Idaho Eviction Laws and Eviction Process

A reference of Idaho eviction laws, and steps of the Idaho eviction process for landlords and renters, updated 2021.

  • What are the reasons for eviction under Idaho eviction laws?
  • What notice do Idaho eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 3-day notice before starting the eviction process. (I.C.A § 6-303(3)).
    • For evictions based on non-compliance of the lease terms, including subletting the property without permission, the landlord must provide a 3-day notice for non-compliance. (I.C.A § 6-303(2)).
    • For evictions based on committing waste on the property, the landlord must provide a 3-day notice. (I.C.A § 6-303(4)).
    • For evictions based on unlawfully delivering, producing, or using a controlled substance on the property, the landlord must provide a 3-day notice. (I.C.A § 6-303(5)).
    • For evictions based on an illegal holdover, the landlord must give the tenant 30-day notice before terminating the lease. (I.C.A § 55-208).
  • Do Idaho eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 
    • No. Idaho law forbids landlords from using self-help eviction methods. A landlord can be required to pay three times the amount of the tenant’s damages if the tenant brings and wins a case against the landlord. (I.C.A § 6-317).

Idaho Eviction Process: Step-by-Step

Here are the major steps for the eviction process in Idaho:

  1. Serve the tenant with the eviction notice The landlord must personally serve the tenant. If the tenant is absent from the rental unit, the landlord can leave a copy of the notice with a “person of suitable age and discretion” at the tenant’s usual place of residence or business. If neither of these are options, the landlord can post the notice in a conspicuous place on the property and deliver a copy to the tenant. (I.C.A § 6-304).
  2. File an Eviction Lawsuit with the Court. After the notice in the eviction notice has passed, the landlord officially begins the eviction process in Idaho by filing an eviction lawsuit in the district court where the rental property is located. (I.C.A § 6-305). The landlord will need to file a General Civil Case Information Sheet, which lays out the details about the parties, and the Complaint for Eviction, which describes the reasons why the tenant is being evicted. Additionally, the landlord will file a Summons for Eviction, which explains to the tenant that a lawsuit has been filed against them. 
  3.  Serve the Tenant with the Court Documents. The landlord will need to serve the tenant with the court documents in compliance with the applicable laws. The landlord or its agent will need to prepare an Affidavit of Service of Summons & Complaint and file it with the court.
  4. Respond to the Eviction Suit. The tenant has five days from the date he or she was served with the legal paperwork to respond. The tenant does so by filing an Answer to the Complaint.
  5. Prepare Default Documents. If the tenant does not file an answer with the court, the landlord can request a default judgment against the tenant that would allow them to repossess the premises. These documents include:
    • Motion and Affidavit for Entry of Default Judgment – This document explains that the landlord has followed the necessary processes and the tenant has failed to respond. It asks the court to rule in the landlord’s favor.
    • Memorandum of Costs – This document summarizes the amount of money the tenant owes, as well as the associated legal costs.
    • Judgment for Eviction – Once the judge signs this document, the rental property is ordered to return to the possession of the landlord. 
    • Writ of Restitution of Premises – This document provides the legal authority to the sheriff’s office to physically remove the tenant. 
  1. Attend the Court Hearing. If the tenant did respond, there will be a hearing where both parties can present their case. If the landlord wins, the judge will sign the necessary documents to commence the eviction process in Idaho, including a Writ of Restitution of Premises.
  2.  Notify the Sheriff. The landlord can provide the Writ of Restitution to the sheriff to serve upon the tenant. 

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