Every landlord must know the landlord-tenant law in his or her state. This includes understanding the rules for the security deposit. Knowing and following the rules will help protect you if there is a security deposit conflict in the future. Here are some frequently asked questions about the security deposit law in Idaho.
Is There a Security Deposit Limit in Idaho?
No. The state of Idaho does not place any limit on the maximum amount a landlord can charge a tenant as a security deposit. The amount of the security deposit should be enough to cover you in case the tenant breaches the lease agreement, but not so much that prospective tenants are deterred from renting your unit. Security deposits are usually between one and two months’ rent.
How Must You Store the Security Deposit in Idaho?
The state of Idaho does not spell out any particular rules as to how landlords must store tenants’ security deposits. Idaho landlords do not have to place tenants’ security deposits in a separate banking account. In addition, security deposits in the state of Idaho are not required to earn interest.
Is Written Notice Required After Receipt of the Security Deposit in Idaho?
No. An Idaho landlord does not have to provide his or her tenant with written notice after receiving the tenant’s security deposit. It is, however, in the best interest of the landlord to have a security deposit lease clause or a separate security deposit acknowledgment form which states:
- Amount of Security Deposit Collected.
- Date Collected.
- Reasons the Security Deposit Can Be Withheld.
- When the Landlord Must Return the Tenant’s Security Deposit.
- Tenant Signature.
- Landlord Signature.
What Are Some Reasons You Can Keep a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Idaho?
In the state of Idaho, a landlord may retain all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit for the following reasons:
- Unpaid Rent.
- Damage in Excess of Normal Wear and Tear.
- Other Breaches to the Terms of the Lease Agreement.
Is a Walk-Through Inspection Required in Idaho?
No. In the state of Idaho, a landlord is not lawfully required to perform a walk-through inspection at tenant move-out. Even though it is not required, a walk-through inspection can be beneficial to both landlord and tenant. This inspection can make the tenant aware of any damage in the rental unit which could result in deductions being taken from his or her security deposit. It can help minimize disputes over the security deposit in the future because it makes the tenant aware that deductions will be taken from the deposit or it gives them the chance to remedy the damages before move-out.
When Must You Return a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Idaho?
In the state of Idaho, a landlord has two options for returning a tenant’s security deposit.
- 21 Days:
In the state of Idaho, landlords typically have 21 days from the date of tenant move-out to return the portion of the security deposit that is owed back to the tenant. This deposit should be sent to the last known address of the tenant or to the tenant’s forwarding address if the tenant has supplied one.
- 30 Days:
If the lease agreement that the tenant has signed states that the landlord has more than 21 days to return a tenant’s security deposit, then the landlord and tenant are bound by these terms. However, the landlord must return the portion of the deposit owed to the tenant no more than 30 days after tenant move-out. The security deposit must be sent to the tenant’s last known address or to the tenant’s forwarding address if provided.
- Written Notice:
If the landlord has made any deductions from the tenant’s security deposit, the landlord must also send a written notice with the security deposit. This notice must include an itemized list of all deductions that have been taken and the amount of each deduction.
- Wrongful Withholding:
If a landlord wrongfully withholds any portion of a tenant’s security deposit, the tenant can sue the landlord in small claims court.
What Happens to the Security Deposit If You Sell Your Property?
If you sell your property in the state of Idaho, you must transfer all tenants’ security deposits to the new owner. The new owner is then responsible for returning the security deposits to the tenants. You should notify the tenants of the name and address where there security deposits are now being held.
What Is Idaho's Security Deposit Law?
To view the text of the law that governs security deposits in the state of Idaho, please consult Idaho Annotated Statutes § 6-321.