Landlord-Tenant Laws, Rights, Regulations - Indiana [2023]

Boost your knowledge of Indiana’s landlord-tenant laws, rights, and regulations addressing key topics like rent, security deposits, evictions, and more.

By
Rachel Robinson
|
Last Updated
September 7, 2023
Landlord-Tenant Laws, Rights, Regulations - Indiana [2023]

Landlords and tenants in the Hoosier State of Indiana must follow local and state rental laws that influence their rights, duties, and interactions. Like most other states, Indiana’s laws can be tricky to understand and navigate.

To help landlords and tenants know what to do in any rental-related situation, we've compiled this guide on Indiana's important rental laws. Landlords can learn how to protect their properties and create strong relationships with tenants. Simultaneously, tenants can learn about their fundamental rights that can help them if they ever need it.

This guide covers important topics like screening tenants, handling security deposits, crafting rental agreements, and going through the eviction process, plus much more. It will help both landlords and tenants understand Indiana's laws as part of the Indiana Code Title 32 Article 31.

Let's get into it!

Is Indiana considered a landlord-friendly state?

Yes, Indiana is a landlord-friendly state. It ranks 13th on a list of the most landlord-friendly states in the U.S. This is because there are no rent control laws or limits on security deposits. Additionally, the state has a zero-tolerance policy for non-paying tenants. Indiana is also known for having an affordable housing market and low property taxes, making it a great state to invest in the real estate market.

Indiana landlord tenant law fast facts

Indiana landlord rights and responsibilities

Rights

Indiana state law grants landlords of the state specific rights, enabling them to create successful and efficient rental businesses that are safeguarded from legal complications. Some of their main rights include:

  • Collecting rent when it’s due
  • Collecting a security deposit to cover damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • Pursuing a formal eviction if the tenant breaches the lease agreement

Responsibilities

Indiana landlords are also held accountable for certain responsibilities that guarantee a smooth and safe tenancy for their renters. A few of their main duties are as follows:

  • Providing tenants with a habitable unit that meets state and local housing codes
  • Complying with laws such as security deposit limits and notice of entry regulations
  • Making necessary repairs in a timely manner, usually two weeks, after receiving notice from a tenant

Indiana tenant rights and responsibilities

Rights

Same as landlords, Indiana renters have fundamental rights that provide them with safety, well-being, and legal protection during their tenancy. Their key rights include:

  • Living in a habitable property
  • Having repairs made in a timely manner
  • Receiving reasonable notice prior to an eviction or lease termination

Responsibilities

Indiana tenants also have their own set of duties to uphold to maintain the property. Explore some of these obligations below:

  • Paying rent on time
  • Maintaing appliances and keeping them in working order
  • Keeping the unit safe and habitable, free from any hazards
  • Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors
  • Complying with the rules and regulations of the rental agreement

Indiana landlord tenant law through the rental cycle

Indiana tenant screening and rental application laws

Indiana has very few state laws governing the rental application and tenant screening process. For example, the state does not limit application fees and fees do not have to be refunded even if a prospective tenant is denied.

Furthermore, Indiana does not restrict any type of screening report like criminal history or credit reports. However, Indiana landlords are bound by the federal Fair Housing Act and cannot discriminate against potential tenants based on protected characteristics.

Indiana rental agreement laws

In Indiana, rental agreements can be written or oral, but for leases over 12 months, they must be documented in writing. Indiana law also requires leases over three years to be sent in to the recorder’s office in written form.

While no Indiana law requires certain clauses to be added to a lease agreement, it is important for landlords to include certain information such as the lease term, landlord and tenant contact information, and rent payments. Indiana is also unique in that it allows landlords to add new clauses or terms to a lease during the tenancy as long as the landlord provides 30 days’ notice.

To terminate lease agreements early, tenants must provide a certain amount of notice to the landlord. Week-to-week leases are required to provide 30 days’ notice, month-to-month leases are required to provide 3 months’ notice, and for all other lease periods, there is no statute for how much notice to provide. year-long leases are also required to provide 30 days’ notice.

Tenants can terminate a lease agreement early for the following reasons:

  • Active military duty
  • Landlord harassment
  • Early termination clause
  • Uninhabitable unit
  • Domestic violence

Indiana tenants who break their lease early may still be required to pay the rest of the rent owed on the lease, even if they terminate early for the legal reasons mentioned above.

Indiana security deposit laws

Indiana rental property owners can collect a security deposit at the beginning of the lease to cover potential property damage and other unforeseen costs at the end of the tenancy. In Indiana, there is not limit for how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit.

Additional security deposit laws Indiana landlords should know include:

  • Landlords are not required to provide a receipt for a security deposit.
  • Landlords do not have to pay interest on security deposits.
  • Landlords do not have to hold the deposit in a separate bank account.

At the end of a lease, Indiana landlords have 45 days to return the security deposit. If deductions were made, they must also provide a list of the itemized deductions, including the damaged item, approximate repair costs, and amount deducted from the security deposit.

