Indiana Rental Laws

Written on March 22, 2014 by , updated on August 30, 2018

Flag of IndianaThis article summarizes some key Indiana Landlord-Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing and you have a responsibility to perform your own research when applying the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney-referral service that is operated by the state bar association.

Official Rules, Regulations & Guides

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute (IC 32-31-3-12)
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 45 days (IC 32-31-3-12)
  • Allowable Deductions: Landlord is allowed to deduct from the security deposit: (IC 32-31-3-12)
    • for the payment of accrued rent;
    • for reimbursement of actual damages that are not the result of ordinary wear and tear;
    • for the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered or will reasonably suffer by reason of the tenant’s noncompliance with law or the rental agreement; and
    • for any unpaid utility or sewer charges that the tenant is obligated to pay under the rental agreement.
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Nonrefundable Fees: No Statute
  • Application Fees: No Statute. Use Cozy to avoid having to charge application fees.
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No Statute
  • Itemized List of Move-Out Damages and Charges: Within 45 days of termination of occupancy, the landlord must deliver an itemized list of damages with money order for the difference between the damages claimed and the amount of the security deposit held by the landlord. The itemized list shall include: (IC 32-31-3-14)
    • the estimated cost of repair for each damaged item; and
    • the amounts and lease on which the landlord intends to assess the tenant.
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Failure to Comply: 
    • Failure by a landlord to provide notice of damages constitutes agreement by the landlord that no damages are due, and the landlord must remit to the tenant immediately the full security deposit. (IC 32-31-3-15)
    • A landlord who fails to itemize the damages is liable to the tenant in an amount equal to the part of the deposit withheld by the landlord plus reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs. (IC 32-31-3-16)

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • When Rent Is Due: No Statute
  • Rent Increase Notice: 30 days (IC 32-31-5-4)
  • Rent Grace Period: No Statute
  • Late Fees: No Statute
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute
  • Returned Check Fees: $25 (IC 24-4.5-7-202) I recommend using Cozy to collect rent online.
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No Statute
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No Statute
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (IC 32-31-7-7)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages Caused by Lessee: No Statute
  • Abandonment of Personal Property:
    • Landlord can remove the tenants’ abandoned personal property with a formal writ of possession (court order), and relocation the property to an approved storage facility. (IC 32-31-4-2)
    • A landlord may not take possession of, remove from a tenant’s dwelling unit, deny a tenant access to, or dispose of, tenant’s personal property in order to enforce an obligation of the tenant to the landlord under a rental agreement. (IC 32-31-5-5)

Notices & Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No Statute. No notice is needed as the lease simply expires. (IC 32-31-1-8)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Year-to-Year Lease: Three Months (IC 32-31-1-3)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: One Month (IC 32-31-1-1)
  • Notice of Termination of a Lease for Nonpayment: 10 Days, but tenant may pay the rent in full before the notice period expires, in order to stay. (IC 32-31-1-6)
  • Termination for Lease Violation: No Statute
  • No Notice to Quit Needed: A landlord can give an immediate unconditional quit notice in the following situations: (IC 32-31-1-8)
    1. A tenant at will commits waste.
    2. The tenant is a tenant at sufferance (someone who occupies the property after a lease has expired).
    3. The express terms of the contract require the tenant to pay the rent in advance, and the tenant refuses or neglects to pay the rent in advance.
    4. The landlord-tenant relationship does not exist.
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Required Notice before Entry: “Reasonable” written or oral notice is required. No exact amount of time is specified but generally 24 hours is recommended. (IC 32-31-5-6(g))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (nonemergency): Yes (IC 32-31-5-6(e))
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (IC 32-31-5-6(e))
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (IC 32-31-5-6(f))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No Statute
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (IC 32-31-5-6(c))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (IC 32-31-5-6(c))

