Idaho Evictions

FILING AN EVICTION – Idaho
A tenant can be evicted in Idaho if they:

  • violate the terms of the lease agreement
  • is behind in paying the rent
  • rents month-to-month and is given 30 days notice asking him/her to move
  • engages in the unlawful use, delivery, or production of a controlled substance on the premises of the leased property during the tenancy
  • The Idaho tenant cannot be evicted if they have:
    • paid the rent and the eviction is in retaliation for the exercise of a legal right such as requesting repairs be made or organizing a tenants’ association.
A Idaho tenant must be given notice by a landlord prior to the eviction. The notice can be a 3 or 30 day notice.

  • A 3 day written notice is permissible only if the Idaho tenant is behind in the rent; violated the terms of the lease agreement; or engaged in the unlawful delivery, production, or use of a controlled substance on the premises of the leased property during the tenancy. The 3 day notice must include the amount of rent the tenant owes (if s/he is behind), the lease provisions the tenant has violated, or that s/he has engaged in the unlawful delivery, production, or use of a controlled substance on the premises, and advise the tenant that s/he has 3 days to either pay the rent, cure the lease violation, or leave. There is no opportunity to cure for engaging in illegal drug activity. If the tenant complies within the 3 day period, the landlord may not evict him/her. A landlord cannot use the 3 day notice where the tenant is current in the rent and has complied with the terms of the lease, and the landlord simply wants to rent to another person.
  • A 30 day written notice is permissible when a tenant is renting for an open-ended period of time.
  • A lease can provide for notice other than the 3 or 30 day time as long as it is reasonable. The requirement of notice cannot be waived.
  • If a tenant is living in government subsidized or public housing, or receives government housing assistance, and s/he receives a 30-day notice, it must be for good cause. See Idaho Legal Aid Services’ Public Housing brochure.
  • If the tenant owns a mobile home and rents the space, they should consult Idaho Legal Aid Services’ Mobile Home brochure regarding their rights.

If a tenant refuses to move

If the tenant feels they are being treated unfairly or illegally evicted, consult an attorney immediately.

  • Once a tenant receives a legal 3 or 30 day written notice, a landlord may commence a legal proceeding called an “unlawful detainer” action to regain possession of the premises and/or collect the rent which is due.
  • Expedited Proceedings. In those cases where the rent is past due or the tenant is or has been engaged in the unlawful delivery, production, or use of a controlled substance on the premises of the leased property, a summary trial procedure is available to the landlord to regain possession only from 5 to 12 days after the tenant receives notice of the court action. However, the tenant may also be required to pay the landlord’s attorney fees if the eviction notice states that attorney fees will be awarded, and the landlord wins.
  • Regular Eviction Proceedings. In those cases where the landlord serves the tenant a 30-day notice or a 3-day notice for violating the lease, the landlord will serve the tenant a Summons and Complaint. The tenant has 20 days to file an Answer with the Court. This eviction process is not quick. However, the tenant may be ordered to pay damages if s/he should lose and attorney’s fees and costs provided the notice asks for attorney’s fees.
  • If the tenant is served with legal papers for any court action, consult an attorney immediately.
  • If the tenant does not move by the court-ordered time after the eviction proceeding, the Sheriff, through a Writ of Restitution, may remove the tenant and his/her property from the premises.

Unlawful Idaho Evictions

If the landlord does not give the tenant written, legal notice and does not have a court order to have the Sheriff move him/her, the landlord cannot evict him/her by turning the utilities off, changing the locks, or any other adverse act to force him/her to leave. These types of self-help evictions are illegal under Idaho law.If the landlord does use self-help to evict the tenant, the tenant may have a cause of action against the landlord. In that case, seek the assistance of an attorney immediately.

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