Posted in Blog  
  on Sep 28, 2015

Breaking Down Indiana Landlord Tenant Law

There are a number if ICA statutes in place that help to govern Indiana landlord-tenant law. If you have questions regarding your situation, then breaking down those laws below may help to provide the answer that you seek. Here are the answers to the most common questions that are asked.

How Much Can Landlords Charge For a Security Deposit?

There is no maximum amount that a landlord may charge as a security deposit. Tenants must receive whatever remainder of their deposit is left in 45 days or less after moving out of a rental unit. Landlords may deduct unpaid utility charges, accrued rent, and both “actual” and “future reasonable” damages that occur because of tenant non-compliance. Landlords are not allowed to deduct items that are considered normal wear and tear. This includes repainting walls or cleaning carpets. Tenants are required to maintain a property, however, so any damages that arise from a failure to clean carpets can result in deductions. All withholdings from a security deposit must be itemized. Landlords who fail to provide a notice of damages means that the landlord agrees no damages are do. Failing to itemize makes the landlord liable to the tenant for the amount withheld plus reasonable legal fees and costs.

How Much Can Landlords Charge In Late Fees?

There are no ICA statutes regarding late fees, allowing landlords to charge what they wish. No statutes govern when rent is due, if a grace period is required, or if tenants are allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs. Landlords can only remove abandoned property with a court order writ of possession. This possession of property cannot occur if it is being used to enforce a tenant's obligation. The amount of rent being paid cannot be more than 30% of a tenant's total income, including the amount that is paid in utilities, if the rental unit qualifies as affordable housing.

What Notices Are Landlords Required To Give?

Tenants who fail to pay their rent by the agreed upon due date must receive a 10 day notice to pay or quit. If the rent and any late fees are paid in full within this time period, then the notice is considered canceled. There are no ICA statutes that govern timing for other lease violations. No notice is required who “commits waste,” is living in a rental unit after the lease has expired, or if there is no established tenancy. If tenants have agreed to pay rent in advance and fail to do so, the nonpayment of rent notice to pay or quit does not apply.

How Much Notice Must Landlords Give For Entry?

Landlords must only provide a “reasonable” amount of notice before making an entry into a rental unit. This stipulation is rescinded if there is an emergency repair that must be made. 24 hour notice is recommended. Entry notice is required to show a rental unit for sale. There are no statutes which govern if a landlord may make an unannounced entry if there is an extended absence from the property by a tenant.

What About Domestic Violence Status?

Landlords are allowed to verify claims of a domestic violence status against an individual. If a claim is considered to be valid, then a tenant who has become the victim of domestic violence is allowed to terminate their portion of a lease with the landlord with a 30 day written notice. Landlords are not allowed to retaliate against a victim, nor are they permitted to refuse to enter into a lease with someone who has been a past victim. The court may order a landlord to change locks at a residence because of domestic violence, in which landlords have 48 hours to comply.

What Is a Habitable Condition?

Landlords must provide a rental unit that is a habitable condition. This means providing heat, water, and appliances. ICA statutes also place electrical systems, plumbing, and sanitary systems as components of a habitable condition. This includes hot water. If there are common areas shared by multiple tenants, landlords must maintain these areas. This includes parking, landscaping, fencing, and recreational areas. All structures and areas must meet with Indiana building codes. Landlords can request tenants switch back any “major changes” that may have been made. This may include painting walls, changing flooring, or installing different appliances. Breaking down Indiana landlord tenant law requires an in-depth look the ICA statutes which govern this business relationship. Reference these statutes if your specific question has not been answered here.


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