Disclosures & Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlord Obligations: A landlord shall do the following: (IC 32-31-8-5)
    • Deliver the rental premises to a tenant in compliance with the rental agreement, and in a safe, clean, and habitable condition.
    • Comply with all health and housing codes applicable to the rental premises.
    • Make all reasonable efforts to keep common areas of a rental premises in a clean and proper condition.
    • Provide and maintain the following items in a rental premises in good and safe working condition, if provided on the premises at the time the rental agreement is entered into: Electrical systems, Plumbing systems sufficient to accommodate a reasonable supply of hot and cold running water at all times, Sanitary systems, Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, Elevators, if provided, Appliances supplied as an inducement to the rental agreement.
    • A heating system must be sufficient to adequately supply heat at all times.
  • Tenant Obligations: A tenant shall do the following: (IC 32-31-7-5)
    • Comply with health and housing codes.
    • Keep the premises clean.
    • Use the following in a reasonable manner: Electrical systems, Plumbing, Sanitary systems, Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, Elevators, if provided, Facilities and appliances of the rental premises.
    • Refrain from defacing, damaging, destroying, impairing, or removing any part of the rental premises.
    • Comply with Lease Rules and Regulations.
    • Maintain Smoke Detectors.
  • Move-Out Condition: At the termination of a tenant’s occupancy, the tenant shall deliver the rental premises to the landlord in a clean and proper condition, excepting ordinary wear and tear expected in the normal course of habitation of a dwelling unit. (IC 32-31-7-6)
  • Disclosure of Managers & Agents: A landlord shall disclose and furnish to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the rental agreement the names and addresses of the following: (IC 32-31-3-18)
    • A person residing in Indiana who is authorized to manage the dwelling unit.
    • A person residing in Indiana who is reasonably accessible to the tenant and who is authorized to act as agent for the owner for purposes of: service of process; and receiving and receipting for notices and demands.
  • Smoke Detectors: At the time a landlord delivers a rental unit to a tenant, the landlord must get the tenant to acknowledge in writing that the rental unit is equipped with a functional smoke detector. (IC 32-31-5-7)
  • Flooding Disclosure: For leases entered into or renewed after June 30,2009, if a dwelling unit is in a 100-year flood plain, the landlord shall provide notice in the dwelling unit rental agreement that the dwelling unit is located within the flood plain. (IC 32-31-1-21)
  • Recording of Leases: Any lease longer than 3 years in duration needs to be recorded with the county within 45 days of its execution. (IC 32-31-2-1)
  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet (pdf) on lead-based paint hazards.
  • Domestic Violence Situations:
    • Proof of Status: Landlord is entitled to verify claim of Domestic Violence status.
    • Lease: Landlord must not terminate a lease, refuse to renew a lease, refuse to enter into a lease, or retaliate against a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence. (IC 32-31-9-8)
    • Termination of Lease: A tenant is allowed to terminate a lease with 30 days notice and proof of domestic violence status. The written notice required by this section must include specific details listed in IC 32-31-9-12(b) & (c).
    • Locks: Upon request and delivery of a court order, the landlord must change or re-key the locks at the tenant’s expense within 48 hours. (IC 32-31-9-9IC 32-31-9-11)
  • Retaliation: No Statute

Court & Legal Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License Required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.

Helpful Videos

Small Claims in Indiana (except Marion County)

Small Claims in Marion County

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1,064 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Christine Graber

    Since moving into this property in March 2018 we have had our landlord continually over in the front and the back yard to do extreme lawn and plant maintenance. I do understand mowing (as per lease) but the maintenance is long and drawn out. Today for example they have been over since approximately 11 am and are still here now (536 pm). I feel this is intrusive and takes away from our privacy. They have never given us notice when they intend to come over. They planted all new bushes, flowers, etc. in early Spring and have been over countless time to prune and tend to these. They have been in the driveway sweeping at 10 am one weekend morning and just all around they are here, a lot.

  • Auggie

    I had a small stove fire in my apartment and it did damage to the kitchen. It damaged 1 cabinet door. A little bit at the bottom and it melted the light cover. And the stove light with fan. They are charging me 13 thousand dollars because I didn’t have renters insurance and remodeling my entire apartment! Am I being ripped off?! Legal aid won’t help me because I make 100 too much! But I can’t afford to pay a lawyer right now. Someone help me.

  • KIKI

    I signed a lease yesterday and after having some allergies once inside the home, I am wanting to get out of the lease. I have not moved in yet. Is this legal?

