Indiana Landlord Tenant Laws
In the state of Indiana, property owners who rent out their properties to tenants, must abide by certain laws and responsibilities. Tenants who rent properties must also follow the terms described in the lease agreement. Below are several obligations that both landlords and tenants may find useful, based on Indiana Code 32-31-7 (tenant obligations) and 32-31-8 (landlord obligations).
It is the tenant's responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the rental property. Electrical systems, plumbing, sanitary systems, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), and other facilities, must be used in a reasonable manner. The property should not be destroyed or defaced, and no parts or items belonging to the rental property should be removed.
The tenant must make sure that the smoke detector(s) that are installed in the rental property are functioning properly. It is also the tenant's responsibility to replace the batteries in battery operated smoke detectors. If the tenant suspects that a non-battery powered smoke alarm is not functioning properly, the landlord must be notified. The landlord should be notified within a reasonable amount of time, to perform needed repairs or to assess the condition of the property as described by the tenant. The tenant must make sure the landlord has access to the rental property as necessary.
It is the landlord's responsibility, to ensure the tenant's rental property is safe, clean, and is in compliance with the terms established in the rental agreement. The landlord must remain in compliance with all health and housing codes, such as keeping the common areas of the rental property clean and in good condition. The landlord must also maintain the electrical, plumbing, sanitary and HVAC systems. If a landlord fails to repair or correct any problems in the rental as noted by the tenant, the landlord is considered to be in violation of the rental agreement.
Both the landlord and the tenant have the right to take the other to court in Indiana, if either is not meeting the obligations stated in the lease. If the landlord, for example, is not making the necessary repairs to the property in order to make it habitable; the tenant can seek the landlord's compliance with the law in court. However, the landlord must first be given a reasonable period of time to make necessary repairs to the property, or correct the problem as noted by the tenant.
If the tenant has failed to comply with the terms of the lease agreement or has caused damage to the property, the landlord can file notice to the court. When filing to the court, the landlord can note the repairs that were made to the property, including the amount of money spent to repair the damage.