Indiana, home of the Indianapolis 500! Indiana rents have increased at about an annual increase of 1.5%, and rents account for approximately 18% of the average median income for Indiana households. Along with the casinos in Shelbyville, the gold panning in Yellowwood State Forest, and the fairly relaxed state landlord-tenant regulations, Indiana offers more than good old Midwestern hospitality.
At a Glance:
Late Fees: There are no state statutes that limit late fees.
Security Deposit: No limitations on the amount of security deposits, pet deposits or non-refundable deposit or fees.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: $20 which must be written into the lease.
Notice to Enter: Reasonable amount of either verbal or written notice should be given.
Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:
There may be nothing written in the landlord tenant statutes with regards to a high limit of a late fee however, it is wise to use reasonable and fair amounts. Using an extremely high amount could be construed by a court of law as unfair. The fee for a payment that is returned by the bank as unpaid is $20. In order to collect this fee, it must be placed in the written lease.
The Indiana Code that regulates security deposits is found in IC 32-31-3. There is no limit on what a landlord may collect for a security deposit in Indiana. If a security deposit is collected, it must be returned to the tenant before the end of forty-five days. When any deductions are made for past due rent, physical damages to the rental unit beyond wear and tear or anything permitted under the law, an itemized list must accompany any left-over amount.
Indiana landlord tenant code stipulates that not only must the landlord hand over the rental unit to the tenant in a safe and habitable manner but must comply with health and housing codes as well. In IC 32-31-8-5 (4), there is a descriptive list of what specifically a landlord is responsible for maintenance-wise.
IMPORTANT: When the landlord hands the keys to the tenant, the landlord must make sure and have tenant sign a written receipt that the rental premises has a working smoke detector. There is no circumstances when this is not required, therefore it is not permissible for it to be waived.
Right of Entry:
Indiana law dictates that the landlord shall give a tenant reasonable notice, either verbal or written. The law does state that the tenant must not be difficult when it comes to permitting the landlord entrance to provide maintenance, show the apartment to future purchasers, renters, contractors or for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage. The code further dictates that a landlord many not abuse this right.
Notice to End Lease:
Generally speaking the terms in the lease tend to dictate how the lease ends. Generally, however, if nothing is in the lease and there is a definitive ending date, then at the end the tenant would move. No advance notice is needed. Now if a tenant runs on a year to year basis, then an advance notice by either party of ninety days is needed; a month to month tenancy or where a tenant pays rent monthly would require a thirty advanced notice. To end any other tenancy where the terms are not specifically in a lease, the amount of notice would be determined how often the rent is paid, for instance, week to week would require seven days.
First step, proper notice! Steps to follow when a tenant is not paying rent or in violation of other lease terms can be found in Article 31, Chapter 1, Section 6 of the Indiana Code (IC-31-1-6). If a tenant does not pay rent, a ten day advance written notice to either pay or leave must be given. This notice must be served personally. Whomever is giving the notice must explain to the tenant the contents of the notice. If the tenant cannot be found, the notice can then be posted in a noticeable area of the property. After the ten days’ elapse and the tenant has not paid nor vacated, the landlord may then go to the local juris court and file a complaint.
Questions? Ask an Indiana Attorney!
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