Indiana Code for Landlord & Tenant Rights

By Tiffany Garden
Indiana tenant rights are protected in the state code.
An old abandoned windmill in the field in rural Indiana image by Alexey Stiop from Fotolia.com

The landlord and tenant statutes are located in Title 32, Article 31 of the Indiana state code. There are 9 chapters that cover aspects of a landlord-tenant agreement, such as tenant obligations, landlord obligations, security deposits, and general provisions. Indiana code gives rights to landlords and tenants with regards to the residential rental unit, possession of the unit, and legal recourse. Indiana does not have an extensive landlord-tenant act like other states do, so some Indiana cities have their own housing codes.

Tenant Rights

A Indiana tenant has rights and protection under the Indiana code covering the landord-tenant relationship. A tenant has the right to a safe home, called an implied warranty of habitability. The rental unit must be up to housing code standards prior to a tenant moving in, or the habitability clause is breached. Security deposit laws give the tenant the right to receive the security deposit, minus any damages, within 45 days of leaving the rental unit.

Chapter 9 of Indiana code deals with tenant rights, when the tenant is a victim of a crime. The tenant is protected against retaliatory action from a landlord who might discriminate against a crime victim. The tenant also has the right to have locks changed and has the ability to terminate the rental agreement with 30-days notice.

Landlord Rights

A landlord has the right to enter the rental unit, although he cannot enter any time he wishes. The landlord first gives reasonable notice to visit at reasonable hours. Neither instance of reasonable is defined in the Indiana code, but most landlords give 24-hour notice and enter during normal business hours. The reasons of entry include requested repairs, inspection, maintenance, court order, abandonment, showing the apartment to prospective tenants, or emergencies. The landlord also has the right to terminate tenancy and pursue an eviction case for tenants who do not pay owed rent, or violate a lease term and do not quit the property when notice is delivered.

Tenant Obligations

Chapter 7 provides information on the required tenant obligations. A tenant must follow health and housing codes, both for the state and any local requirements. The rental unit must be kept clean, all home systems such as water or electric are to be used in a reasonable manner, damage or defacing the property is prohibited, follow the rules and regulations of the lease, and keep smoke detectors working.

The tenant must give the rental unit back in as close to original condition as possible. Normal wear and tear damage is permitted, but major changes need to be switched back if required by the landlord.

Landlord Obligations

Chapter 8 covers all landlord obligations under a rental agreement. The landlord is not able to waive any of the statutes in this chapter using a lease clause. The clause is considered void in that case. The landlord is responsible for delivering possession of a safe and clean dwelling to the tenant. Like the tenant, the landlord must adhere to housing and health codes. Common areas of the rental building or grounds are the landlord's responsibility, and must be kept clean and safe. Electric, heating, ventilation, appliances, plumbing, and sanitary systems must be kept in good working order.

Termination of Tenancy

A landlord follows the guidelines in Chapter 1, General Provisions of the Landlord and Tenant laws. This provides the proper notice periods for lease termination. Termination for non-payment of rent requires a 10-day written notice. The notice template is provided in the Indiana code. No notice is required in certain situations, such as the end of a lease term or the tenant is a tenant at sufferance.