The state of Indiana currently houses over 500,000 renters, which means that there are huge opportunities for both landlords and tenants who are planning to live there. In fact, the city of Indianapolis is considered one of the biggest ones to rent, so if you're looking to rent a place in the area, you need to understand everything regarding the Indiana landlord tenant laws.
To maintain a proper landlord-tenant relationship at all times, you need to make sure that both parties understand all the terms that come with renting a property. These terms can vary from landlord to landlord, but the differences are small.
Generally, the main thing you need to focus on while drafting a rental agreement is the Indiana landlord-tenant law since it's going to be your primary source of legal terms that you're going to use throughout the tenancy period. If you don't pay attention to any of these clauses, you may be exposed to early termination of the lease or legal issues with a court of law.
To dive deeper into this topic, we're going to provide an overview of the Indiana landlord-tenant law and how it can be applied to your rental case. However, if you feel like you need some help for a rental case, in particular, make sure to contact a lawyer or a real estate manager for legal advice.
Is Indiana Considered a Landlord-Friendly State?
As of today, Indiana is considered a landlord-friendly state; this is because there is much more liberty for landlords regarding the entry to the premises, rent control policies, and others. Having this freedom allows landlords to be more flexible with their terms in the lease agreement.
What Should be Included in a Rental Agreement in Indiana?
Indiana has a slightly different requirement for lease agreements. According to the Indiana landlord-tenant law, leases longer than three years must be sent in written form. However, it's always recommended to use a written lease for a rental since it can be used as physical proof of the clauses that the landlord and tenant agreed upon.
It's important to note that a rental agreement can be adjusted to fit new clauses or terms to the lease, according to Indiana landlord-tenant law. In these cases, the landlord must provide 30 days' notice before making any changes to the document.
All the clauses you're going to read on this page can be found in the Indiana Code (Title 32, Article 31). Overall, here is the general information that a lease agreement in Indiana should include:
- Description of the leased property.
- Contact information about the landlord and tenant.
- Cost of rent.
- Conditions for rent payments.
- Security deposit clauses.
- Subleasing (If applicable).
- Person responsible for paying utility bills.
- Additional clauses required by the landlord or the Indiana landlord-tenant law.
What Are Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities?
Indiana law requires landlords and tenants to acknowledge their rights and responsibilities at the time of signing a lease. Knowing that information can help both parties identify what they can or cannot do during the tenancy.
Indiana landlords have the right to collect rent promptly, collect security deposits to cover damages that exceed normal wear and tear to the rental unit and pursue a proper eviction lawsuit if the tenant doesn't comply with the lease terms.
Landlords must provide the tenant with a habitable unit that complies with the terms stated in the Indiana landlord-tenant law. However, there are some specific appliances that every landlord must give their tenant before they enter the property:
- Electrical systems
- Smoke detectors.
- Sanitary plumbing systems that provide reasonable amounts of hot and cold running water.
- Air conditioning system.
Tenant rights allow them to request repairs for damages to the unit at any time. The landlord must do these repairs for damages under a reasonable amount of time; this amount of time may be decided between the landlord and tenant since the Indiana landlord-tenant law doesn't specify anything regarding the minimum/maximum time. If the landlord can't repair these damages to the premises within notice, they may be exposed to consequences in a court of law.
What Are Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities?
The Indiana landlord-tenant laws specify that tenants have the legal right to seek habitable housing without any kind of discrimination against them. Additionally, they have the right to request repairs for any damages that the premises have sustained. If the landlord fails to do these repairs within notice, the tenant may pay for the damages themselves and deduct the costs from future rent payments.
Tenants in Indiana have to follow a fairly simple set of rules from the start to the end of the tenancy period. Overall, the Indiana landlord-tenant laws require tenants to comply with the following housing regulations:
- Keep the property clean and in good repair.
- Pay rent on time.
- Make small repairs to the property's appliances, such as the smoke detectors or the air conditioning system.
- Not disturb other tenants and neighbors.
- Comply with other additional clauses that the landlord may include in the lease.
Indiana Landlord-Tenant Laws - General Clauses
The clauses explained below are the basis of every rental agreement. If you want to promote a healthy landlord-tenant relationship, you must carefully read each of these clauses to avoid legal disputes.
