Indiana Rental Laws

Written on March 22, 2014 by , updated on August 24, 2016

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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951 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Julie

    Was paying wkly until I got my property out as agreed. Landlord changed locks, called my work saying I needed to come clean up, I asked about my stuff, said he sold it. I said then we’re even. 18 1/2 years later I seen on a site that he had taken me to small claims for abandonment and I still owe a little over 600 dollars. The warrent had expired and letters sent, which I never received, and he activate it again. What are my rights in indiana? After 18 years and 7mths, don’t have any recipts or paper work. I do know he got a lot of nice stuff of mine. Including a antique bedroom set that was a in the family for years. Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you

  • Shelly

    If the landlord normally splits the 2 flat building water bill with me, a tenant and out of the blue stops paying his half. As a tenant am I able to deduct his portion from my rent payment if I pay his portion in order to keep the water on?

  • Clifford Wethington

    We rent a house from a realtor and the land is under a trustee the septic needed to get cleaned it and to find out the tank s to small and out of code. Now we have to move, who pays t move the landlord or tenant or trustee ?

    • Vernell Green

      My landlord contracted lease for 3 years, knew she had cancer. I asked for 3 year lease, she said”put down as many years as you like.” Landlord died, heirs had trust account, and one day heir want me to go, then heirs want me to stay, I need to get a mortgage to stay here, heir next door offered her side of condo, now not moving THEY Won’t sell it to my daughter, because heir claims my daughter would have to move here and live here in the condo, because they only allow a few renters, every day it changes. My daughter bought a house for son-and-law’s mom. Daughter lives in her own home, and mother in law lives in the house my daughter bough. If my daughter owns the condo, heirs get paid in full, my daughter won’t ask me for rent!!! Hel

      • Robert

        That story has so many moving Parts I don’t know where the begin. I think what you’re asking is can your daughter buy the condo and then let you live there and not charge you rent even though you’re not the owner. If that’s the case and that’s what you’re asking. Depends on the condo association rules. You need to get a copy of those guidelines and read them well. I hope this helps.

        • Vernell Green

          We’re way passed that. They want us to leave until they decide what to do. They ignore the fact the lease is still in effect (I think). They say all contracts “don’t matter anymore because mom died.” Believe me, you’re right, so many twists, turns, her kids change stories about what they are doing every few days, total instability from them. We’re older. Their mom who died was relieved knowing the condo would be clean, undamaged and rent always on time. We had total stability. Now we are to leave until her kids figure out what to do. They have their version of what is or is not legal, in their own heads. I want them to pay the 27 months owed to us because they are forcing us to leave. I’m limited in legal knowledge landlord/tenant in IN

  • Mrs.Harlow

    I pay biweekly for a 2 bedroom apartment but two days into living here there are many things we didn’t see before,( holes in the walls, ceiling is not properly finished, the wall in the shower has a huge crack all along the top gaping open, traces of mold , and cockroaches!

  • Dan

    Suppose to move in July 1, 2017 per lease. Paid $300 security deposit. This is in Morgan County. Have not done walk through move in inspection yet due to waiting for new carpet and lynoliume flooring. Today is the 29th of June. What are my options if the rental is not ready by July 1 per my lease agreement? The lease says that there is no pro-rating of monthly rent. Should I even pay my first months rent? Is this a forfeiture of the lease agreement on the Landlords behalf? Can I demand my security deposit back and go elsewhere?

  • Walter Jones

    I gave my landlord a two months notice that I would be leaving at the end of July he decides after that that he’s going to put the apartment condo up for sale within a month he has soon and is approaching closing my two months are not up I still have a few weeks remaining what can I legally do to not be put out during his closing

  • Leslie

    My husband and I own a house we got to help his daughter move here with her kids to make a fresh start. She moved this man in a week later and has been there since. He does not pay any bills hes a free loader and a mooch a drunk etc. he has been doing illegal drugs too beats on her boys for no reason so do we have the right to kick him out or no.????

  • Clare

    Can a landlord hold only 1 tenant liable for the unpaid balance when 2 adults signed the lease?

    • Robert

      The landlord could hold both parties responsible but it’s up to the landlord to decide which defendant to go after. If one defended does not have a job and the other one does it’s far easier to get a garnishment order against the one with a job. All they would have to do this initiate a small claims case against one defend and not name the other defended at all. Hope this answers your questions

      • Clare

        The lease has both tenants name on it.

        • sarah

          Doesn’t matter. You persue both parties if you can, but if you can only find one or if only one has a job, persue that one.

