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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963 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 ,,,

  • Gulliver

    Lucas,

    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)?

    Best,
    Gulliver

  • 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!!!!

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