According to the Indiana landlord-tenant laws, rent is payable at the beginning of each month unless the landlord states otherwise in the lease. Currently, there are no rent control policies in Indiana, meaning that a landlord may charge any amount they consider appropriate for rent.
Additionally, landlords have the right to raise rent prices as much as they want. However, state law requires them to give at least 30 days' notice to the tenants to comply with the Indiana landlord-tenant laws.
Tenants have to pay rent on time if they want to comply with the Indiana landlord-tenant laws. If the tenant decides to withhold rent without reason, they may be exposed to disputes in a court of law.
State laws don't explicitly say anything about late fees, meaning that landlords may choose to charge them to their tenant. The tenant has to pay these fees if their rent goes over the due date; if they decide not to pay them, the landlord may seek alternative action. However, keep in mind that fees should be charged as compensation for costs that the landlord has to pay due to the late payment; if the landlord charges fees as punishment, a court of law may not allow it.
Landlord-tenant laws in Indiana don't specify a grace period for late rent payments. In that sense, landlords can charge late fees as soon as the rent is late.
The security deposit is a financial tool that landlords can collect from their tenant to cover expenses after leaving the property. Every landlord must return the security deposit within 45 days of the tenant leaving the property. If the landlord fails to deliver the deposits within 45 days, the tenant could get legal advice from a local lawyer.
Security Deposit Limit
There are no required minimum/maximum amounts for a security deposit, which is why it's assumed that landlords can charge as much as they want, as long as it's reasonable.
Security Deposit Withhold
Landlords can withhold a security deposit to cover unforeseen expenses. If this is the case, the landlord must provide the tenant with an itemized list of deductions.
Generally, security deposits are used to cover the following:
- Damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
- Broken appliances, such as air conditioning systems, plumbing, or a smoke detector.
- Unpaid bills.
Security Deposit Interest and Commingling
Finally, landlords don't have to pay interest on the deposit. On the other hand, landlords are allowed to commingle the deposit with other assets. However, it's not recommended to mix the deposits with other assets since it can cause confusion.
Lease Termination and Evictions
An Indiana tenant can choose to terminate the rental agreement. However, they're required by law to make the following amounts of notice:
- Weekly Term - 30 days' notice.
- Monthly Term - Three months' notice.
- Quarterly Term - Non-applicable.
- Yearly Term - Non-applicable.
Additionally, the tenant can send a notice for early termination to their landlord if one of the following conditions apply:
- Active military duty.
- Unacceptable living conditions.
- Domestic violence.
- Breach of the lease terms or local housing codes.
- Early termination clause
On the other hand, landlords can evict their tenant from the rental unit for any of the following reasons:
- Breach of the Lease or Housing Codes: 10-day notice to cure or quit.
- Nonpayment of Rent: 10-day notice to pay or quit.
- Criminal Activity: The landlord can evict the tenant from the unit immediately.
According to landlord-tenant laws in Indiana, landlords must give at-will tenants with a monthly lease a 30-day notice before they get evicted from the premises.
See our full guide on the eviction process and laws for Indiana.
Small Claims Court
A small claims court in Indiana can hear rental cases valued up to $6,000. Keep in mind that a small claims court also manages eviction cases.
By following the rental laws in Indiana, you're ensuring a much better rental experience for both the tenant and landlord. If you need specific help, don't hesitate to contact a real estate manager or attorney.
Must the landlord disclose any information to the tenant about smoke detectors?
The landlord must send the tenant information about any smoke detector on the premises to comply with housing laws.
What information about lead paint must be disclosed to the tenant?
Landlords must inform the tenant if their property has any lead paint concentrations. The landlord may also provide the tenant a copy of EPA's pamphlet.
How can the locks be changed in a property in Indiana?
If the tenant becomes a victim of domestic violence and gets a restraining order, they may change the property's locks. However, the tenant has to send a copy of that order to the landlord.
Does the landlord have the right to enter the property in Indiana?
State laws and housing regulations dictate that a landlord doesn't have to provide any written notice before entering the premises. However, it's seen as good practice to talk with the tenant and come up with an entry notification policy.
Regardless of these terms, landlords can enter the premises without any written notice in emergency cases.