        • Robert

          I no longer do roommates when it comes to tenancies anymore because one roommate starts having issues with the other and one moves out and the other one can’t afford the rent the place by their selfs. When it comes to engaging in civil action against a tenant. It’s usually the one that’s easiest to find or makes the most money or money at all that determines who gets sued. When I rent out of property to somebody I get copies of driver’s license, copies of pay stubs for two months and copies of bank statements that way if I truly have to find the tenant it doesn’t take long for me to bring them to court

          • Robert

            Here’s a strategy for you ask the court to split the judgment in half for each party that way you don’t be responsible for your part. I’ve allowed tenants to do that in the past.

  • Shevell

    I live in a apartment townhouse and after a month here I’ve have had so meany mices I’ve complain daily. I have nine mice traps they put in I have a big sewage hold in the laundry rm open . Landlord said they won’t cover it and I can’t put a top over it.My back sliding doors don’t shut all the way I have stealwool in the door. My kitchen cabinet are ate by the mices. 5 months now I’ve been asking for help. Can I hold rent to get landlord to fix the problem. My apartment smells of dead mice

  • Jodi

    Gave 3 months notice on a year lease continued paying after we moved out, now we hear they are getting ready to lease to someone. Are we entitled to our Deposit back since our actual lease is not up until Sept?

    • Robert

      The property owner has to give you a 45-day letter if they fail to do this you’re entitled to your full rent deposit but you would probably have to take them to small claims court to get it. Security deposit to protected by state statute good luck

  • Josephine

    If 2 people are married and on a lease together and one spouse abandons the marriage and home and belonging. While other spouse stays and continues to pay. How long after abandonment before one has legal right to remove abandoned property.

    • Robert

      That sounds like that depends on the divorce court. I’m not an attorney in any form or fashion but any personal property owned by the marriage means that one of the two parties could sell or dispose of that personal property unless it’s something is titled like a car or trailer

  • Shanessa

    I have a property that i rent out. I recently sent out a couple of notices for rent increase and pet violation. The tenants girlfriend wants to discuss the notices with me but she isn’t on the lease. I refused to discuss anything. Now the tenant says it is okay to talk with his girlfriend. I do not want to because she isn’t a tenant. How would i handle this situation?

  • Ryan Kraus

    I rent a single family home in Pendleton, Indiana. My refrigerator stopped working on July 22 in the afternoon. I called the repair line on July 23 but they were closed on Sunday. Called again on the 24th Monday and was told that a repair man would be out to inspect the refrigerator on Wednesday. Came out said the refrigerator was bad and would put in a replacement ticket. Didn’t get a new refrigerator until August 1st. All my food had gone bad. I asked for compensation for my lost goods and they told me the lease states that they have a reasonable time to fix or replace the refrigerator. I do not feel that over a week is reasonable. Is there an Indiana law I can fight this with?

  • Erin

    I rent a home where the humidity level of the air is too high. I’ve noticed some health issues in my children, and believe this is to be the cause. I bought a hygrometer to measure the humidity and it in fact measures the humidity level to be too high. Landlord won’t do anything about it. Meanwhile, I’m paying the energy costs to cool a very humid house all summer long, and our health will continue to decline. Do I have any rights as a renter to make the landlord fix? I’m looking for another rental in the meantime…

  • Chloe

    We received our notice of damages 61 days after our termination date. The law states we have to receive the letter by 45 days or there are no dues, and we receive our deposit money back. I had a meeting with the landlord and they said I am wrong because they posted the bill on their company ledger 40 days. Do I still have to pay my damage fees? Thank you for your time.

  • Donna

    I have copd and rented a air conditioned
    apartment my landlord knew my medical condition and now the air conditioner broke I have lived here for 9 months and he has never provided me a lease to sign i pay weekly with all utilities included upon learning of the broken air conditioner he said it was here when he bought the building and is not required to fix it! Is he right?

  • Romeo

    We moved into our apartment in March and now all of a sudden we are being charged for water,trash pickup and pest control ( when we can’t get them to even get an exterminator here to spray,we dont have any bugs but just wanted the preventive measures ) can they add charges not listed in the lease?

