Indiana Rental Laws

Written on March 22, 2014 by , updated on November 14, 2017

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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998 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • DJ

    I live in a large apartment building and have had to call the cops several times because someone is smoking weed so bad it’s filling my house with weed smoke for hours on end sometimes all day when I think the people are home from work. I’ve called the cops, I’ve told my landlord and it’s negatively affecting I and my roommates health. I don’t know what options I have legally in Indiana and I’m feeling rather hopeless. I work from home so it’s impacting me the most and I can’t just never be home. Any direction would greatly help.

    • Brian Ellison

      other than the smell it is not affecting you in any manner what so ever ,,,, quit your whining ,,, your statement is laughable ,, and shows your ignorance about marijuana and the fact that you know nothing about it ,,,

      • MB

        ANY second hand SMOKE is a health hazard. Marijuana is illegal. Contact the police. Document each time, you may need that for future action.

  • Gulliver


    Great article! Thank you for this. So I’m under contract to buy a property in Indiana where the current owner is paying for the water and sewer bills. I want to also know after I take ownership of a property can I start installing water sub-meters and bill back the water and sewer bills to the tenants right away (even if some of the tenants are on a year lease)?


  • Diana

    How many people can legally live in a 2 bedroom trailer? My granddaughter is living with 3 adults, 4 children, and soon a fifth child in a 2 bedroom trailer. This can’t be safe!

    • Robert

      Your local Health Department would be the first point of contact to reach out to concerning this issue. Also if I was the property owner and I had that many people live in one of my units I would have issues with that concerning the massive amount of wear and tear on the structure. So you could contact the property owner as well if she’s not the property owner. Hope this helps

  • elizabeth

    Recently moved to Southern Indiana. First time renter!!
    Well I moved in 3 days after my lease said I could. long story short I had power when I moved in and when showed to me, contacted duke energy to get it switched in my name set up appointment and they came and took the entire meter. previous tenant was using electicity unauthorized. Everything in my fridge went bad and had no power for 6 day!! let alone could not get in touch with my landlord for days on end. Am I wrong for thinking I shouldn’t have to pay for those 6 days and should be reinburst for my groceries? Any opinion would be great!

    • Robert

      The loss was not related to anything your landlord did you would be hard-pressed proven in a court of law that your landlord is responsible for the power not being turned on and your loss of food. If you don’t pay for 6 days you could have a possible justification for an eviction proceedings. I would just take that under advisement. good luck and have a good day

    • Been there

      The landlord has to deliver you the goods! They are not in compliance with the Indiana Code. You need to go to the health Dept or HUD. Good luck.

  • Austin land

    My trailer caught on fire when I turned on the stove due to a gas leak from the wires where they were rusty and becoming weak from lack of maintenance checks over five years times and my family had to leave our home and now our landlord is not deducting anything from rent and is trying to put the same stove back what should we do we have no money or any resources. Can he legally be sued for liability considering the situation. Do we have a good case if we go to court.

  • Kay

    Im a first time renter, I’ve been in my apartment for 1 week. The second night I turned on the heat, after turning it on I noticed a roach. I called the landlord and asked them to spray. I keep getting told someone will come out but no one shows. I have a infant in the home, we can’t live like this. Its cold outside and anytime I turn on the heat more and more of them come out. If nothing continues to be done am I allowed to break my lease and get my money back? It was the landlords responsibility to make sure the house was bug free before move in.

  • Veronica immel

    My daughter owns a trailer and lives there and has lot rent in her name along with all bills. Her ex boyfriend lives there not on lease but gets mail there. He is abusive and she has pictures and proof of abuse to her and children. She wants him out but he won’t leave. Said he doesn’t have to. What does she need to do to get him out ASAP. She is scared and don’t know what to do. This is in Lebanon Indiana. How does she go about this. Or should she just call the police and have him removed because she is scared for her and their children’s safety! Please help!!!!