Landlords can legally withhold a portion or all of the deposit for reasons including unpaid rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear, costs due to a breach of lease, and damage due to illegal activity.

If the landlord fails to return the security deposit in a timely manner, renters can sue for the full deposit plus court costs and attorneys’ fees.

Indiana rent laws

Indiana landlord-tenant law does not have rent control statutes, thus, landlords are free to charge whatever they deem appropriate for rent. Additionally, Indiana state law does not govern which rent payment methods landlords may or may not accept.

If tenants fail to pay rent on time, Indiana landlords are not required to provide a grace period before charing a late fee. There is no maximum for late fees, but the fee must be a reasonable amount.

It’s important to note that Indiana tenants cannot withhold rent for any reason.

Indiana repair and maintenance laws

Indiana rental owners are held responsible for providing and maintaining their rental unit in habitable condition, meaning that it complies with all health and housing codes. Additionally, they must make reasonable efforts to keep common spaces of rental units safe and clean.

After receiving written notice from a tenant, landlords need to make repairs within a reasonable time, usually under two weeks, but Indiana state law doesn’t specify the exact time frame.

If landlords fail to make repairs within a reasonable time, tenants have several actions they can take: suing for costs, filing a court order to force the landlord to make the repair, and for severe cases, terminating the rental agreement early. It’s important to note that Indiana does not allow the tenant to withhold rent for maintenance issues or use the “repair and deduct” remedy.

Indiana notice of entry laws

Landlords in Indiana have the right to enter their unit for inspections, maintenance, and property showings. Outside of emergencies, landlords must provide “reasonable notice” beter entering. It’s recommended to provide at least 24 hours’ notice.

It’s important to note that tenant consent is required to enter for most cases even emergencies. However, tenants can’t unreasonably withhold consent to enter the property.

Indiana eviction and lease termination laws

Indiana law permits landlords to evict tenants from their rental units for certain legal reasons, and depending on the reason, a specific notice period must be given. Here are the main reasons and required notice periods for evictions:

  • Unpaid rent: If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may issue a 10-day notice to pay. If rent continues to go unpaid, the landlord may proceed with an eviction.
  • Lease agreement violation: If a tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement, the landlord can issue a notice to cure or vacate. Indiana law does not specify a specific time frame for this eviction reason.
  • Illegal activity: If illegal activity is committed on the rental property, the landlord may issue a 45-day notice to quit.
  • No lease or end of the lease: If the tenant stays or holds over past the end of the tenancy, the landlord must provide them a notice to quit. The notice period depends on the length of the lease. For year-long leases, landlords must provide a 90-day notice to quit.

Like in most states, self-help evictions are illegal in Indiana. A self-help eviction includes changing locks, removing crucial infrastructure like doors and windows, and interrupting or reducing services like utilities.

Additional Indiana landlord tenant laws

In addition to covering rental topics like repairs and evictions, Indiana state law further addresses issues like housing discrimination and retaliation. We explore some of those topics below.

Housing discrimination

Like other states, Indiana has rental housing discrimination laws that protect tenants from discrimination when searching for a rental property. These laws are consistent with the federal Fair Housing Act and prohibit landlord discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status (having children under 18). 

Tenants who believe they’ve been discriminated against can file a complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Retaliation

It's illegal for Indiana landlords to retaliate against their tenants for taking protected actions such as reporting the landlord to a government body for health and safety violations.

Raising rent, reducing services, and threatening evictions are all considered forms of retaliation, as well as refusing to renew a lease.

Mandatory disclosures

Rental property owners of Indiana must provide the following disclosures to tenants prior to the beginning of the lease period:

  • Lead-based paint: Landlords with rentals built before 1978 must provide information about concentrations of lead paint.
  • Authorized authorities: Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.
  • Flooding: Indiana landlords, as of 2009, must disclosure if their rental lies in a 100-year flood plan.

Summing up: Understanding Indiana’s landlord tenant laws

Gaining a solid grasp of Indiana's rental laws, rights, and regulations is vital for fostering a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. These legal provisions are designed to safeguard the rights and responsibilities of both parties, ensuring a sense of fairness and equality in the rental process.

For landlords operating within the state, a thorough understanding and adherence to these laws serve to safeguard their rental endeavors and facilitate positive interactions with their renters. On the flip side, tenants benefit from these regulations, as they provide them with a sense of security and belonging while residing in the rental property.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. This content may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. No reader, user, or browser of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking the advice of a legal professional.

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson has 6 years of experience in writing, editing, and SEO, specializing in rental property and real estate. She excels in market trends and landlord-tenant dynamics, producing content that drives traffic and informs. Outside of work, she enjoys climbing Colorado's granite boulders.

Rental rundown background image
Rental rundown hero image

Whether you’re a property owner, renter, property manager, or real estate agent, gain valuable insights, advice, and updates by joining our blog.

Subscriber Identity

I am a

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.