Articles Posted in Real Estate

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

On of the most important steps in the judicial process of an eviction is the eviction trial. In circumstances where the landlord has properly served the tenant the required Notice, and the tenant fails to appear or to file a response, the landlord will obtain a judgment by default. This is what occurs in about 90% of all cases. In the remaining 10% of cases, the eviction trial occurs.

In the eviction trial, a landlord has the burden of proving everything necessary to obtain a judgment against the tenant. In essence, a landlord must provide admissible evidence that everything claimed in his complaint is true. This is usually accomplished through the landlord’s own testimony and his presenting to the court evidentiary documents including the following:

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

The final step in the judicial process of an eviction is the physical removal of the tenant from the premises. Although it may seem strange, it is very common for tenants to not voluntarily leave the premises, even after the judicial eviction trial is over and the judge as entered an Order or Judgment for Eviction. Some tenants will simply stay in the premises until the bitter end.

A landlord who has received a Judgment for Eviction is entitled to seek Writ of Restitution or Writ of Possession from a court as well. A Writ of Restitution or Writ of Possession is a documents signed by the judge to the Sheriff, ordering the Sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises. Essentially, the landlord can then force the tenant out of the premises.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Landlord clients often ask me about what they can do legally to screen and/or reject prospective tenants. A landlord’s goal is to lease the premises to a tenant who will pay their rent and keep the premises in good shape. To accomplish this goal, there are several areas that a landlord can use to legally exclude or reject prospective tenants. Some examples include non-smoking; criminal convictions for any reason; low credit score; bad reference from previous landlord; etc. A landlord can deny housing to a prospective tenant for just about any reason, so long as the reason used is not an illegal reason. The list of illegal reasons are contained in the Fair Housing Act.

There are three basic documents that every landlord should use when leasing real property. One of these three documents is the Rental Application. When used correctly, the Rental Application provides the landlord with the best tools to legally reject a prospective tenant.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

A common area of law that involves environmental issues in a landlord tenant relationship is the implied warranty of habitability. This area is frequently contested by tenants when they are being evicted. This is usually done by a tenant as a means of trying to avoid the eviction by offsetting the amount of rent they have failed to pay with the damages they claim are caused by the landlord.

In most cases, but not in all, this argument fails and the eviction goes forward anyway. This is usually the case not because the tenant’s claims aren’t true. Rather, this is usually the case because the tenant has failed to follow the statutory requirements to properly notify the landlord of problems with the property that properly raise the issue of implied warranty of habitability.

By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

To properly draft a contract, a person usually needs to step into the future and understand unfavorable or damaging possibilities that could result as the contract is performed. Some possibilities may be extremely unlikely, and others may be difficult to discern on the surface, but a good contract will include terms that either prevent or minimize these harms. Certainly the stakes are higher in complex contracts involving millions of dollars, but even simple contracts where just a few hundred dollars pass hands can result in thousands (or even millions) of dollars of liability.

Recently, I met someone who made a minor revision to a standard residential lease agreement, failed to fully contemplate how that provision would play out, and ended up with thousands of dollars of liability. Sadly, the rent at issue under the lease was almost a non-issue compared to the overall liability.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

There are essentially three basic documents that should be used by a landlord and a tenant in a rental arrangement. These include; (1) the rental application; (2) the lease agreement itself; and (3) a move-in/move-out checklist. By using these documents both a landlord and a tenant understand the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement and both are fairly protected.


By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Landlords in Idaho are restricted by specific statutes on their ability to remove their tenants from a rented property. The reason for this is that Idaho lawmakers find it important for individuals to have shelter that cannot be taken away from them easily or quickly. For this reason, Idaho lawmakers have specifically designed statutes that require an eviction notice to be provided to a tenant before they can be evicted or removed from the property. Here are three things you should know about eviction notices.

1. An Eviction Notice Must be in Writing

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.

By: T.J. Budge

Title insurance is a standard part of nearly all real estate transactions, yet relatively few buyers understand the purpose and limitations of the policy.

Title insurance policies insure against defects in the title to the property they are buying. The insurance company researches the public real estate records pertaining to the property and identifies the legal owner of the property as well as any problems with the title to the property, such as easements and liens. These problems are called “exceptions” because the title insurance company excludes or “excepts” them from coverage under the policy.

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

I’ve been a real estate and business lawyer for over 17 years. During this time I’ve represented a number of investors who own rental properties or other types of investment real estate. More importantly, about 10 years ago, I purchased my first investment property. Since that time I’ve purchased several more investment properties. Through my experiences of being an attorney representing investors, and by being an investor, myself I’ve learned several things about the importance of having an LLC involved as a part of a real estate investment plan. Here are three reasons why every real estate investor should have an LLC.

1. An LLC Limits Personal Liability

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