55-2007). The name and the address of this person needs to be disclosed in the lease agreement.

What disclosures related to mold are landlords required to supply?

There are no state-specific laws which require disclosures related to mold; however municipal, county or federal laws may apply.

What disclosures related to lead paint are landlords required to supply?

Idaho does not have a specific statute concerning lead-paint disclosure; however, landlord and property managers are subject to the federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. This act requires landlords to provide an EPA-approved information pamphlet on any lead-paint hazards and include a Lead Warning Statement as part of the lease, if applicable. 

Landlord Responsibility Laws

How much notice does the landlord have to supply before entry?

The landlord must provide three days’ notice before they make an attempt of entry (55-210) for maintenance or periodic inspection. Unless it’s an emergency, the landlord must obtain permission from the resident to enter the property (55-2007).

What steps must the landlord take to keep the property habitable?

The landlord is responsible for keeping the property habitable and in line with standard health and safety regulations. This includes (6-323):

  • Providing waterproofing and reasonable weather protection services
  • Maintaining any electrical, plumbing, heating or sanitary installations
  • Removing any hazards from the property
  • Returning security deposit in line with the state law
  • Complying with any term in the leasing agreement affecting the health and safety of the concerned tenant

The tenant is required to serve a written notice if there are any omissions in these areas.

Does the landlord have to supply a certificate of inspection to the tenant?

This is not required by law, but there may be municipal, county or federal laws that apply.

Is the landlord required to supply locks and keys?

No specific code exists pertaining to lock and keys responsibilities. Local or federal laws may apply.

Are retaliatory actions prohibited in Idaho?

Idaho code (55-2015) prohibits any retaliatory actions in cases where the tenant has complained, in good faith, about any health and safety violations or maintenance issues or has joined a resident association or another similar organization.

Property Maintenance and Repair Laws

What type of maintenance is the landlord responsible for?

Idaho requires landlords to observe the state laws and city ordinance regarding housing conditions to ensure the health and safety of its tenants at all times. The landlord is responsible for fixing (Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Manual p.11):

  • Any crumbling or deteriorating walls, windows and doors
  • Plumbing, including broken toilet, hot/cold water access and serious leaks
  • Exposed wires
  • Insect infestations
  • Broken heating systems
  • Garbage disposal issues
  • General leaks
  • Smoke detector issues

Is a tenant allowed to perform maintenance work and deduct the cost from the monthly rent fee?

A tenant needs to provide a written notice to the landlord requesting for maintenance work to be performed. Should the landlord not comply and the tenant undertake the maintenance work themselves, they are not allowed to deduct that sum from their monthly rent fee. The only exception is in the case of installing a smoke detector (6-320(a)(6)).

Is a tenant allowed to remove fixtures from the property?

Tenants can remove fixtures from the property anytime for the duration of their lease, unless that fixture is an integral part of the property itself (55-308).

How long does the landlord have to make repairs once a maintenance request is submitted by the tenant?

The landlord has three days from receiving the written notice from the tenant to resolve any maintenance issue raised by the tenant. Should the landlord fail to comply, the tenant has the right to file an action for damages (6-320).

When does a landlord have to return and/or lower rent due to diminished rental value?

No specific code in the legislature exists regarding rental fees in cases of diminished rental value; however, local and federal laws may apply.

When can a tenant request an official inspection to determine substandard or dangerous living conditions?

There are no laws in Idaho specifically addressing official inspections of properties with subpar living conditions. However, a tenant has the right to file an action against a landlord if they have submitted a notice directly to the landlord of such conditions and the landlord failed to comply within three days of receiving the notice (6-320).

Additional Rental Law Resources for the State of Idaho

These are additional resources for landlords, property managers and tenants that can provide better insight into property management laws in Idaho, as well as other types of assistance they have access to.

Name Phone Number Description
Office of the Attorney General – Landlord and Tenant Manual N/A This manual aims to help both landlords and tenants better understand their rights and responsibilities under the state of Idaho law.
Idaho Real Estate Commission  (208) 334-3285 IREC is a self-governing body that is responsible for licensing real estate brokers and sales associates, investigating complaints and taking disciplinary action in cases where Idaho license law wasn’t observed.
Idaho Housing and Finance Association (800) 526-7145 A financial institution that provides funding for affordable housing opportunities and acts as an agent for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. IHFA provides education and support to enhance home ownership and improve local communities. 

Note: This guide is intended to be used as an educational resource. The contents within do not constitute legal advice. To obtain information regarding property management laws in your state, consult a local attorney. This guide is based only on property management laws at the state level. Local county and city laws may exist that are not discussed in this guide. Consult a local attorney to obtain information that pertains to your specific location and situation.