  • jennifer richardson

    Hello, hoping this finds you well….I am trying to find out what the IN statute is on carpet life expectancy. I have rented the same apartment for 7 years. I have been a great tenant, but, in seven years with a dog for the first 4-5 and 3 kids plus my husband and I….The carpet is shot….spills from my toddler, areas where the dog dug and normal wear and tear. I paid a deposit upon moving in and I paid pet deposit and pet rent. I have researched forever and can’t find anything except the IRS depreciation guide. Can you help me? Thank you in advance…

    • Vernell Green

      This is why landlords ask for a security deposit. If you read your entire lease, you will see that any damages except normal wear and tear, will be taken out of your deposit. Obviously you have destroyed the carpet, and this is NOT NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR. Landlord keeps your deposit to replace the carpet. The definition of normal wear and tear is NOT in the IRS guidelines. There are too many factors regarding IRS depreciation v. rental property depreciation.

    • Sarah

      Industry standard, dogs or not is 7 years. 10 years maximum. If they do charge you, your only recourse is small claims, but if you lose you pay their court costs & attorneys fees.

  • Chris Sloan

    Tennant will be in jail at least 3 years. No one else at the property (house). I have given him 30 days to have all his property removed. What is my obligation if he does nothing which is what I expect. Thanks.

    • Robert

      Statute says you’re required to rent a storage unit for one month take all his his personal property and put in that storage unit. Make sure you give him all necessary notifications of where his personal property is located. If it’s going to be in prison for 3 years it shouldn’t be hard to give him legal notice. When his personal properties in the storage units it no longer your concern. Take pictures of everything before you move it make sure there’s an itemized list that way they can’t say you took anything just in case after he gets out of jail his multimillion-dollar painting comes up missing

  • Nic

    I have a tenant in Indianashe just put a protection order on him domestic he is on the lease can I remove him or what is my best resolution she wants to stay and move her sister in

  • Hobo

    My complex was sold. The new company is rumored to be raising the rents with only a 30 day notice. Some tenants will have an increase of $100.00 please tell me, they have to wait until lease renewals, at least.

  • Mayme Jefferson

    We rented a property in Indiana for two and a half yr, before the landlords had a relative take over and manage the property. Which made us have been renter of this property for a total of three yrs. Upon them taken over, the rental company that they were with. Where we paid our rent through, and put in work orders for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that needed fixing and went array. First the electrical wasn’t up to code, than the roof needed repairing because it began to leak in the living room onto my furniture. Than the plumbing, we noted upon. Just being in the property for two-weeks was bad. And they just came out and put a bandage on it.
    So now once we decided to vacate the premises, and the plumbing was overflowing into our daughters rm

  • Kori Ko

    I bought a used tires business 8 months ago and for me to open my shop I needed a place to open my new business. so I decided to take over the current building that is already used as a used tires shop therefore I rented the building for the person who is selling me the used tires business. I was thinking two birds with one stone. the building is already register as used tires business so all I have to do is transfer the name and get it going. So I decided to rent the building for a whole year and I paid upfront for the year. I rented in april 1, 17 and decided to get my business started and I found out the building I rented could not be register for my business since it does not have actual address and only part of the garage not in system

    • Kori ko

      I have asked the landlord to get me the right lease agreement but nothing corrected. I have no water since past due bill left on previous account and asking owner to get it taken care since day one and nothing has done, yet. Another mechanic rented part of the garage and operating illegally operations repairing cars And also bill have not pay by other renter who suppose to pay half bill every month and haven’t got it since May so 6 months since I need electric in the building for my inventory and shop needs and nothing but waste of money now 6 month so far nothing have been from other renters. I need a lawyer I do not know which lawyer will handle this kinda case. Please help. Email me at please thank you helping.

  • Gulliver

    When raising rents can I give 30 day notice for tenants that are currently on a year lease?

    • Sarah

      IC 32-31-5-4
      Any changes made to lease agreement require 30 day notice.

    • Kori ko

      I have asked the landlord to get me the right lease agreement but nothing corrected. I have no water since past due bill left on previous account and asking owner to get it taken care since day one and nothing has done, yet. Another mechanic rented part of the garage and operating illegally operations repairing cars And also bill have not pay by other renter who suppose to pay half bill every month and haven’t got it since May so 6 months since I need electric in the building for my inventory and shop needs and nothing but waste of money now 6 month so far nothing have been from other renters. I need a lawyer I do not know which lawyer will handle this kinda case. Please help. Email me at please thank you helping.

  • Amy Hornek

    My nephew is renting a house in Indianapolis. the furnace is broke landlord refuses to repair isnt this against the law? the temps are -11. Its him, his GF and 1 tear old baby they are using space heater, I feel is dangerous . He starting asking for the furnace to be repaired in Oct shortly after they moved in .

