LandlordStation.com believes that knowing Indiana landlord tenant law, and especially Indiana renters rights, as a landlord in this state is not only essential – it can make you a better landlord. When you know all aspects of Indiana rental laws, and not just the points that cover your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, you are empowered to proactively spot and manage issues before they become major legal problems.
This bit of knowledge and effort on your part in advance could save you plenty of time, money, and effort in the future. What follows is a general overview of Indiana rental laws and should not be construed as legal advice, for which you should consult an experienced, licensed attorney.
Indiana landlord tenant law spans nine chapters of statues under Title 32, Article 31 of the Indiana state code. This law is the handbook of any current or prospective Indiana landlord and covers various items including recording leases that exceed three years in length, security deposits, the rights of tenants who are crime victims of certain acts, Indiana renters rights and responsibilities, and Indiana landlord rights and responsibilities.
As an Indiana landlord, your responsibilities to your tenant are directly intertwined with your lessee’s Indiana tenant rights. When it comes to renters rights, Indiana law states that your tenant has many rights, including the following:
•Safe, clean, and habitable premises
Landlord compliance with all building and health codes
Structural safety maintenance and weatherproofing of building
Clean unit with working toilets, furnaces, and windows
Unit must have locks on every outside door or door to common area
•Maintenance and upkeep of unit
Landlord must provide heat, water, and appliances
Landlords must also provide sanitary, plumbing, and electrical systems
Tenant has right to adequate amount of heat and reasonable amount of hot water
•Access to property
Landlord may not deny tenant access to his or her rental property except through court order
This includes denying access through changing locks, barring windows, or removing doors
Includes electricity, gas, and water
Landlord may only interrupt these services with court order
Landlord must give advanced notice before entering rental unit
Only exception is emergencies like fire, loss of heat, or flooding
•Maintained common areas
Indiana landlord must maintain common areas shared by all tenants on the rental premises
Could include fences, parking lots, landscaping, and recreational areas like swimming pools and playgrounds
Tenant must have security deposit returned within 45 days of agreement termination if rental property is properly vacated in good order
Landlord may not deduct tenant’s security deposit to pay for normal wear and tear costs
There may not be discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disabilities in the sale, rental, financing of dwellings, or other housing-related transactions
Tenant may have right to put money towards repairs and deduct that cost from rent in specific situations
Tenant may terminate a lease agreement in case of a rental premises becoming uninhabitable
Financial damages incurred by negligence of landlord may be pursued in small claims court
Tenant may change locks
Tenant may terminate rental agreement with 30 days’ notice
Landlord may not retaliate against a tenant who is a crime victim
In addition to these rights, your tenant also has responsibilities under the landlord-tenant law which are directly intertwined with your rights as landlord. These responsibilities generally have to do with respect for and reasonable use of the rental property, and include things like keeping the rental premises reasonably clean, using all systems (plumbing, electrical, heating, A/C, etc.) in a reasonable manner, and monitoring the functionality of each smoke detector in the unit.
As you can see, renters' rights and responsibilities in Indiana have a lot to do with the same concepts that govern your rights and responsibilities as landlord. Under the Indiana landlord tenant law the similarities are rental premises upkeep and who has a right to the premises when. Thus, knowing Indiana renter’s rights and the responsibilities of your tenant, in addition to your own, can make you a better landlord by allowing you to spot and troubleshoot potential issues in advance. Doing so could greatly reduce your risk of facing serious landlord-tenant conflict.
Remember, Landlord Station is not qualified to present actual legal advice and what has been detailed here is merely a general overview. For legal advice concerning your rental agreements and issues under Indiana rental laws, consult a licensed and experienced legal professional.
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