This 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.
Official Rules, Regulations & Guides
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 32-31 – Landlord and Tenant (pdf)
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 33-28-3 – Small Claims and Misdemeanor Division (pdf)
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 33-34 – Marion County Small Claims Court
- General Indiana Small Claims Rules
- 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)
- A tenant at will commits waste.
- The tenant is a tenant at sufferance (someone who occupies the property after a lease has expired).
- 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.
- 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 32-31-9-9 & IC 32-31-9-11)
- Retaliation: No Statute
Court & Legal Related:
- Indiana Small Claims Court Limits: $6,000 (IC 33-28-3-4(b)(1))
- Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims: Yes, if the amount of unpaid rent is less than $6,000 at the time of filing. (IC 33-28-3-4(b)(2))
- Judicial Branch of Indiana
- Indiana Attorney General
- Small Claims:
- Bar Associations
- Legal Aid
- Business License Required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
- Lead Paint Booklet (pdf)
- Lead Paint Disclosure Rule
- Indiana Civil Rights Commission
- Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority
- Indiana Department of Insurance
- Indiana Guide to Property Insurance
- Indiana Office of Consumer Protection
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Indiana
- Indiana Real Estate Commission
- Indiana Association of REALTORS®
Small Claims in Indiana (except Marion County)
Small Claims in Marion County