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Understanding the basics of Indiana’s landlord-tenant law

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2021 | Real Estate

Almost every person, at one time or another, has been presented with a document and is asked to sign it without fully understanding its contents. When this document is a lease, it can lead to landlord-tenant disputes later on.

Before agreeing to the terms of a lease, it is helpful to know the basic responsibilities and obligations landlords and tenants have under Indiana law.

Tenant Responsibilities

Most tenants understand that they have to pay the rent on time and in full, but they are also responsible for other items. Tenants must keep the rental premises reasonably clean and use the electric, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems responsibly.

They must also agree to comply with the rules in the lease agreement, including not damaging the property. If a repair needs to be made, the tenant must provide the landlord with a reasonable amount of notice and allow the landlord access to the property to fix the issue.

At the end of the lease, the tenant must return the property in a clean and proper condition, except for normal wear and tear.

If the tenant damages the property beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord may be able to deduct the costs of fixing the issue from the tenant’s security deposit.

Landlord Obligations

Landlords must provide the tenant with a rental that is reasonably safe and clean. They must comply with all health and housing codes, keep common areas clean and maintain basic systems to support electric, heat and water usage.

They must repair issues in a timely manner, once they are notified about them by the tenant. Landlords are also responsible for managing the tenant’s security deposit appropriately.

Leases can be complex and the terms can differ for each one. It is important to read the lease and fully understand the responsibilities and obligations of each party. If a dispute arises, an Indiana real estate attorney can offer advice about how to proceed.


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