The Basic Terms Every Written Lease Agreement Should Contain

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Under current Idaho law, a lease agreement can be either oral or written. As attorneys, we always recommend that our clients get a written lease so that there are no misunderstandings about what the terms of the agreement will be. However, just having a written lease agreement alone is not enough unless it contains all the critical information needed to clearly describe what the agreement really is. As is set forth in the Idaho Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant Guidelines ( here is a list of the basic information that should be contained in every written lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant.

1. Contact Information. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the landlord, the property owner, the tenant and an emergency contact and any other important contacts, such as maintenance personnel. This information provides both parties with a way to contact each other in case of some sort of emergency. This also allows the parties to contact each other if they feel that the terms or conditions of the lease agreement are not being that.

2. Property Information. The address of the rental property and the purpose for which it will be used. This information is basic in making sure that both the landlord and the tenant agree on what property is actually going to be subject to the written lease agreement.

3. Dates. The beginning and ending dates of the agreement Are vital. By providing this information in the written lease agreement there can be no misunderstandings about how long the lease term is. This provides both the landlord and the Tenant with specific rights concerning who has possession of the property.

4. Rent. It goes without saying that the written lease agreement must contain a written term that identifies the amount of rent that must be paid by the tenant to the landlord.  The this alone is not enough. The written lease agreement should also specify when the rent is due and the amount charged for late fees if the tenant is ever late in paying the rent..

5. Deposit. Security deposits are a critical term that should be written in every week agreement. Security deposits are controlled by Idaho statutes which specifies that the written lease agreement must state the amount of the security deposit, And how it will be used at the end of the tenancy.

6. Utilities & Repairs. It is also wise for the written lease agreement to contained terms describing which party is responsible for each of the utilities and for indoor and outdoor maintenance and repair of the property, including garages, carports and storage facilities.

7. Policies. Additionally, a written lease agreement is the perfect place to be specific about any additional policies that will control the lease relationship. All restrictions and policies placed on a tenant’s use of the property, including the number of occupants, whether pets or smoking are allowed, mandatory quiet times and whether assignment or subletting is permitted should be clearly written out so that there can be no misunderstandings.

8. Termination. Another important term that should be in every written lease agreement has to do with termination of the lease agreement. The written lease agreement should clearly describe the process the tenant must follow to give proper notice of intent to vacate or terminate the lease. Additionally there should be a specific time frame set forth in a written lease agreement that allows the landlord to provide a written notice of eviction and or termination of the lease agreement.

9. Move Out Inspection. It is also wise to include terms that allow the tenant to attend the landlord’s move out inspection. This gives both the landlord and the Tenant and opportunity to  agree upon whether the tenant is responsible for any of the repairs that will be necessary to the premises.

10. Entrance. A landlord cannot just enter the premises whenever he wants to. It is a good idea in a written lease agreement to spell out clearly when and how the landlord can enter the property. The shooting crude a term involving emergencies that would give the landlord immediate right to enter the property to preserve it and or to help those within the premises.

11. Signatures. The The final obvious thing that should be in a written lease agreement is an area for the signatures of all parties. The party should also be given an opportunity to date the written lease agreement so that there’s no misunderstandings about when it begins and when it ends.

If you have any questions about the basic terms and conditions that should be contained within every written lease agreement, please contact us so that we can answer your questions and help you.

Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Landlord and Tenant Law and Real Estate attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your Idaho Landlord and Tenant Law and Real Estate questions and will help you solve your Idaho Landlord and Tenant Law and Real Estate needs.

This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.

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