COVID-19 Legal FAQs for Renters in

This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information. Your local city or county may have additional protections for renters.

This page was last updated on July 6, 2020. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.

Its information is taken from these sources:Idaho utility informationLocal news reporting on utilitiesPrinceton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerIdaho Supreme Court order requiring CARES Act complianceIdaho Supreme Court order delaying civil cases

COVID-19 Legal FAQs for Renters in Idaho
Are there any special protections for renters during the emergency? How long do they last?

There are currently no state-level protections for renters during the emergency period in Idaho. The courts had previously been closed for eviction hearings between March 13, 2020 and May 1, 2020. The Idaho Supreme Court has also encouraged resuming hearings through video conference.

The Idaho Supreme Court has ordered that any landlord who is filing an eviction between May 4 and July 25, 2020 must submit an additional form attesting that the property is not subject to national eviction protections under the CARES Act.

You may be covered by national protections, or by your local county and city. Read below to see if you are eligible for U.S. national protections.

Also check with your local government to see if they provide any additional local protections.

What do the protections mean for renters?

If you do not qualify for national or local protections in Idaho during the emergency:

  • Your landlord can still give you a notice to quit.
  • Your landlord can still file an eviction claim against you. They must include a form with their filing, that says your home does not qualify for national protections under the CARES Act.
  • Courts may hear an eviction case against you.
  • The court can still issue a new order, judgment, or writ of eviction against you.
  • Law enforcement can still enforce an existing eviction order against you, to remove you from your home.

Do I still have to pay rent during the emergency?

Yes, Idaho renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.

You can still be evicted for nonpayment of rent during the emergency.

If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:

  • Get written records of all communication: Keep copies of any letter or email you send, and any responses from the landlord. Keep receipts for any payments you make, that are signed and dated. If you make a payment plan or rent agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
  • Keep proof of COVID-19’s impact on you: Collect documents about your COVID-19-related employment problems, health care issues, or other issues that affect your ability to pay rent. This includes letters from your employer, doctor, insurance provider, child care provider, schools, etc.

Can my landlord evict me during the emergency?

In many case, you can still be evicted during the emergency.

There are no statewide protections to stop landlords from giving tenants notices to quit, filing eviction lawsuits with the court, or having the eviction orders enforced.

You may have national protections against eviction, check below.

There may be local city or county government protections for Idaho renters. Check with your local government to see if they offer any protections against eviction.

If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.

Can my utilities be shut off during the emergency?

Some Idaho renters may be protected against utility shutoffs during the emergency. It depends on where you live.

Some companies have said they will not shut off utilities during the emergency.

Renters must still pay their utility bills. If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.

Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.

Are you eligible for U.S. national protections against eviction?

Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.

Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?

Your home’s owner has a federally backed mortgage loan or other guarantee (like through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae). Search if your home is covered.
You pay rent through a federal assistance program like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Rural Development Voucher, or other 'covered housing' program.
You live in Public Housing, where the government is your landlord.

If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)

  • Your landlord cannot file a new eviction lawsuit against you for not paying your rent during the Emergency Period. They can still evict you for other behavior, like drug abuse, other criminal activities, or other lease violations.
  • Your landlord cannot charge you new fees or penalties for not paying your rent during the Emergency Period.
  • After the Emergency Period ends, your landlord may not be able to evict you immediately.(Different states interpret the protections ending on July 24 or 25. Check with local lawyers to see about your state). If you have not paid your rent in full during the Emergency Period, your landlord must wait until the period ends before giving you a notice to vacate. For example, they may give you a notice on July 26, and you must be allowed until at least August 25 to leave the property.

For more help on these national protections, reach out for legal and financial help here. Also, use this tool to write a letter to your landlord if you are having issues with rent or eviction.

What if I need repairs?

Can I break my lease?

What do I do if my landlord tries to evict me?

Are eviction cases still proceeding through court?

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