Don’t Overlook Idaho Code 55-208 and 55-307 in Landlord/Tenant Law

In my opinion, Idaho Code 55-208 and 55-307 are the most overlooked statues in landlord/tenant law in Idaho. Typically, people go straight to Idaho Code title 6 chapter 3 when looking for answers to landlord/tenant issues. While that chapter includes key provisions regarding eviction, repair, and security deposits, 55-208 and 55-307 address two key situations that happen perhaps more regularly than all those situations combined. 


Idaho Code 55-208

55-208.  TERMINATION OF TENANCY AT WILL. A tenancy or other estate at will, however created, may be terminated:
(1)  By the landlord’s giving notice in writing to the tenant, in the manner prescribed by the code of civil procedure, to remove from the premises within a period of not less than one (1) month, to be specified in the notice; or
(2)  By the tenant giving notice in writing to the landlord that the tenant will be vacating the premises, on a date as specified in the notice, but not less than one (1) month from the date of notice.

This section governs lease termination in a very common situation. There must be a landlord/tenant relationship in place to be able to use this section but it essentially governs the classic hold-over tenants, aka a tenancy at will. 30-day written notice from either party can end it. 

Idaho Code 55-307

55-307.  CHANGE IN TERMS OF LEASE — NOTICE. (1) In all leases of lands or tenements, or of any interest therein from month to month, the landlord may, upon giving notice in writing at least fifteen (15) days before the expiration of the month, change the terms of the lease, to take effect at the expiration of the month. The notice, when served upon the tenant, shall of itself operate and be effectual to create and establish, as a part of the lease, the terms, rent and conditions specified in the notice, if the tenant shall continue to hold the premises after the expiration of the month.
(2)  A local governmental unit shall not enact, maintain, or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would have the effect of controlling the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential property. This provision does not impair the right of any local governmental unit to manage and control residential property in which the local governmental unit has a property interest.

Like 55-208, this section addresses changes to a month-to-month lease. Again, a lease is needed (verbal or written works), but amending that lease when it is month-to-month is done with at least 15-day written notice. 


Given the differences in the time allowed under each statute, it is important to note that there is a potential 15 day period between the two if a tenant does not agree with the change but before they want to end the lease. The language at the end of 55-307(1) stating “if the tenant shall continue to hold the premises after the expiration of the month” creates an argument that the tenant could leave before the effect takes place but there is nothing that expressly changes the time requirement in 55-208 upon appropriate notice of a change.