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The landlord-tenant relationship can be difficult at times. When a tenant doesn't clean up the trash piling up on their porch or a landlord refuses to pay to repair a broken dishwasher, you may think that involving a lawyer or taking the other party to court will resolve the issue.
Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, you should typically be able to deal with legal issues without going to court. Some landlord-tenant disputes will leave you with no other option. Both parties need to know the basics of renting out a place, how to collect or pay security deposits, about fair housing laws, etc. This overview of key Indiana landlord-tenant laws will help guide you.
A written lease agreement will outline the duties both the landlord and the tenant have in maintaining the rental property and common areas, including repairs. Indiana's landlord-tenant laws also define the basic duties of each party. At minimum, landlords must:
On the other hand, tenants must:
Indiana prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on characteristics that are protected by the state's fair housing laws. Specific actions like placing prospective tenants on a waiting list may be considered discriminatory if the landlord does these things because of a tenant's:
In most lease agreements in Indiana, landlords charge tenants a security deposit. The security deposit may be used as the tenant's payment for the last month's rent but it's often used by the landlord to pay for:
The security deposit is held by the landlord until the end of the leasing term. Within 45 days after the lease's termination, the landlord must make any deductions from the deposit, return the remaining balance and provide a written notice to the tenant itemizing the deductions. If the landlord fails to deliver notice, they must refund the full deposit amount.
The lease agreement is the foundation of the landlord-tenant relationship. It is a legally binding contract detailing the responsibilities both the landlord and the tenant promise to uphold. In addition to specifics like amenities, renovations and other apartment features, the lease includes legal details like:
While many landlord-tenant conflicts can be resolved without going to court, the laws involved in these conflicts are complex. If you find you are in need of legal counsel or advice, you should consider hiring a landlord-tenant lawyer to represent your interests.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified landlord tenant lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local landlord tenant attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.