This is a summary of Indiana Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Indiana Code, and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Indiana landlord-tenant laws, Indiana eviction laws, and Indiana renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing Indiana Landlord-Tenant Laws
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 32-31 – Landlord and Tenant
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 33-28-3 – Small Claims and Misdemeanor Division
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 33-34 – Marion County Small Claims Court
- General Indiana Small Claims Rules
Indiana Lease Terms Provisions
Indiana Security Deposit Laws
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
There is no Indiana law limiting security deposits. Landlord can accept a lien on a motor vehicle owned by tenant as a security deposit or to secure the rent payment (IC 32-31-3-13.5).
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
No. There is no Indiana law requiring security deposits to earn interest.
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
No. There is no Indiana law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account.
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There is no Indiana law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
45 days. (IC 32-31-3-12(a)(3)
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit for the following purposes:
- To reimburse the landlord for actual damages that are not the result of ordinary wear and tear.
- To pay the landlord for rent owed, including rent due for premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant.
- To pay for the last payment period of a residential rental agreement if the lease or other written agreement between the landlord and the tenant stipulates that the security deposit will serve as the last payment of rent due.
- To reimburse the landlord for utility or sewer charges that are the obligation of the tenant under the rental agreement, but weren’t paid by the tenant. (IC 32-31-3-13)
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. Along with the remaining security deposit, the landlord must mail the tenant an itemized list of deductions and stating the estimated cost of repair for each damaged item and the amounts and lease on which the landlord intends to assess the tenant within 45 days. (IC 32-31-3-14)
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
No. There is no Indiana law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
No. There is no Indiana law specifying record-keeping requirements.
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
Landlord’s failure to provide an itemized list within 45 days constitutes agreement by landlord that no damages are due and landlord must remit to tenant immediately the full amount of security deposit. Such failure constitutes that landlord forfeits the right to withhold any of the security deposit. If the security deposit is withheld, the landlord 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 32-31-3-15, IC 32-31-3-16)
Indiana Rent Laws
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in Indiana.
- When is rent due?
There is no statute in Indiana law covering this issue.
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no Indiana law requiring a certain payment method for rent.
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. There is no Indiana law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no Indiana law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
Yes. There is no Indiana law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
Indiana Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
Yes, landlords must provide at least 30 days’ written notice before modifying the rental agreement. (IC 32-31-5-4)
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no Indiana law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease. (IC 32-31-1-8(1))
- What notice is required to terminate a year-to-year periodic tenancy?
The landlord can terminate the lease with 3 months’ notice. (IC 32-31-1-3)
- What notice is required to terminate a tenancy at will?
The landlord can terminate the lease with 1 month written notice. (IC 32-31-1-1)
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in Indiana law covering this issue.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
- To inspect the premises.
- To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
- To supply necessary or agreed to services.
- To show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (IC 32-31-5-6(e))
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
The landlord must give a tenant “reasonable” written or oral notice of the landlord’s intent to enter the unit and may only enter the unit at reasonable times. (IC 32-31-5-6(g))
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
- In case of an emergency that threatens the safety of the occupants or the landlord’s property.
- Under court order.
- When the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises. (IC 32-31-5-6(f))
Landlord’s Duties (IC 32-31-8-5)
- Landlords must deliver the rental unit in a safe, clean, and habitable condition.
- Landlords must comply with applicable health and housing codes.
- Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition.
- Landlords must make all reasonable efforts to keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and proper condition.
- Landlords must maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, appliances, and elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.(IC 32-31-8-5)
- Landlords must change the locks of the dwelling unit upon tenant’s written request during 48 hours after receiving a copy of a court order if perpetrator does not live in the same residence, and during 24 hours after receiving a copy of a court protection or restraining order (IC 32-31-9-9, IC 32-31-9-10).
Tenant’s Duties (IC 32-31-7-5)
- Tenants must comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by health and housing codes.
- Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses reasonably clean.
- Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
- Tenants must refrain from destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing, or removing any part of the premises.
- Tenants must comply with all reasonable rules and regulations in the rental agreement.
- Tenants must ensure that each smoke detector installed in the tenant’s rental unit remains functional and is not disabled. (IC 32-31-7-5)
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and business addresses of:
- A person residing in Indiana authorized to manage the premises.
- A person residing in Indiana who is reasonably accessible to the tenant and who is authorized to act as agent for the owner for service of process and receiving notices and demands. (IC 32-31-3-18)
- Landlords must disclose in the lease if the structure is located in a 100-year flood plain. (IC 32-31-1-21)
- Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
Indiana Renters’ Rights
- What are Indiana renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
If a landlord fails to comply with the landlord’s duties, the tenant may provide the landlord notice of the noncompliance. If the landlord does not repair or otherwise remedy the breach within a reasonable amount of time, the tenant may bring an action in a court to enforce the landlord’s obligation. (IC 32-31-8-6)
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
No. There are no Indiana laws allowing tenants from withholding rent to enforce their legal rights.
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Indiana renter’s rights?
There is no statute in Indiana law covering this issue. However, Indiana landlords are bound by federally-mandated fair housing rights.
Indiana Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Indiana eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (IC 32-31-1-6)
- Violation of lease terms / rental agreement (IC 32-31-7-7)
- Waste (IC 32-31-1-8(3))
- Illegal drug activity (IC 32-30-8-5)
- Prositution (IC 32-30-7-25)
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (IC 32-31-1-8(4))
- What notice do Indiana eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 10-day notice to pay before starting the eviction process. (IC 32-31-1-6)
- For evictions based on lease violations, the landlord must give written notice providing tenants a “reasonable” amount of time to correct the issue before starting the eviction process. (IC 32-31-7-7)
- For evictions based on waste or prostitution, landlords do not have to provide notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (IC 32-31-1-8(3)); (IC 32-30-7-25)
- For evictions based on illegal drug activity, landlords must give a 45-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (IC 32-30-8-5)
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (IC 32-31-1-8(4))
- Do Indiana eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. Indiana law forbids tenants from using self-help eviction methods. (IC 32-31-5-6)
COVID-19 Changes to Indiana Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- Indiana Rental Assistance program is paused.
Squatter’s rights in Indiana
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
Indiana has no specific laws recognizing squatters.
The squatter must live on the property and pay taxes for 10 years. A governmental entity or an entity exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code may claim title to real property by adverse possession without having paid all taxes and special assessments due on the real property during the period of adverse possession if an adjacent property owned by the entity was exempt from the payment of property taxes and special assessments during the period of adverse possession. (IC 32-21-7-1). The squatter cannot claim adverse possession for property owned by state or a political subdivision. (IC 32-21-7-2).
- Judicial Branch of Indiana
- Indiana Attorney General
- Indiana Small Claims Manual
- Indiana Small Claims Rules
- Marion County Small Claims Court
- 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
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- Indiana Association of Realtors
- Metropolitan Indianapolis Association of Realtors
- Fort Wayne Association of Realtors
- Greater South Bend-Mishawaka Association of Realtors