  • Vernell Green

    Signed 3 yr lease, lessee died, her 3 kids have trust account, they said lease invalid since their mom died. told them lease goes with property,no success.Weekly given update”get a mortgage” “the will is read Friday” “don’t bother me,I’ll find out what my siblings want to do”, “this is my life too [1 of kids said to us], my brother will talk to us, never showed up. Older brother said selling it all, the daughter never had idea of anything and I told her my kid could buy it for us,she insisted if my child bought it, she had to live in it. 0 stability between them all and finally “u need to move now since we don’t know what we’re doing” Condo 100% clean,rent never late. I want them to pay 27 months buyout lease,they say no such thing as that

    • Robert

      Yeah if you have a signed lease for that period of time that binds The Heirs and they have to honor that lease. Don’t let them intimidate you and tell you that you have to do something as long as you have a signed lease and it’s in your possession you’re within the right of the law. Their only other option is to take you to court and evict you and if you’d never been late it should never be an issue just make sure you make that monthly payment and if they don’t accept it you make sure you take notes on all conversations and prove that the monthly was received ask for a receipt

  • Robert

    Yeah if you have a signed lease for that period of time that binds The Heirs and they have to honor that lease. Don’t let them intimidate you and tell you that you have to do something as long as you have a signed lease and it’s in your possession you’re within the right of the law. Their only other option is to take you to court and evict you and if you’d never been late it should never be an issue just make sure you make that monthly payment and if they don’t accept it you make sure you take notes on all conversations and prove that the monthly was received ask for a receipt

  • Julia

    I have a recurring lease. I’ve already been here a year and 4 months. My ex is on lease and stopped paying child support, so I’m now behind on rent. Can my landlord legally evict me if I’m awaiting court for chikd support on my ex? Can i get something from prosecuting attorney so I can’t be evicted. This isn’t my fault. Also can I legally get out of lease since it has been over a year? I’ve offered to move out with 2 month notice and landlord said no I’m accountable for full year. I never signed a new lease after the first year.

    • robert stapleton

      If your rent payment is not current for any reason, your landlord can take the necessary steps to evict you. There would be no justifiable reason for the prosecutor’s office to stop an eviction. If you could no longer afford to place your in you might want to start to move immediately. because nowadays landlords have access to all the eviction history and if your landlord decides to file a small claims eviction proceedings against you. Your name and information will show up in the public record for years to come.

      I hope this helps

  • Joshua Webb

    I live in indiana and my landlord sold my place to another landlord and I’m still living here to I still have to pay my old landlord attorney fees and any other rent charges since I’ve got a new landlord now

    • robert stapleton

      Once the property was purchased the landlord also purchased the lease , and all the conditions and terms within that lease will remain the same. Which means your landlord doesn’t have the right to change the terms of the lease.

      • Joshua Webb

        So once the lease was purchased by the new landlord my old landlord doesn’t have the right to keep charging me past rental fees or he does have the right to charge me considering I did owe him before but paid him more than he asked for

  • Elizabeth Scarbrough

    I gave my land lord a 30 day verbal we were moving out and we already finished lease contract. He told me to pay the full month and he would refund days we wasn’t there. It’s almost been a month since we moved out. He hasn’t refunded the prorated month yet. How long does a land lord have to pay back the prorated rent? I know for security he wants to use it but nothe received list yet. Also, I had to reset my phone awhile back lost all my photo before moving in.do I need if I take to court

    • robert stapleton

      In Indiana, a landlord has 45 days to give you an itemized list of every single thing that the security deposit is being used for. This list is referred to as the 45-day letter. If your landlord fails to give you this list you are entitled to your full security deposit, they should also include on that list any of the prorated rents.
      Here’s a link to a website that helps you understand the 45 days letter, hope this helps.

      http://www.indybizlaw.com/landlord-tenant-matters/indianas-45-day-letter-rule

  • Beverly Frederick

    My son rents the upstairs of a house converted into 2 apartments. He’s lived there 7 years-6 without a lease. The property was sold 3 years ago. Now new owners want him to sign year lease stating apartment is pest free & good condition. This is false. It wasn’t in good condition 7 years ago & 3 years ago he started seeing bed bugs & roaches after new tenants moved in downstairs. He requested landlord to get rid of these for a long time but they have ignored. Landlords are out of Michigan & continuously quote Michigan law but apartment is in Indianapolis. He plans to move in 6 months. Can they force him to sign lease or raise his rent $100 a month & are they required to give him 30 days notice of increase? Can they charge him for bugs?

    • Robert

      He could simply just wait him out if he’s moving in 6 months but if you don’t have a lease and you’re on a month-to-month lease either party can give notice and vacate or terminate a lease or even raise rents with a 30 day notice

  • jim

    I am renting a house where the previous tenant committed suicide, In the state of Indiana, Am i required to disclose this information to possible tenants

  • Emily

    I’m buying a home on a land contract. I also pay the HOA fees. I went to the HOA meeting tonight and they kicked me out saying its the law I have to be on the deed to attend the meeting that was at the library. Side note we found out a few of the board members are felons one of them pulled a gun on my property on my 10 year old. We also found out the property management company owner had been in trouble for taking money from the HOA in the past. We need help! I have all the proof if anyone can help me call me!! 3174127169 there is even more to the story.

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