Tenants Rights

The State of Indiana's main tenant-landlord law was enacted in 1881 and has remained mostly unchanged, with little protection for tenants, for more than a century. In recent years, the tenant-landlord law has been amended a bit, most significantly in 2002, to clarify some aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship, with an eye to seeking better housing conditions for tenants.

For dwelling units that are let for rent after June 30, 2002 (but not for dwelling units rented with an option to purchase, that is, a "contract sale"), Indiana Code 32-31-7 and IC 32-31-8 provide, among other things, a summary of tenant obligations (such as using the rented facility and its appliances in a reasonable manner, keeping the rental premises reasonably clean, complying with all applicable health and housing codes, and complying with all the landlord's reasonable rules and regulations, as they might be duly changed from time to time) and a summary of the landlord's obligations (such as delivering the rental premises in a safe, clean and habitable condition, complying with all applicable health and housing codes, and, if provided, maintaining the following in good and safe working condition: the electrical system, plumbing system, sanitary system, heating system and landlord-provided appliances). Again, please note that the provisions summarized above do NOT necessarily apply to premises let for rent before July 1, 2002, nor to premises rented with an option to purchase.


It should be kept in mind that, generally speaking, HUD's own rules have for many years already provided fair treatment for HUD-assisted tenants, while still empowering landlords with the authority to choose renters carefully, to impose reasonable rules, and upon proper notice to evict tenants who do not follow those rules.

Keith Lerch
Indianapolis HUD Office