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House Bill 461 — Tenant property removal

House Bill 461 — Tenant property removal

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
February 24, 2020

Analysts: Lindsay Atkinson and Alli Megal

Bill description: HB 461 amends Idaho Code to provide a specific timeframe for removing personal property after a court orders a tenant to leave a rental property via issuance of an eviction judgment.

Rating: +1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market?

HB 461 imposes a new restriction in the free market through state law but, in doing so, provides uniformity from county to county. This bill clarifies the process of how landlords can dispose of property that tenants leave behind, or do not claim, after they move out.

HB 461 requires property owners, or their agents, to give tenants notice regarding the timeframe which they have to remove their belongings when they start an eviction process. Specifically, “if a court enters judgement against him [a tenant], then he will have seventy-two hours (72) hours” to remove his belongings from the premises. In the case of commercial tenants on tracts of land that are five acres or more, the evicted tenant would have 7 days (or longer if granted by the court) to remove his property.

HB 461 would be a beneficial regulation to both landlords and tenants by providing uniformity to this process. Currently, state law does not address this issue, so county governments have taken it upon themselves to regulate the process. So the process differs from county to county, and is often more stringent than what is proposed in this bill. For example, some counties require landlords to pay the sheriff's office to come collect and auction abandoned personal property. Others require landlords to pay to store abandoned property for a certain amount of time.

HB 461 would provide advanced notice of the time period for which to claim property to tenants at the beginning of an eviction proceeding (which often takes weeks). HB 461 would provide a clear requirement of when tenants who are being evicted must reclaim their own property. The eviction process can take weeks, so both tenants and landlords would know, far ahead of time, what is required.


Analyst’s Note: This rating was updated on 3/16 to reflect amendments made to the bill by the Senate. Our rating is unchanged. The main amendment to the bill was clarification regarding the optional use of a sheriff as part of this property removal process.

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