    • steven

      i’d like to know how on that to i have a son thats allergic to dogs and the place had dogs in it that we didnt notice intill signin lease 4days ago.

  • Darnisha Lawson

    How do I report a landlord in Hammond Indiana for not supplying sufficient heat

  • Jane Maxwell

    We live in a duplex…the same water meter is for both sides of the house…..there are three people and a dog over there with a washer and there is only myself and a washer over here.
    Who is responsible for the water

    • Tina Co

      My water is attached to the house next door and no telling who they’re renting to or how many people & showers, dishes laundry Ect …I recieve section8
      Assistance and utility expense will count there baseline NOTACTUAL COST! When you find an answer please let me know

    • Camelot Realty

      If water meters are not seperate, we include water in the rent

    • Kyle Costlow

      If there is one water meter the owner of the duplex pays the utility (they may increase the rent to account for this, but it would just be an estimate), if there is one for each side, the tenant usually pays.

  • Tina Co

    My water is attached to the house next door and no telling who they’re renting to or how many people & showers, dishes laundry Ect …I recieve section8
    Assistance and utility expense will count there baseline NOTACTUAL COST! When you find an answer please let me know

  • ryan L

    I have an emotional support dog, my doctor even prescribed him to me and the people across the hall at my apartments has a dog too. his dog barks and mine did before especially when cage training and hes a puppy pit bull. but i got a bark collar and fixed the problem after recieving noise complaints. I fixed the problem and still got noise complaints when i know my dog wasnt barking, and dudes dog across the hall barks all the time. needless to say they gave my dog 3 days to leave the apartment, so i found a one bedroom house for rent for the same price. i am trying to get out of my lease because theyre going against doctor orders, i cant bail on my dog. any suggestions on how to go about this?

  • Chafi Agustin

    The apartment I currently reside in has countless maintenance issues (continuous leaks in 3 different areas, water damage in different areas, serious mold growth, caved in bathroom ceiling from water leaks, serious mold growth, and other too numerous to list issues). Every issue reported to the apartment management took anywhere from 1 week to 3 months to be addressed (YES- I received a copy of service requests from apt and one read 68 days until ‘completion’). Indiana 2018 Code states repairs reported to maintenance must be done ‘within a reasonable time frame.’ I’ve done extensive research and nowhere seems to further define what ‘reasonable’ actually is. PLEASE HELP!!!! ANY ADDITIONAL INFO ENCOURAGED AND APPRECIATED!! THANKS!

  • Jayne

    I’ve been renting from my brother for 5 years. He has always refused to give me any type of lease, or rental agreement. I’m assuming I’m on a month to month, since I have no lease. He told me if I rent from him for 6 years, he will give me the house. I’ve never had any problems, up to this point. Anything major he fixes, and I agreed to fix the minor problems. Is he responsible for the sewage lines in the house? I recently got insurance to cover the lines all the way to the alley. Is he responsible to pay for that insurance? I had a backup due to tree roots. Is he responsible for cleaning up the floor? Thank you in advance.

  • Dawn

    I signed a year lease with another person, I paid the deposit when we moved as he had no money at the time. I gave my notice to vacate at the end of the lease and was just told the deposit won’t be refunded until both parties move out, he plans on resigning the lease. Is this legal.

  • DEB

    Does a landlord have the right to remove personal property from tenants yard without notice , they said they sent a letter but tenant never received the notification this is in wayne township of marion county indianapolis indiana now said landlord refuses to give tenant their belongings back even though they are still living at said residents and paying rent

  • Corey Gray

    I rented out my house to a friend in October 15 of 2016 to October152018.When I returned the next day to collect the first months rent he had a contract and said he would feel safer if we had one.It turned out to be a lease option contract.In the contract we agreed the option period was from the start of the contract to april152018.A year and a half goes buy and he doesnt buy.I tell him I’m no longer interested in selling.3weeks before the entire contract is up he hands me a letter of his intent to buy.He drafted entire contract and instead of april152018it says march152016before the whole contract started in the option period.he hasnt paid in 5months.tried to evict in small claims they threw it out what can I do?judge says not his jurisdic

  • Laura

    I recently found out that other renters are paying significantly less than I am for larger places. Also, these renters are new renters. There isn’t an advertised special, the rent is just lower for them–to the tune of $200 less per month.

