An Idaho eviction notice is a written document used by a landlord or the agent of the landlord (commonly, a property manager or a property management company) to inform the tenant that the lease was violated in some way and that the violation must be corrected or the tenant must vacate the property within a certain number of days. All Idaho eviction notices must comply with Title 6, Chapter 3 (landlord-tenant law). An eviction notice is also known as a notice to quit.
An Idaho eviction notice must contain certain information. This information helps identify the parties, the property, and why the eviction notice was issued. We’ll list the components here for you, but before we do, it’s important for you to know that certain notices require additional components. You’ll learn more about those soon. The basic components of an Idaho eviction notice are:
Let’s take a moment to talk about service for Idaho eviction notices. Eviction notices must be properly served or they are ineffective and the tenant is given a legal defense to the eviction process. Service must be done by:
Eviction notices may be issued for curable or incurable violations. When a violation is curable, it means that the tenant may correct the violation of the lease and remain on the property. An incurable violation means that the tenant is being evicted for:
The most common Idaho eviction notices are a 3-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent, a 3-day notice to quit for non-compliance, and a 30-day notice for lease termination. Here’s what you should know about each.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
If a tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time, a landlord may issue a 3-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent. An eviction notice for non-payment of rent must comply with § 6-303(2). This notice should list the amount of rent that is past due and the date by which the past due amount should be paid.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
A 3-day notice to quit for non-compliance is used for lease violations that aren’t non-payment of rent. The tenant is given three days to fix the violation or vacate the property. The additional component for this particular notice is an explanation of the violation of the lease. It could be helpful for the landlord to include a copy (not the original!) of the signed lease. This notice is governed by § 6-303.
30-Day Notice for Termination of Lease
A 30-day notice for termination of lease isn’t an actual eviction notice. Because it is used to inform the tenant that the lease agreement won’t be renewed, we’ve decided to include it here. This document is used to notify the tenant (or the landlord) that the month-to-month lease agreement will not renew. This notice is governed by § 55-208. This letter should include the date by which the property should be vacated.
Idaho eviction notices must be properly drafted and legally served. This includes using the proper components. Remember, the right amount of time by which the violation must be corrected must be used. A landlord may not file a lawsuit against a tenant if they do not first serve them with an eviction notice.
Landlords may not use “self-help” methods to evict the client. Without a court order, the landlord may not change the locks, turn off the utilities, or remove the tenant’s belongings from the property. These methods are illegal if the landlord doesn’t have a court order that allows them to take possession of the property.
Landlords may not engage in what is known as retaliatory eviction. This means that tenants may not be evicted by the landlord if they report the property or the landlord for not keeping the property up to code. Landlords may not evict tenants for discriminatory reasons, either.
If a landlord illegally evicts a tenant, the tenant may have legal grounds to sue the landlord.
Idaho tenants are entitled to a certain number of days to pay their rent once it is past due. If you cannot pay your rent after the 3-day notice is issued, the landlord may file a lawsuit against you. You’re also required to vacate the property. The same goes for lease violations. If it is a curable violation, you have 3-days to correct the lease violation or vacate the property.
Read the eviction notice carefully so that you understand what you need to do in order to remain on the property. If you have questions or want to try and work something out with the landlord, call them. Remain calm. Try to get clarity on what’s happening so that you know what is expected.
Until the landlord serves you with an eviction notice, they cannot file an eviction lawsuit against you. An Idaho eviction notice is the first step required of the landlord during the legal eviction process. Now, with that said, that doesn’t mean that all evictions are legal. Unless a landlord has an order from a court, they may not change the locks, shut off the utilities, or remove your belongings from the property. Those particular items are known as “self-help” eviction. Self-help eviction is not allowed under Idaho landlord-tenant law. You cannot be legally evicted for reporting code violations related to the property to the proper authorities. You also cannot be legally evicted for discriminatory reasons.
If you believe that the eviction is illegal, talk to a landlord-tenant lawyer to discuss the situation. If it is an illegal eviction, you could pursue a lawsuit against the landlord. A lawyer can help you learn more about your legal rights. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you still have a couple of options that you can use to learn more about your rights. First, contact University of Idaho College of Law and ask if they have a legal clinic. Legal clinics are valuable experiences for third-year law students. They allow students to gain experience while supervised by license attorneys. It also provides the public with an avenue to possibly obtain free or low-cost legal help. Your second option is to contact a legal aid office. While they usually have income limits, they generally help tenants and may even have information, including downloadable resources, that can inform you of your rights as a tenant.
It’s important that Idaho landlords understand that eviction is a legal process. You cannot file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant(s) until you first serve an eviction notice. An Idaho eviction notice must contain certain information. Generally, that is the date, the name of the tenant, the reason for the eviction, your contact information, and your signature. Depending on the type of eviction notice you need to issue, there are other components. We discussed those earlier in this guide.
The eviction notice must also include a certificate of service that explains how the notice was served. It requires the date as well as the signature of the person who served it. It can be served in person, to someone of a suitable age who is a member of the household or who works at the same place as the tenant, or it may be left on the front door of the rental property.
If you do not properly serve an eviction notice to the tenant, you could be sued. You can also be sued if you try to evict the tenant for illegal reasons or if you use a “self-help” method as discussed under Legal Considerations.
If you need more information about Idaho eviction notices or the eviction process, schedule an appointment with a landlord-tenant lawyer. Don’t look at this as an added expense. Instead, look at it as an investment into legally protecting yourself and your rental property.