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House rejects one renter-protection bill and pass another

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BOISE — A bill that would put new requirements on landlords has failed in the Idaho House.
Rep. Melissa Wintrow’s, D-Boise, House Bill 595, which focuses on tenant protections and would have added landlord requirements to prevent abuse of power, has failed in the House, with 44 votes against and 24 in favor.
Many conservative lawmakers opposed the bill because they felt it was impractical.
One leader in the fight against the affordable housing crisis said she is disappointed.
“In this market, it’s a landlord’s market to set the terms,” said Deanna Watson, executive director of the Boise City Ada County Housing Authorities. “And they could charge a tremendous amount of security deposit, and then claim that it was needed to repair the unit, and the only option for the tenant — or the former tenant — is to sue them. So there ought to be options prior to going to a lawsuit and clogging up the court system.”
The bill would have required landlords to provide itemized receipts for why they withhold amounts of money from your security deposit when you’re moving out, and would limit the amount a landlord can charge per day for late fees on rent.
Longer notice on raising rent
Wintrow’s bill was not the only renter-protection bill to go before the Legislature.
The House passed a bill Thursday that would require landlords to give at least 30 days notice if they wish to raise a tenant’s rent more than 10 percent. The bill passed with votes 47 for and 21 against. House Bill 594 is sponsored jointly by Reps. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, and Jarom Wagoner, R-Caldwell.
Currently, the law is 15 days, though standard practice is to give a minimum of 30 days.
The bill now goes to the Senate Judiciary Rules and Administration Committee for a hearing. If the committee passes the bill, it will go to the Senate floor for debate.

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