Idaho Tenant Screening
Last Updated: January 26, 2015
Idaho borders the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, Montana to the northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west. The network of dams and locks on the Columbia River and Snake River make the city of Lewiston the farthest inland seaport on the Pacific coast of the contiguous United States.
How to Screen a Tenant in the State of Idaho
DISCLAIMER: We do our best to keep this information accurate and up-to-date, but we cannot guarantee either. The most recent law changes may not be reflected here. We do not intend this information to be legal advice, nor are we qualified to advise you regarding legal matters. We highly recommend consulting a lawyer qualified to discuss landlord-tenant law to advise you. We do not specifically endorse any of the websites linked from these pages, nor are we in any way affiliated with the agencies or individuals who have published them. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of information posted on these sites. If you find a problem on this page, please contact us so that we can get it fixed.
Step 1: Know Your Rights & Responsibilities
Landlords and property managers are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF] (FCRA) during the tenant screening process. Additionally, Idaho has laws that affect the tenant screening process. You can find the current Idaho Codes on the Idaho State Legislature website. If you are finding the formalities of the state code daunting, you might want to check out these friendlier sites:
- Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Idaho
- Idaho Office Of The Attorney General – Landlord And Tenant Guidelines
Recent Law Info
In the case of Robinson v. Mueller, released April 1, 2014, the Idaho Court of Appeals covered some new ground and revisited some old ground. “As between a tenant’s social guest and the landlord, the landlord owes a duty only to the extent that, if the landlord voluntarily undertakes repairs on the premises, the landlord must exercise reasonable care in performing such repairs.” Law Update – Robinson v. Mueller
Step 2: Required Forms & Disclosures
Tip: before you rent for the first time, consider hiring a lawyer to review all of the documents you will use during the application and rental process to ensure that you are protected to the fullest extent of the law.
- Rental Application [PDF] (this must be completed in full by the applicant prior to screening)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act [PDF]
- Consumer Report Disclosure [PDF]
If you are ACCEPTING an applicant:
- Move-In Checklist [PDF]
- Mold: Idaho does not have a government agency that regulates the inspection or abatement of toxic mold within rental property. However, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program educates Idahoans about human health risks associated with exposure to indoor contaminants, such as toxic mold. Idaho Department Of Health And Welfare Mold Guide
- Lease Agreement (written), containing or attaching the following information:
- Owner/Agent Identity – this should include name and address, and if the owner/agent is out-of-state it must include contact information for a resident of the COUNTY in which the rental is located that can act as an agent for the purposes of serving notices and process.
- Security Deposit – this must include the amount of the deposit and the conditions under which some or all of the deposit may be withheld. It must also include the name and banking institution holding the deposit.
- Non-refundable Fees – explicitly describe any non-refundable fees, and state clearly that they are non-refundable.
- Fire Protection & Safety Information: You must disclose the available fire protection and safety information specific to the unit you are renting, including smoking policy, evacuation plans, and who to notify in case of emergency.
If you are DECLINING an applicant:
- Adverse Action Notice [PDF]
Step 3: Order a Tenant Screening Report
What You’ll Need
- A completed rental application signed by the applicant.
- Some details about your applicant:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Previous address
- Bank account number (optional)
- Bank routing number (optional)
What Will Be Covered
- Package Options
- Background Report Coverage for Idaho:
- Criminal, OFAC/Patriot Act & Sex Offender Records – A nationwide search is always performed. These jurisdictions specifically are available in Idaho: ID Department Of Corrections, ID Sex Offender Registry.
- Eviction Records – records are available from the following counties: Ada, Adams, Bannock, Bear Lake, Benewah, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Butte, Camas, Canyon, Caribou, Cassia, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Gooding, Idaho, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Shoshone, Teton, Twin Falls, Valley, Washington.
- Bankruptcies, Liens & Judgments – records are available from the following counties: Ada, Adams, Bannock, Bear Lake, Benewah, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Butte, Camas, Canyon, Caribou, Cassia, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Gooding, Idaho, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Shoshone, Teton, Twin Falls, Valley, Washington.
- Social Security Number validation, Death Index, credit checks, previous addresses, alias names, and the Rent Check Advisor® include all information available regardless of location.
Resources for Idaho Landlords
- Idaho State Bar Association Lawyer Referral
- Idaho Courts Directory
- Law Enforcement Agencies in Idaho (Wikipedia)