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House Bill 624 intended to bolster protection against rising rent

Landlords must notify tenants 30 days in advance of a rental rate increase. Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) wants to extend the notification period to 60 days.

BOISE, Idaho — Landlords must notify their tenants of any rental increases, lease terminations, or non-renewals at least 30 days in advance, according to Idaho Law.

The intention is to provide renters ample time to find a new place to live if they can no longer afford the unit or will no longer have that unit as a living option.

House Bill 624 aims to amend the law by extending the notification period to 60 days. The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise), said doubling the time period is a necessary protection for struggling renters amid a housing crisis.

"It's tremendously difficult in this tight rental market. I think the law needs to recognize that," Gannon said. "We need to get the balance restored here."

Extending the notification period could help some renters, according to local rental assistance nonprofit Jesse Tree.

"Wages are not keeping up with the rise in rent, not even close," Executive Director Ali Rabe said. "People are scared. They're constantly scared of rent increases."

Through the 2021 calendar year, the average rent in Ada County increased by 40%, according to Jesse Tree. That's seen first-hand by one Boise renter who provided KTVB with a statement from their apartment complex.

The renter wished to remain unnamed.

Credit: KTVB
Rental Increase Notice

The statement shows a $401 increase if the tenant signs within 12 days of receiving the notice. After 12 days, rent increases by $501 -- nearly a 50% increase to rent.

Rabe said that is legal.

The 30-day notification period is from when the new rate takes effect, not from when the tenant is asked to sign the lease. As it currently sits, Idaho law has no cap or limit to how high a landlord can increase rent from year to year.

The notification period is one of the few protections in place for Idaho renters, Rabe said. The notification period isn't enough on its own to combat rising rates for struggling renters, she said. However, an extension beyond 30 days could help some of her clients.  

"My team at Jesse Tree has people who got that 30-day notice, but we see them in court on day 35 or day 40 simply because they couldn't find another place within those 30 days," Rabe said. "It's high time to extend that timeline."

Rabe said renters not given a full 30-day notice should look at taking the case to small claims court.

HB 624 has been introduced in the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee Rep. Gannon said he expects it will get a full hearing the first week of March.

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