    • Kori ko

      Yes,it is. If landlord is not willing to fix it, get the deposit back or do not pay him a dime for the rent. small claim is the best solution, the owner will be surprise what will be coming for him.

      • Sarah

        Your nephew needs to set up an escrow at the county clerks office. The landlord will have to appear before the judge to get his escrow release. Once in front of the judge your nephew can show proof of the landlords negligence. You dont simply, “stop paying” rent. If you stop paying he will evict you and WIN! Even though the landlord hasnt fixed the heat.

  • Amy M Lay

    I rented a condo for 3 years. I hired some one to clean when I moved out. They took pictures when they had completed the job. My landlord now is wanting to charge me for carpet cleaning, removal of screens to clean windows and screens, vacuuming out of cobwebs in the garage and other things I believe to be the landlord’s responsibility in between tenants. Should this be the cost of ownership by the landlord or is it technically a tenants responsibilities?

  • Sara

    Hi. Question is the law for apartment complex text message the tent if it’s not in the lease agreement and if the tent has told the apartment complex to stop text message they do it too me all the time and my roommates don’t get the text messages from the apartment complex I’m grim Indiana but I have never had a apartment complex text message the tent at all its getting really old too be getting text message thanks

  • Darla Hamlin

    I wanted to find out if it is legal for my landlord ( I live in an apartment) to have a lease that says that after my lease is up I go month to month. Or sign another lease. When I chose not to sign another lease and go month to month they are trying to charge me a $200.00 a month fee. There is no where in the lease that talks about a fee for going month to month.

    • Angel

      This is legal and it is common practice to give a tenant the choice of either signing another year lease or a month to month. A lease protects you as well as the owner. It usually does cost extra for the option to not have to make a full year commitment.

    • Sarah

      The additional fee should be stated in the original lease. However if it’s not the fact that you are on a month to month allows them to increase the rents with only a 30 day notice. Henceforth the month to month.

  • LP

    Our landlord is attempting to force residents to pay online. That’s fine, but we will incur a fee on top of other frivolous fees they already charge us for existing. It’s definitely unethical but what are the legalities of forcing someone to incur a fee to pay a bill simply because you’re too lazy to accept a free method of payment?

  • ElenaMika

    We are glad to see you in our midst I want you let’s have passionate sex my nickname (Agata86

    Copy the link and go to me…

  • Maria

    I am concerned for a family member in a trailer park (Southtowne, Marion county).
    She has been presented with a letter from the owner stating that all residents must pay an additional $147 for water/sewage increase because of weather. Some owners have busted their pipes and/or left water running to prevent from freezing. In their lease they pay water and sewage within the rent and so I am trying to find out what her options are. Any ideas for me? Can you lead me to someone to speak to in regards to this problem? Thank you

  • Malinda Prather

    In Indiana is there a set time to remove property from rental house after renter passes away. My cousin passed on 1/25/18 and his next of kin has just turned 18. We haven’t even buried him yet do to a scavenger hunt to find insurance papers and such. The landlord is giving us till midnight 2/14/18 to have everything out and cleaned. Just wondering where we may stand. Thank you.

  • sandy

    Just need to know is it a law to remove doors off refrigerators, before setting them out at the dumpster of an apartment complex thanks

  • J.S.G.

    I just recently lost my home to a fire . A friend of mine introduced me to some people that was gonna rent there 49ft goose neck camper. Me and the ol lady liked it but a few things was wrong with it 1.)No water 2.)No heat . (both furnaces broke)3.)No shower ( full of clothes ) 4.) Couldn’t use the toilet 5.)All holding tanks was full.(I pay $35 every 2weeks for tanks to be pumped)6.) Had to build entry way to door 7.) Severe floor damage with black mold that had to be replaced 8.) Electrical wiring is non sufficient and not to code! Now for over 3 months I’ve had no hot water due to a ruptured water heater. My landlord hasn’t fixed any of this . Am I still responsible to pay my rent ? I’ve been here for 6 mnths now. Please help me out

  • Tyler

    How does the law come into effect if the landlord never gave a contract or rental agreement for “damages” that are normal wear and tear occurring from an 8 year tenant? If I have not signed any contractual obligation to replace carpet that needed replaced upon entering the house in 2010, do I have to replace it if it has a hole worn into it now?

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