There are a number of reasons an Indiana landlord may want to evict a tenant. Commonly it is because the tenant has not paid rent or is violating the lease in some other way. But in order to evict, the landlord must go through the legal procedures mandated by the Indiana courts. If the landlord tries to lock out the tenant or turn off utilities, he or she may be liable for damages to the tenant.
Indiana Termination Notice
In Indiana, a landlord should provide a tenant with notice of eviction before filing an eviction suit. When the eviction is for failure to pay rent, the landlord must give a 10 days notice, and if the tenant pays within those ten days, the landlord cannot sue. This notice is called a "notice to quit." If the tenancy is a month-to-month tenancy (or "tenancy at will"), either party (landlord or tenant) must give at least 30 days noticethat the tenancy is ending.
In Indiana, evictions are usually handled in the small claims division of the Superior Court. Find your local county's Superior Court contact information online here. Each court will have forms available for you to fill out to begin the eviction process. While this might seem like the least painful way to evict a problem tenant, remember that tenants have rights too, and sometimes things don't work out as you had hoped. When this is the case, or if you are just unsure of what comes next in the termination and/or eviction process at any point, you may wish to hire or consult an Indiana landlord tenant attorney. Be sure to refer to the Questions to Ask Your Indiana Evictions Lawyerbelow when speaking to a lawyer.
Self-Help Evictions in Indiana
Self-help evictions are not legal in Indiana. A landlord may only turn off utilities or lock a tenant out if the premises have been abandoned. If a landlord violates this law, the tenant may be entitled to actual damages and punitive damages (Ind. Code 32-31-5-6(c)).
Questions to Ask Your Indiana Evictions Lawyer
- How many evictions cases have you handled?
- How many were successful/unsuccessful?
- How long will the eviction process take?
- For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
- For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenant has been living in the rental property illegally?
- What do you charge?
- For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?