    How should I approach this with my landlord?

  • Sanjay

    My owner is working on the house which is attached to the one I live. Creating lot of noise and drilling it’s like full scale remodeling of the house don’t know what to do he is really rude and not responsive for anything . Please help

  • Richard Jeffares

    I have lived in the duplex for 3 yrs. All the neighbors that lived next door never complained about me… now this new neighbor has called my landlord and stated I was throwing parties, people coming in and out all hours of the night and I have people staying with me,All that is a lie, 4/5/2019 I was at a friend’s house visiting when my landlord called and stated there were disturbance in my apartment, which I’m the only one who lives there ,my landlord threatening to throw me out,if anymore complaints come in, I stay to myself never bothering anyone, recently I had a heart attack and the neighbor keeps reporting me to the landlord…the only people who come over is family checking on me,but my landlord keeps threatening to make me move

  • Rachel

    In Indiana, how many people can be in a one bedroom? A tenant above I think has 3-4

  • Sam

    My tenant is threatening to abandon the property and take me to court because the unit in the same building is being rented for much less than they are paying and their unit is not as nice.

    Do they have any legal ground? Have I been overcharging them?

  • Deborah

    I have a tenant that does not clean the house when I inspect the house it is filthy and I have asked her politely to please keep the home clean I put on new carpet, painted what can I do to evict her She is tearing my house up she has only been there for 3 months thanks for your input

  • Rhonda

    Can a landlord lock a basement. The only shelter from tornado. Also only access to shutoffs

  • Robby Horse

    I just found out the the apartment I rented in March 2019 has been sold and talks of rent being raised double the amount stated. Is this legal and will the new owner have to return my deposits with I move? Can the make me get rid of my dog that lease States I can have.

    • Sarah

      New owners have to honor current lease. Once lease expires they can make changes. Not to say they can’t make some changes now, it depends on how the current leas is written. Most leases are written so that changes can be made with a 30 day written notice.

  • Teresa Astell

    My daughter was renting, lease ended on May 30th. We moved her out, now the landlords daughter (who lived in the house with my daughter and two other girls) is claiming that my daughter and the two other girls took kitchen utensils that belonged to her. Her father is the landlord, he is claiming that he will withhold the security deposit if we don’t return the utensils. My daughter and other girls did not take anything that was not theirs. Can he withhold the deposit? He gave us the ok when we handed him the key on May 30th, he said everything looked good. And then his daughter comes us with this story of items missing. We are worried we won’t get any of the deposit back.

    • Sarah

      He had 45 days to give you an itemized invoice of how your deposit was being charged. If it is pased 45 days you can use him in small claims.

  • Aaron

    In my lease, I have a provision that states that the tenant is not allowed to smoke in the home. Am I allowed to withhold any of the security deposit? The tenant moved out on 5/31/19 and as of today (6/5/19), the home smells like stale cigarettes. I think at the minimum, they should be held responsible for the painting of the walls, cleaning of the carpet, and cleaning of the ventilation. Thoughts?

  • Chrystal Salesman

    I had an eviction notice but the sheriff never showed up to lock me out. My landlord came why I was at practice and changed the locks. He refuse to give me any of my personal property which was everything I had to my name! He threw most of it in a dumpster and told me I could have none of my belongings! The court case was actually dismissed. He kept for himself the big ticketed items such as my antiques, televisions, pellet Stove, etc. what can I do to get him to pay for everything. Please help!! How do I find a lawyer because I can’t afford to pay for one!

  • Edith D Thurman

    Yes, they are ripping you off big time! You are only obligated to pay for what you damaged not the entire apartment because of a cabinet!

  • vikky briggs

    hello my rent is due on the 1st of the month but after the 5 i have a late fee my landlord is threatening to evict us every time i pay my rent after the 5th of the month i was wondering if she can do that please help i just want to know if she can keep threatening me like this and i also have 3 small kids in the house thank you

    • Sarah

      She can send/post a notice and industry standard is to send late notices on the 5th. She cannot harass you, over late rent or anything else. If she is verbally harassing you, ask her to put it in writing.

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